Ally Carter Books

Today I am going to be discussing two series of books by Ally Carter. Ally Carter is an American author of young-adult fiction and adult fiction novels. The books that I will be reviewing are two series  that I have read and love: The Gallagher Girl Books and Heist Society Books.

All Things Spy, Girly and Young-Adult

The first series I read was the Gallagher Girl Books. I found this series in my school library in the UK- and I instantly knew that they were for me.

 I have been interested in crime, detective and spy books and television programs for a long time. So when I saw these books I was immediately attracted to them.

After all, not only are they spy books, but they are also young-adult fiction featuring teenage girls in an all girl school. How exciting! Everyone I know who has read the books have spoken very highly of them and for good reason, they are fantastic.

 So there are 6 books in the Gallagher girl series. These are all of the books of the Gallagher Girls Series in the correct order:

  • I'd Tell You I love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You
  • Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
  • Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover
  • Only The Good Spy Young
  • Out of Sight, Out of Time
  • United We Spy

I know what you are thinking, those names stand out! The names of each of the books are so clever and engaging, and so it set a great first impression for me. Who wouldn’t be curious to read a series of books with the first one titled :' I'd tell you I love you but then I'd have to Kill you'?!

Synopsis of each of the books:

I'd Tell You I love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You

Beginning Excerpt:

I suppose a lot of teenage girls feel invisible sometimes, like they just disappear. Well, that's me -Cammie the Chameleon. But I'm luckier than most because, at my school, that's considered cool.

I go to a school for spies.

What a brilliant way to start the books! As a reader, I was instantly drawn in. For teenage girls, the opening can be quite relatable. Then the spy bomb is sprung on us and you are slightly taken aback. When do you ever hear of a school for spies?

Interesting Information to Know:

The main character of the books in the Gallagher Girl Series is Cammie Morgan.

  • In the first book Cammie meets and ordinary boy who thinks that she is an ordinary girl.  So she has to fight hard to keep her secret spy life away from him.
  • Cammie may be fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in several different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti), but even this situation is a complex one for her to deal with.
  • Cammie may be an elite spy in training, but in her sophomore year, she is doing something riskier than ever- she is falling in love.

Synopsis of the rest five books:

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy

  • Cammie begins a new semester at her school, but these questions keep lurking in her mind: Does her ex-boyfriend even remember she exists? And how much trouble did she really get in last semester? And, most of all, exactly why is her mother acting so strangely?
  • In this book Cammie is hoping to have a calm and chilled out semester. However, that is a lot to ask for when you go to a spy school. Nothing is ever as it seems.

Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover

  • This is the book when Cammie Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston. She is there to watch Macey's father accept a nomination for Vice President of the United States.
  • Cammie thinks she is in for an exciting end to her summer break. But things turn risky when the girls find themselves trapped in a kidnapper's  dangerous plot, with only their espionage skills to save them.
  • Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion’s corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions, Who is after Macey? And how can they keep her safe?

Only The Good Spy Young

  • When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school.
  • This book is based on events surrounding the period that an ancient terrorist organization dead attempts to kidnap her.
  • The danger follows her everywhere and even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide. This book involves a terrifying London encounter and a rogue double agent.

Out of Sight, Out of Time

  • Cammie has been running away from the Circle of Cavan, an anti-terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year.
  •  This book begins as Cammie wakes up in a alpine convent. She discovers that months have passed and she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole.
  • Once she returns to school, Cammie realizes that even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers.
  • Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind.  They must race against time.

  United We Spy

  • This is the last book in the Gallagher Girls series. I was so pleased when I finished reading this book, as the ending is satisfying.
  • I would even say that it was the best ending of any non-fiction book I have ever read. It ends in just the right way.
  • Anyway what is the book about? Well, Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her.
  • Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie-and her country-forever.

And there you have it, the break-down of the Gallagher Girls series.

My opinion of the Gallagher Girls Series:

The books are amazing and I would definitely recommend it to teenage girls aged 13-16. The book is fluid and easy to read, the vocabulary is well chosen and engaging .

