cover image I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You

I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You

Ally Carter, . . Hyperion, $15.99 (284pp) ISBN 978-1-4231-0003-4

Set in a spy school for girls, this entertaining novel centers on 15-year-old Cammie, the headmistress's daughter, who must decide if she is cut out for a life of secrets. Though the plot takes a while to unfold, fun details and characters will keep readers engaged (Cammie and her friends speak 14 languages, take classes in Covert Operations, can rappel down buildings and plant tracking devices). But when Cammie, known as the Chameleon for her ability to disappear in public places, is spotted by a cute boy named Josh in the middle of the town fair, she begins a new mission: learning to be an ordinary girlfriend ("All these years I'd thought being a spy was challenging. Turns out, being a girl is the tricky part"). Cammie soon leads a double life, and must decide which one is right for her. Readers may find some details familiar (Cammie lost her spy father during a mission; her CoveOps teacher is a handsome, intense man who seems to get along too well with her mother) and wish that rich, bratty Macey, a new recruit who is "capable of cracking the Y chromosome code," had been developed more fully. But the author escalates the tension well, leading to the night of the final exam, where Cammie finds herself blindfolded, kidnapped and facing off against the retired spies of the faculty—and also confronting Josh. Readers will eagerly anticipate the next installment. Ages 12-up. (May)