Thursday 5 September 2013

United We Spy review

United We Spy 
Ally Carter
September 5th 2013
Orchard Books

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. 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.

(A list by Cicely Wynne)

PRO: Cammie taking the initiative to go after the Circle and being her most badass spy self.
CON: It's the last book.
PRO: Liz, Bex, Macie and Zach being there for Cammie and sisterhood and kissing and everything you want in a final book in a series about spies.
CON: It's the last book.
PRO: Two of the best prison breaks in YA history.

Okay, enough with the lists. Clearly, I don't have the same list-making skill that Cammie possesses. It must be spy school thing. 

United We Spy is everything that I wanted it to be. It was somehow even more action-packed and exciting than it's predecessor, even more emotional, even more tense and dangerous, even more everything really, I guess is what I am trying to say. I loved it, and I couldn't have asked for a better ending than this book.

There is something so compulsively readable about these books that I can't really explain. The time just flies by when you're reading them and you just cannot stop until you have reached the end. There is always so much happening, whether it be crazy spy drama or teen emotional drama or some beautiful mixture of both that you find yourself at the end of the book before you even realise it. And when you're finished, you just want to immediately start reading the next one because you get so attached to the characters and you're just desperate to find out what happens next in the story. Of course, this is the final book, so there will be no next book which why I am suddenly overcome by the desire to reread them all at this very moment (but I am not going to, because I have a review to finish, goddammit!). However, I've already made up my own headcanon about what happens after the ending and I'm sticking to it, and no, I'm not going to bother saying what it is because I do NOT want to spoil the ending for you!

I could spend another paragraph talking about how much I love the characters in these books, but I am not going to because I have done that in every other review for books in this series and it's just going to be the same old fangirlishness that you got back then, so there wouldn't really be much of a point (but I really do love all of them. ALL of them. Apart from the ones that I don't like. But Cammie, Bex, Liz, Macey, Zach, Rachel, Joe, Abby, Townsend, all of those guys.) What I will  say, though, is that I love the fact that there is such a sense of sisterhood in these books. Being a student of the Gallagher Academy, being a Gallagher Girl, makes you a part of the sisterhood that will continue to be a part of you for life, and I love the fact that there are so many positive female friendships in this series, and that there is no Mean Girl or any bullies at this school. It is not a hive for bitchiness like some books about boarding schools or girls schools would have you believe (though I'm not denying that that isn't what they're like in real life). They have each other's backs. They're there for each other. There needs to be more of this please. Also, I kind of like that the romance comes third after being a spy and best friendship. It sounds lame when I put it like that, but it works in the books. The balance between all three of those things is perfect, in my opinion.

You know, I've written all this stuff but none of it is actually about United We Spy itself, just about the series is general. Maybe it's because I'm feeling sentimental. I don't know. But what I will say about United We Spy (without spoiling anything and repeating what I've already said) is that it kind of exceeded my expectations. Sometimes it did seem like it could have just been another one of the books in the middle instead of the last one, but then there would be a prison break or a really dangerous thing would have or I'd remember what the girls (and Zach) were trying to (spoiler alert: it is BIG) and then it would hit me and I'd remember and I'd feel all sad but at the same time I'd probably be laughing because these guys have some great banter or I'd be glued to the page because what was happening was so exciting. My only criticism for United We Spy is that there wasn't enough Joe Solomon in it. But apart from that, it was great.

I may be a bit biased because (as you can probably tell by now) I really love these books and I really want to make other people read these books because they are so much fun to read, I don't know how anyone could resist them. And they're not, like, super beautifully written or gut wrenching or award-winning, but if there was an award for Most Fun and Action Packed and Sometimes Cheesy But Always Fabulous Book Series, Gallagher Girls would win, hands down. Thank you Ally Carter, for a great series.

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