I always told my girls when they picked up a book off the library shelf, looked at it, and then put it down again, that they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I almost made the same mistake myself, thinking that the preppy girl with the short skirt on the cover of this book made it look like a ditzy book without much substance.
I would have been wrong.
Since I had enjoyed Ally Carter’s first book in this mini-series, I’d Tell You that I Love You but then I’d Have to Kill You, I thought this third book would also be audio entertainment in the car. (I didn’t realize that I had missed the second one, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy.)
Cover proved to be more than just entertainment as Carter skillfully uses the “cover” of a story which takes place in the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women to hit the meaty themes of lies, deception, and truth. Just as the main character, Cameron, has to figure out what is the real story behind the events happening to Macey, one of her roommates and the daughter of the US vice-presidential candidate, she also has to figure out when her boyfriend Zach; her mother (the head mistress of the school); her favorite teacher, Mr. Solomon; Macey; and her Aunt Abby, an undercover secret service agent, are telling the truth or really being “themselves.”
This is a fun and thought-provoking read for upper elementary and middle school girls. Apparently the fourth book in the series, Only the Good Spy Young, is coming out later this month. I guess I’ll have to get in line at the library and find out if Cammie figures out the secrets hinted at in the walls of the Gallagher Academy. And by the way, Ms. Carter, bravo on your book titles. They’re enviably clever! (Hyperion, 2009)