Only the Good Spy Young

I was thrilled when I found the fourth book in Ally Carter's Gallagher Girl series, Only the Good Spy Young on the shelf at my local bookstore in advance of the release date. (I'm not sure why, I can only guess that it was because the release date was originally earlier and everyone got confused...including me as I had been looking for it for awhile by then.) Instead of reading it right away I hoarded it, saving it for my vacation.

I waited the whole vacation before reading it. Instead of flying to PEI we always drive it. Why? Well, it actually costs less to rent a cottage there for a week than it would cost for both of us to fly and then rent a car for a week. Driving is easily doable and way cheaper so we drive. (Bonus: we rented a really fantastic cottage.) For some reason whenever we do these long roadtrips I never read on the way there. Ever. But I always get the itch to read on the way back.

So on our drive back, after a break at a truck stop for a late breakfast/early lunch (and our only real stop of the day) I settled in to read it. I flew through it. I flew through it so fast that I'm actually thinking about listening to the next one on audio book (which is how I experienced the first one) just to make it last longer.

Only the Good Spy Young is very, very action packed. I'm almost tempted to say it's got too much action going on but well, that's just Cammie's life right now. After the big showdown in which she discovers that she's being targeted by The Circle her life is different. When she's outside of school she's under constant surveillance. She's on holiday in London with Bex (her parents acting as her detail) when she discovers that an ally may actually be her enemy. She doesn't know who to trust any more. When she gets back to the Gallagher Academy it's not the same. It's been locked up tighter than Fort Knox. All the secret passageways have been locked up...all for her protection.

As I said I flew through the book and I loved it but it wasn't perfect. We just don't see enough of the other Gallagher Girls and life at Gallagher Academy. The action-action-action sequences felt like the main part of the book and the time at Gallagher Academy was... well I don't want to say filler. It wasn't filler. But the Academy itself was not a character the same way that I felt it was in the other books in the series.

It was also all about Cammie. Her best friends were really pushed into the shadows in this one. They weren't as present as they were in the others books. Maybe it was Cammie pulling into herself (quite understandably) but I found I missed them, especially Macy. Maybe it's because there was so much Macy in the last book but it felt like she was barely present in this one.

And the ending? I had to go back and reread it because I totally did not believe it. (I'm not the only one. I saw a tweet from Ally Carter saying that yes, the end means exactly what it says.) It surprised me. I think it was a good surprise, at least in the sense that I didn't completely see it coming. It was also the kind of surprise that makes you want to howl at the moon because you know it has to be at least a year before you know what happens next. The ending isn't exactly a cliffhanger but it caused kind of that same "omg!omg!omg!" reaction for me.

I found myself thinking how different this book was from the first book. Based on that book I never would have expected this one. I really am not sure what is going to happen next. I believe that the series is supposed to end at six books and I'm not sure how it's going to end. Sure, yes, I believe that in the end Cammie will have a happy ending. Well, not entirely happy. I think there's going to be some bittersweetness to the end of the series. I just don't know what that ending will be and that, I think, is rather usual at this point in a series.

So in sum it was a good book but not a perfect one. It didn't leave me wanting to shout from the rooftop that I want to be a Gallagher Girl but it may come up in random conversations where no one else knows what I'm talking about.  You may need to read the end twice to really believe it, which I did and I'm still not sure I completely believe it. Definitely worth a trip to your bookstore or library.