Cammie Morgan goes to a very exclusive all-girls school. But it’s not the rich girl’s academy that it appears to be. It’s a training ground for spies. Unfortunately all that time learning foreign languages and learning self-defense didn’t prepare them for a subject most teenage girls are experts about: boys. When Cameron accidentally meets a cute boy while in the middle of a training mission, her friends mobilize. Is their spy training good enough that Cammie can pass for a normal girl and actually stand a chance with Josh?
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You is a light bit of fluff. The relationship parts fell a bit flat for me. I think they’d go over better with a tween or young teen crowd; girls with more relationship experience might not be all that interested in Cammie’s exploits. While I enjoyed the spy school sections more, they felt a bit unfinished. While I realize this is the first in a series, there were just many aspects of the spy training that I thought would be developed more and play into the plot. I was really disappointed that there wasn’t more intrigue. The whole book just felt safe, from the romance to the espionage. I wanted more twists and tension.
Great for: This is one book where the girls can take care of themselves! I’m always a fan of books where girls are strong characters. I would definitely recommend this for tweens and teens looking for a light read. I haven’t continued the series, so I can’t say if there’s anything more objectionable on the sex front in the subsequent books.
Sex, Nudity, Dating – Her mother is a hottie that men drool over. There’s a rumor that Macey got pregnant with her last headmaster’s baby. Someone asks a girl if she’s gotten to second base yet. Characters are described as sexy, hot, cute. Cleavage is mentioned. A character is considered as a possible “honeypot.” Girls wear push-up bras. There is a romance that involves kissing and handholding. Two adult characters go to a dance.
Profanity – “damn,” “bloody,” “b—-” the “b word” is not spelled out, it is printed as shown, with the dash,
Death, Violence and Gore – Well, it is a spy school, so you can expect your basic number of weapons and combat incidents. There’s a threat to kill right in the title! It’s not particularly scary though. A newbie is on fire. A professor might be wanted by gun smugglers. They talk about who killed JFK. They wonder if someone killed a Turkish ambassador. The girls want to learn firearms. A teacher points out that many spies are killed, some are buried. He stresses that some spies aren’t even lucky enough to be buried. A parent of one of the students died while on a spy mission. A teacher once took out a Nazi-machine gun. A few character mention previous broken arms. A seventh grader is kicked and rendered unconscious. In a fight, an arm is twisted and a nose ring pulled. In class the girls are shown a picture of the bloodied face of a spy who got caught. There’s mention of torture. A spy once disabled a nuclear device. There’s a joke about axe murderers. Killing someone in his or her sleep is mentioned. A boy claims a scar is from a knife fight. The girls know how to literally claw someone’s eyes out. A girl’s father is missing while on a mission. A crowd of boys intimidates a girl. Various other weapons mentioned include: minefields, nuclear warheads, swords, stun guns, poisonous darts.
Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking – There’s a reference to big tobacco. One girl smokes (she is told not to smoke by other girls). A possible mission includes busting a drug ring another refers to finding out if someone’s parent drinks. A boy says a barn dance is an excuse for “everyone to get drunk.” The students may have drugged the medication of a guard.
Frightening or Intense Things – There aren’t really even any very suspenseful moments in the book. Very harmless considering the subject.