Review: I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

by Second Mate Embry, guest reviewer

Title: I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls)
Author: Ally Carter
Format: Hardcover
# of pages: 288
Grade Reading Level: 7-10 Grade

Summary: Cammie Morgan goes to a school for geniuses (but really it’s a school for training spies). Cammie’s schedule is just like a regular kid’s – she has PE, sure it’s advance martial arts, but it’s still PE. One of her class assignments is to go to a carnival and find out what one of her teachers likes to drink with a funnel cake. There she meets Josh – which is both wonderful and terrible!

Why I Started the Book:

I started this book because it had an interesting premise. I like the idea of a teenage spy in training. It sounded very cool to me, sort of like Agent Cody Banks, but for girls.


  • I like the training that they did and their class schedules. It actually seemed very spy-like, which was good. I was afraid that it would be kind of hokey.
  • I like the character Cami a lot. She wasn’t a valley girl or a drama queen which was refreshing. She was smart and capable.


  • They had to mind-wipe Josh at the end which I hated!
  • The romance between Cami and Josh was kind of weird. Cami and her friends aren’t sure if Josh is trying to infiltrate the academy or if it’s “true love” so they investigate him. They even went through his trash … gross and weird!

Buy: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls)

Book Rating: I give this book3.5 Treasure Chests!

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Review: Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke

by Second Mate Embry, guest reviewer

Title: Igraine the Brave
Author: Cornelia Funke
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 212
Grade Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Summary: As a daughter of two magicians, Igraine is expected to follow in their footsteps, casting spells and concocting potions, right? Actually, all she wants to be is a knight and have adventures. She gets her chance when Osmund the Greedy tries to take over the castle, and her parents are turned into pigs! Luckily her brother is making a potion to turn them back, but he needs one more ingredient. Will Igraine become a knight, save her parents, and beat Osmund? Or will Osmund the Greedy rule over the castle with an iron fist forever?

Why I Read This Book:

I read this book because I have enjoyed other books by Cornelia Funke and thought that I would try it. Also, that back blurb caught my attention in the library and sounded interesting.


  • I like the idea of a 12 year-old knight. She’s fighting for us pre-teens!
  • I liked the magic used by Igraine’s brother and parents; it seemed unstoppable.
  • So we know Igraine wants to be a knight, right? Well she would be a knight with one fear: Spiders. I thought it was hilarious that out of all the fears she could possibly have, her ONLY fear was spiders.


  • I found myself skimming this book to get it finished. It didn’t really hold my interest and more than anything I just wanted to finish it. Some parts of the book I enjoyed, but I like to be totally captivated during the whole book, not just good parts here and there. I’d be all excited about something that happened and curious to read on, but then instead of finding more rising action it was more of a plateau and that got very dull very quickly. I think Cornelia Funke could have made this book a lot more intense by keeping the rising action strong.

Buy: Igraine The Brave

Rating: 2.5 Treasure chests!

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Review: Best Friends and Drama Queens (Allie Finkle’s Rules For Girls: Book 3) by Meg Cabot

by Second Mate Embry, guest reviewer

Title: Best Friends and Drama Queens (Allie Finkle’s Rules For Girls: Book 3)
Author: Meg Cabot
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 240
Grade Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Summary: Allie gets excited when she learns that that they are getting a new student from Canada! Mostly because that means she won’t be the new girl anymore. But when she finally meets Cheyenne, she finds out how incredibly BOSSY she is! Allie thinks her life is over when Cheyenne’s rules make Allie fight with her best friends. What could she do to solve Cheyenne’s attitude? Will she get her best friends back? Will she lose them forever?

Why I Read This Book:

I read this book because it’s the third book in the series Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls. I can’t wait for the fourth book!


  • Cheyenne is the perfect 4th grade bully. She threatens people to make them do what she wants. She’s the perfect “villain” for this setting better than Rosemary from earlier in the series.
  • I like how Allie doesn’t give into Cheyenne. She stays strong and doesn’t let her get her cruel ways.


  • I didn’t like how Erica, Caroline, and Sophie give into Cheyenne so easily! I mean, I think if Allie can stand up for herself than they can. Or at least make it harder on her to peer pressure them.

Buy: Best Friends And Drama Queens (Allie Finkle’s Rules For Girls #3)

Rating: 3.5 Treasure Chests!

