If you’ve ever been left unfulfilled by watching the James Bond movie franchise, or one of many “Charlie’s Angels” adaptations, I’ve got the perfect read for you: the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter. This New York Times bestselling anthology revolves around four teenage girls at the nation’s most elite underground spy school, training to become the next generation of lab geniuses, top secret operatives and security details for the most important individuals in the world all while navigating adolescence.
With six fast paced novels that keep your interest from beginning to end, this series is a super fun read. Written from the point of view of our protagonist, Cammie Morgan, a hodgepodge of internal monologues, diary entries, and operative reports and mission conclusions tells the story of the students of Gallagher Academy. Founded by Gillian Gallagher and masked as a boarding school for geniuses, the smartest, quickest and strongest girls of the USA are handpicked to endure covert training and career support from international law enforcement agencies such as Interpol or the CIA and NSA on the mainland.
Living in Cammie’s dorm and facing the spy world alongside her are Bex Baxter, Liz Sutton and Macey McHenry (the prospective president’s daughter). The first book centers Cammie’s newfound relationship with a civilian boy, which proves to be a tame start to the series without much drama or trauma, but by the end of the second book, things have majorly kicked into gear!
Without revealing too many spoilers, a centuries old terrorist group begins to threaten both Gallagher Academy, and Cammie personally. With inside agents, safe houses galore and double (and triple!) crosses, Cammie is left with nobody to trust, and often has to find her own way out of life threatening situations. The last three books of the series really highlight this evolution: The girls are growing up. Their sense of identity changes, they evaluate their possible future in college or job opportunities, and they survive ups and downs in their personal friendships. This makes the book relatable to its teen girl audience, even if they aren’t spies. Only by working together and trusting in the sisterhood that binds Gallagher Girls to one another are the main characters able to weather the final face-off, with many plot twists included of course! With whip-smart humor and seamless action scenes, Gallagher Girls will have you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. Our final rating: 5 out of 5 True Stars!
By Leah Ollie, Senior at Whitney Young Magnet High School