Sunday, July 20, 2014

United We Spy by Ally Carter

United We Spy
By Ally Carter
Published: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 296
Book 6 in the Gallagher Girls series
5 stars

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.


“What is a Gallagher Girl?" Liz asked one final time. "She's a genius, a scientist, a heroine, a spy. And now we are at the end of our time at school, and the one thing I know for certain is this: a Gallagher Girl is whatever she wants to be.”

Opening Thoughts
I have been reading this series for 6 years now. 6 years. That's a long time. I have never in my life spent that long following a book series. I first picked up I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You when I was in third grade. Third grade. I didn't read young adult. I didn't even know what young adult was. But I remember one of my friends was reading it and when I read the summary, I instantly knew that I wanted to read it. This series will always hold a special place in my heart as my first foray into young adult fiction, though I didn't actively start reading it for another year or two. 
These books get better as you go along, so if you read the first one, and you're kind of iffy about whether or not you want to continue with the series, you do. The first one is good, but it's not like the best thing ever, but this book, the last one, this is the best thing ever.  I bought this book back when it was first published, but I've put off reading it until now, because I just didn't want the series to end.  I'm not upset that I did that, because I am quite depressed right now, that the series is over, but it has only gotten me more excited for Ally Carter's new series, Embassy Row, of which the first book is being released in early 2015.

Cammie has been a great character in all of the previous books, but I think that this Cammie blew all of the previous books' Cammie's out of the water. She's so strong and brave and such a role model for so many girls, both young and old. Cammie struggles with the classic battle between right and wrong. She's a spy so she's killing people and doing other things that for pretty much anyone else would be wrong. But for Cammie, and all of her friends it's not wrong, or at the very least, the lesser of two evils. She has grown so much from the first book, where she was still very bad ass, but she was kind of naive. The person that she was at the end of this book was so jaded and worldly. Her and her friends have seen more in a year than most operatives see in five years. 

“You should have had the decency to die when you needed to."
“Sorry,” I admitted. “I’ve been going through a bit of a rebellious streak. I swear it’s almost over.” 

“I don’t understand hate. I’ve seen its power. I’ve known its wrath. I’ve even felt it coursing through my veins, pushing me on. But I don’t know where it comes from or why it lasts, how it can take hold in some people and grow.”

Speaking of Cammie's friends... I love them. I love them so much. They're all so different, but I was able to relate to each of them individually. All of them have developed so much from the first book. Ally Carter most definitely did not fall into the trend that a lot of authors do when they let side characters just kind of fall to the wayside, and they don't develop them at all. I think that Macey developed the most of all of them. She came to Gallagher Academy as a spoiled brat, and now she's one of the best. Liz has gotten so much more worldly, and I guess, accepting of the fact that she's going to be a spy, and spies sometimes have to do horrible things in the name of good. And Bex has definitely gotten less reckless, less willing to risk everything for something they don't know is going to work. 

“We're seniors."
"I know," I said
"So aren't you... curious?"
"About what?"
"About life. Out there. Life!" she said again. "Tell me, Cameron Ann Morgan, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
We'd reached another door, and I stopped and looked up at the camera that monitored the entrance, just as I whispered, "Alive.” 

“That’s the thing about spies. Most of the secrets we keep are from each other.”

“I knew she was right. Of course she was right. Bex was always right. She knew me better than I knew myself. But then again, isn't that a best friend's job?”

And then there's Zach. I love Zach. I love him so, so much. He's one of my favorite characters from this series, an absolute book boyfriend. He did make me cry, and I ship him and Cammie so hard. I really love his relationship with Cammie. It's not at all insta-love, they're together for like four books, yet they never say I love you. They don't make promises to each other that they can't keep. They don't say that they're going to be together forever, because they no that anytime, anywhere, their lives could be ripped away from them. Their relationship is so real and healthy, it's not built on passion and lust like a lot of young adult couples' relationships are now. They genuinely care about each other, and that's something that's really nice to see.

“I never knew there were this many stars."

"I can't see them," he told me. "I just see you."

"That's one of your cheesier lines," I told him. 

"It's the altitude," he told me. "I don't have enough oxygen in my brain."

"I see.”

“Sometime years before, I had dragged an old bean bag chair to that place. I watched Zach sink onto it, and then he pulled me down to lean against him. I felt his arms go around me, holding me tight.
I was safe.
I was warm.
I was home.”

I was extremely satisfied with the plot of this book. It was fast paced and I couldn't put it down. I started this book at eleven o'clock at night and I didn't stop reading it until I finished at two in the morning, because it is just that addictive. This book certainly had sad parts that made me cry, though I was probably especially susceptible to bouts of extreme emotion due to the large amounts of nostalgia I was feeling, but the sad parts were offset enough by happy things that the book left me feeling good. I really liked the direction that Ally Carter took this book in. I think that it was very befitting of the series, and was a fabulous conclusion, one of the best that I have read in a very long while.

Overall, this book was utterly amazing. My favorite book in the series by far, it drew me in and didn't let me go until I finished it. It's a fast read, under 300 pages, perfect for a readathon, or trying to meet your GoodReads goal. If this series at all sounds like you would enjoy it, I urge you to pick it up, you won't regret it.

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