Ally Carter's style of righting is phenomenal and this is another aspect that instantly drew me close to the books.

As you read the series you gain a deeper understanding of the plot and characters and you feel a special connection with the girls.

Cammie takes you on a whirl-wind of adventure as she manages to break all the rules and grow up a bit. The book has a lot of suspense and will catch you off guard sometimes. I like my books no other way! An amazing read!

Heist Society

When you read a good book, you form a special kind of trust with the author and who want to read more of their work. Naturally then,  I search for more Ally Carter books and I found Heist Society. I purchased the books and  got stuck in the pages.

There are 3 books in the Heist Society Series:

  • Heist Society
  • Uncommon Criminals
  • Perfect Scoundrels

Interesting Information to know:

  • Katarina Bishop is the main character from the Heist Society Series. She belongs to a family of expert thieves, the best in the trade.
  • When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels.
  • When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Heist Society

In the book, the first in the Heist Society Series, a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Kat's dad is the suspect list. For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back.

Uncommon Criminals

  • In this book Katarina Bishop is asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.
  • There are only three problems.  First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years.  Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself.  But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed.
  • The mission is controversial, even within Katarina Bishop's family of thieves. Which means this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

Perfect Scoundrels

  • W.W. Hale the fifth is Katarina Bishop's close friend. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role.
  •  But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune.
  • Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible.

And that my friends, is the Heist Society Series in a nutshell.

My opinions of the Heist Society Series:

  • I really enjoyed Ally Carters books yet again. They are just as well written as the first. The plots are intricate and well thought out.
  • However I think that teens ages 15-16 would probably enjoy these books more that younger kids because the subject matter is more mature. I think that overall Heist Society is a brilliant series that will keep you entertained for hours.  
  • The books will make you think and they are wrapped up with emotion and antiquity that will get you hook. Ally Carter has a real talent for creating great people, dialogue .
  • The interaction between world of thieves and normal people is spectacular. The connections and thought behind the books are intelligent and captivating.

There have been suggestions that both series will be made into movies, but that hasn’t happened for a while now. However I won't give up hope!

Your Questions about Ally Carter Books answered. The responses below are from Ally Carter.

Where did Ally Carter get the idea for The Gallagher Academy?

I was watching the TV show ALIAS one night and misunderstood what was happening in the episode. I thought it was about a girl at a spy school, but it wasn’t. It didn’t matter that I was wrong, though, because by that point I couldn’t stop wondering what I spy school would be like, and I knew I had to write that story.

Where did you come up with the name Gallagher?

The name Gallagher comes from Gallagher-Iba Arena at my alma mater, Oklahoma State University.

Where did you get the idea for Heist Society?

The short story is that I was in my car, listening to an audiobook. There was a line in the book–something like “I felt like a cat burglar in my own house”, and I immediately knew I wanted to write a story about a girl named Kat who was a burglar.

Who is more like you, Kat or Cammie?

Well, I’m neither spy nor thief, but I’m sure part of me is in both of them. Kat grew up in a male-dominated world and she’s used to being the only girl in the room. That is something from my life/world that I absolutely brought to Kat’s character.


Other Ally Carter Books:

  • My True Love Gave To Me - collection of short stories.
  • Double Crossed - A Spies and Thieves Novella
  • A Gallagher Wedding - Short Story
  • Books for Adults:
  • Learning to Play Gin
  • Cheating at Solitaire

Next up on my Ally Carter Reading List….

This brings me to a new series named the Embassy Series. The book that was released at the start of this year is called All Fall Down.

The book looks interesting and the main character is a girl named Grace Blakely. This is the first part of the synopsis:

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

She is not crazy.

Her mother was murdered.

Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

The synopsis ends with these words:

Her past has come back to hunt her . . .  and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world all stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Eeek! It sounds so intriguing. Can't wait to get started on this new series.  I hope you have enjoyed reading my review and the brief summaries of Ally Carters Books in the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society Series. You can find the books below for purchase.

Happy Reading!

Gallagher Girl Series

Heist Society

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Based on personal experience on summaries on Ally Carters website,

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