Sunday, May 6, 2012

Searching for Answers: Out of Sight, Out of Time

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Hyperion, 2012

I love getting good, old-fashioned mail. I especially love waiting for the mail at work and when the big boxes come in, because it means a book order is finally here. This week we got an exceptionally awesome load of YA books I'd ordered a few months ago, and the one that I selfishly just had to take before letting my students check it out (usually I let them go first because I'm a nice librarian) was Out of Sight, Out of Time, the latest installment in Ally Carter's incredible Gallagher Girls series.

When we last saw Cammie, it felt like everything and everyone was against her. The Circle of Cavan was going after her and she had no idea why. She wanted to search for answers, but the people she loves were put in danger just by being around her. Secrets came to light that even this young spy who has been trained to deal with a world of shadows had a hard time handling. And so she made the decision to search for answers on her own, by herself so no one else could get hurt, so this could all finally come to rest.

And then you read chapter one, in which Cammie wakes up four months later in the Alps with absolutely no memories of anything since she left the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. She wanted answers, but instead is only left with more questions once she returns home. Questions about where she went, what happened to her, who was she with, and what was everyone else doing when she was gone. With only one semester left before graduation and being considered a full-fledged, field-ready spy, Cammie is both incredibly knowledgeable and unbelievably young to have to handle everything happening to her.

I literally read this book in a matter of hours because I could not put it down. The growth that Cammie and her friends have had over the years in so well done and incredibly realistic given their situations - it's almost hard to believe that this series started with the girls in the beginning of their sophomore year and digging through the trash to figure out how to talk to boys. Liz, Macey, and Bex each show different sides of themselves this time around and I loved how Carter emphasized the fact that while they are the best in the world at what they do, they're also in many ways just girls with 17 year old thoughts and feelings. And to those of you who are curious, yes Zach is back as well in a fantastic way that I wasn't expecting and completely loved.

This series is a fantastic example of contemporary YA with an innovative twist. They feature strong girls in an extraordinary situations, and while it can feel like teen books bash adults and parents sometimes, this is not the case here. Cammie and her friends have an incredible support system in the adults they know and trust, and while there are bad guys and gals too, there is an underlying love among the good that is something even us non-spies can understand. In my opinion, this is the strongest book in the series yet and Gallagher Girls #6 can't possibly come soon enough.

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