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Review: The New Girl (Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls: Book 2) by Meg Cabot

by Second Mate Embry, guest reviewer

Title: The New Girl (Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls: Book 2)
Author: Meg Cabot
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 222
Grade Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Summary: On top of all the moving problems, Allie has to start a new school. She thinks things are looking up until Rosemary; the school bully, threatens Allie by saying that she’s going to beat her up. Allie is terrified of her now and asks everyone for advice. But she isn’t sure who to believe! She is, in fact, the new girl. Will she trust someone’s advice that she shouldn’t? Was Rosemary serious? Or will Allie come to school one day with a black eye?

Why I Read This Book:

I read this book because I’m reading the series Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls and I enjoyed the first one so I wanted to see if I’d enjoy the second one just as much.


  • I like how the most unlikely person gave Allie the best advice! (Mr. Elkhart.) It just comes to show that anybody can be just as helpful as the next and that you should never underestimate someone.
  • Allie had good friends to help her feel better about Rosemary. Caroline, Erica and Sophie promise not to let Rosemary near Allie.


  • I thought it was unnecessary that Allie got s-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o upset when she first found out Mewsette was a boy, not a girl like she wanted. I mean, something like that should not matter … right?

Buy: The New Girl (Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls)

Rating: 4 Treasure Chests!

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Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

hunger games

Reviewed by Second Mate Embry

Title: The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 374
Grade Reading Level: 6 – 8 Grade.

Summary: Katniss Everdeen’s sister was picked for the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games were established a long time ago when one district of thirteen tried to rebel against the capital. After squashing the rebellion, every year one boy and girl is picked from each district to go and take part in the Hunger Games, which is a battle to the death. Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place. Will she and the boy from her district survive? Will the other kids?

Why I Started This Book:

My teacher told me about it. She said it was a really good book. All my friends who have had the opportunity to read this book have loved the book. I also like Suzanne Collins as an author. It was a no brainer to pick this book up and read it.


  • I like how the Game Makers are in control of the game. They’re there to make sure that the audience is entertained. It reminds me a bit of the Roman Coliseum and the games of the gladiators.
  • The weird creatures – mockingjays, tracker jackets (kind of like wasps) with hallucinating venom, and the wolf-human tribute hybrids.
  • I like the setup of the story with the districts and the capital and the games. I really love how it’s supposed to be a futuristic society but that it seems so current too.
  • Suzanne Collins always ends a chapter with something exciting, gross, or foreshadowing that makes you want to immediately start the next without a moment’s hesitation. She’s really good at keeping your interest in that way.


  • One of the themes that Suzanne Collins writes about is war and the cruelty it imposes on children. It bothered me at first that it was kids going into the Hunger Games but the story soon sweeps you away.
  • I was disappointed how the book just kind of ended. I was expecting it to continue for a while more and do some more wrap up.

Last Minute Thoughts: I didn’t want to finish the book because I didn’t have book two to start right away, but I did finish it and now I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book, Catching Fire!

Buy: The Hunger Games (Hardcover), Hunger Games (Audio book)

Book Rating: 4 Treasure Chests.

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Review: Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski

by Second Mate Embry, guest reviewer

Title: Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison
Author: Lois Lenski
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 320
Grade Reading Level: Ages 9-12

Summary: Mary Jemison is living a normal life in the past during the years of British colonization of America until one day a man comes running by saying that the Indians are going to attack. Her dad ignores the warning and continues to plant his corn. They attack and she is separated from her family and kept captive amongst the Indians. They call her Corn Tassel for her hair. She’s tried to runaway to get back to her family but the Indians keep bringing her back. She is to become like them, but Mary doesn’t want to be an Indian. It’s based on a true story.

Why I started reading this book:

It was a literacy book in my class and I read it for school as an assignment.


  • Most books I’ve read about historical America usually have the European population capturing the Indians and I liked that this was the reverse of that scenario.
  • I enjoyed the different Indian names (Shining Star, Squirrel Woman, Red Bird, Little Turtle, Running Deer, etc.) and I thought that it was cool that their names sort of reflected the character and their personality.
  • The Indians only captured Europeans to replace dead members of their tribe.
  • The most interesting part of the book was when one of the captured Europeans was running the gauntlet! The Indians were trying to kill him and if he made it out alive he would be considered a true Indian.


  • I wish it was more suspensful. I thought I would be very wrapped up in what would happen next and it was really more “Mary throwing herself a pity party, mumbling woefully about not being able to escape, and refusing to eat Indian food.” I just wanted to shake her to get her to stop moping and to start doing something.
  • Some of the language was hard to follow as it was full of older style dialogue instead of the contractions and language we use today.

Buy: Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison

Rating: 2.5 Treasure Chests

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