What's Fresh with Ally Carter's I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You
The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school--that is, if every school teaches advanced martial arts in PE, chemistry always consists of the latest in chemical warfare, and everyone breaks CIA codes for extra credit in computer class. So in truth, while the Gallagher Academy might say it's a school for geniuses what they really mean is spies. But what happens when a Gallagher Girl falls for a boy who doesn't have a code name?
Cammie Morgan may be fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti), but the Gallagher Academy hasn't prepared her for what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without him ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her? Cammie may be an elite spy in training, but in her sophomore year, she's doing something riskier than ever--she's falling in love.
Read on to learn what's fresh about Ally's novel...
Hey, Ally, please tell us about your debut into YA fiction with I'D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU (Hyperion, May 2006).
Ally: I'D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU is about a girl who goes to an elite boarding school for girl spies but risks everything by falling for a normal boy who can never know the truth about her.
Could you share a bit about the main character of your book and what makes her unique?
Ally: Cammie is a very ordinary girl--or as ordinary as the daughter of two CIA agents can possibly be. In fact, she's so ordinary that her friends call her "The Chameleon" because she's incredibly good at blending into crowds--something every spy can appreciate. But one night Cammie is on a mission and a boy sees her--really sees her--for the first time. That, of course, is where the trouble starts.
Very fresh! Do tell, how did the idea for this novel come about?
Ally: My agent emailed me one day asking if I'd ever been interested in writing for teenagers. Honestly, I hadn't given it much thought, but that night I was home watching Alias on TV and suddenly the idea was just there. The whole story came together in about five seconds. It was pretty scary. And fun.
What do you hope readers will gain from reading this novel?
Ally: I think the most important message that this story conveys is that, whether you realize it or not, everyone has free will. Just because people expect certain things of you, and you expect certain things of yourself, doesn't mean your whole life is mapped out. You always have a say in how your life turns out, so make good choices.
Oh, and also people will learn many covert skills that can be quite helpful in spying on the crushes in their lives (some of which are more legal than others).
Sounds great! Thanks for sharing, Ally. Would you like to close with a novel you highly recommend and why?
Ally: One of my absolute favorite books of the last year has been Amazing Grace by Megan Shull. It's a fun and brilliantly written novel about a teenage tennis superstar who walks away from the game in her prime and moves to Alaska to reinvent herself. Everyone should check it out!
Ally Carter is the author of CHEATING AT SOLITAIRE, LEARNING TO PLAY GIN, and I'D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU. She's currently at work on her fourth novel. She'd tell you about it, but then...well...you know. Check out an excerpt at her website, www.allycarter.com.