Friday, March 11, 2011

Gallagher Girls

The Gallagher Girls is a series of young adult spy novels. Set in a small town in Virginia, the Gallagher Academy appears to be a private school for girls, but is actually a facility where secret agents are trained at a young age. Cammeron (a.k.a the Chameleon) Morgan is a 15 year old sophomore student who's mother is the headmistress at the school. Her roommates most often are also her teammates on missions- Rebecca (a.k.a. Bex) Baxter, Liz (a.k.a Bookworm) Sutton,  and the new girl Macy McHenry.

So far there are four books- 

  1. I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You
  2. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
  3. Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover
  4. Only the Good Spy Young

Ally Carter has said she loosely plans on six books. The fifth book is due early 2012 which gives us some time to catch up. There seem to have been strong rumors of Disney optioning the series for a film, but the author's website denies that the rumors have validity:
I saw on the internet that I'd Tell You I Love You but Then I'd Have to Kill You is going to be a movie released in 2012.  Is that true? 
No.  Sadly, the internet lies.
But IMDB says that Love You Kill You is in development and WILL be a movie!
With all due respect to IMBD it is a website and it is not as "in the loop" as it would like to think it is.  Sorry.
I heard that I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You has been optioned by Walt Disney.  Then I heard it was optioned by Walden Media.  Which is true?
Both.  And neither.
You see, Hollywood is a fickle, crazy place and projects tend to move around quite a bit.  Back in 2005 LYKY was, in fact, optioned by Walt Disney studios.  About a year later, however, Disney sold the option to a production company called Walden Media.
In June 2009 the Walden Media option expired, meaning that for the first time since LYKY was in its infancy I have the movie rights again—me!  I have them!  Yay!
This means that when people in Hollywood are interested in LYKY they have to call my film agent and present us with offers and we get to be really, really picky about who might be involved in any future movies.
I’m confident that we will re-option the Gallagher Girls in the future, but right now I’m just being really, really picky because what I keep hearing from all of you is that you'd rather have no movie than a bad movie.
Does that mean you’ll be making the movie yourself?
No, I’m afraid I have neither the resources nor the expertise to make something like that happen.
Does that mean you can get me a role in the movie?
No.  I'm afraid that if we re-option the rights the same rules will apply and, once again, I will be totally out-of-the-loop when it comes to casting.
If they ever have open casting calls for the movie, will you let me know?
I'm afraid that there really is no movie in the works at this time.  However, should I ever hear about a casting call that I think my readers will be interested in, I will post it on my blog, twitter, and in my newsletter. 

I read this book because my step-daughter was getting into the series. And because its about spies. The reading level was clearly for younger adults, but the spy tropes are really fun. I went into it looking to see how plausible or serious the series can be. 

What I appreciated about the book was it is wholesome. Dialog of teenage girls contain a lot of OMGs, but each and every single one was 'Oh my gosh!' never using the word God, which is a small thing, but as a parent, appreciated. Written in a 1st person POV gave the character the task of giving opinions that might be unpopular in our society today. The Gallagher Girls are conservative and uphold old fashion traditional values. Through their voice the author states what many of these values are and look like , such as 'many girls do stupid things on Prom night' and that a boy who writes notes to his mom and says 'I love you' in them are things that girls should desire. 

As for spy stuff, the characters are never really in danger. The action is always simulated hands-on training or covert operations around Cammie's secret dating. The characters are strong and pretty diverse. There is a pretty high level of suspension of disbelief required, but not in the area of spy tech. The gadgets were relatively realistic. 

This is a good book for young girls as it gives clear examples of wholesome values and presents them with characters that are 'cooler' than the cool kids at school.

Written in 2006 the tech level seemed a bit behind. I don't recall a single text message sent in the entire book!

My ultimate goal was that the book inspires both of us (said step-daughter and I) to whip up some characters for a spy rpg game (I'm thinking dusting off the True20 books)! 
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