Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Final Chapter: United We Spy

United We Spy by Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls #6)
Scholastic, 2013

It's hard to believe that all these years later, readers' first introduction to the world of The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Women was with little Cammie Morgan wondering if it was possible to be a spy and have a boyfriend. A lot has changed in Cammie over the course of this series and in its finale United We Spy, these Gallagher Girls are all grown up and the stakes are higher than ever.

With the Circle of Cavan seemingly unstoppable, Cammie and crew are determined to put an end to them once and for all. Unfortunately, the girls are stuck in the awkward in-between: not technically full-fledged spies yet, but in a few short months they will be. Is it time to take charge of their own lives, make their own choices, make their own rules to save the people they love? Or after all this time, after all these years of preparation, is this even really the life they want if they even live to see graduation?

United We Spy is a worthy ending to a series I quickly came to love. All of Carter's markers are here: action, intrigue, missteps and misdirection, romance, moments of weakness and rallying incredible strength, and for the most part, answers (well, as many answers as she can give - they are spies after all). Here we have smart teenagers in an environment where that's something to be celebrated. Do they always make the right choices? Of course not - hijinks and chaos are always around the corner, but I still find these characters to be admirable. Over the course of six novels, they have shown incredible growth that any person who has ever felt powerless but dreamt of more can identify with.

Overall, while there were a few ways in which I would have liked a bit more. More insight into the paths that some of the characters will now follow. More reflection on what those paths and choices mean as far as their futures and friendships. But really, I just wanted more time to say goodbye. If you have been a fan of the Gallagher Girls, I think you will find United We Spy to be a mostly satisfying conclusion to this great series. And while it's hard to say goodbye, remember that we still have the Heist Society and upcoming Embassy Row series from Carter to look forward to!

Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!

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