ally carter book review | meg talks media

i aspire to be part cammie morgan, kat bishop, grace blakely, and maddie manchester.

Let me just start with this: I absolutely love Ally Carter‘s writing. If you kept up with my Blogmas 2019 posts, you may recall my mini-rant about the Gallagher Girls (see: the start of the decade). This is my favorite book series ever, I can go on, but for some reason I never got around to reading the rest of Ally Carter’s books. Until now.

It is January 16 and I am already seven (technically nine because two were novellas) books (two series and a stand-alone) into my 20 in 2020 challenge. And they are all written by Ally Carter. I have a feeling this will be really long, so here are my opinions and reviews in simple, bullet-form. Straight from my mind. May or may not make sense.

Not If I Save You First

  • President’s Son: Logan; Head of Security Detail’s Daughter: Maddie; relationship: best friends
  • told in third person to easily switch from Maddie’s POV to Logan’s POV
  • ten year old Maddie & Logan are adorable
  • the girl saves the day, with support from the boy
  • not your average survival story
  • the letters are cute
  • very action packed, which is unexpected
  • “I never leave the house with just one knife. Seriously. Do I look like a one-knife kind of girl?”
  • “Logan was going to kill Maddie. As soon as he was certain she was safe, of course.”
  • 9/10 would recommend, 10/10 would read again (because I actually did… yesterday…)

Heist Society Trilogy (plus novellas)

Heist Society

  • third person is cool because it allows the reader to see into more than the protagonist’s mind or give background
  • Kat Bishop is just a teenage girl trying to find herself outside of the ‘family business’
  • but family is family
  • book about thieves instead of authorities trying to catch thieves
  • book about teenage thieves
  • don’t judge a book by its cover
  • W. W. Hale the Fifth. Period.
  • “It’s okay to break the rules, but only sometimes, and only if you know them very, very well.”
  • 8/10 would recommend, 9/10 would read again

Uncommon Criminals

  • better than the first
  • so much happens, you think it’s over but it’s not
  • W. W. Hale the Fifth. Again. Period.
  • so many breadcrumbs to follow that you miss, makes you want to reread it (which I will)
  • your modern-day Robin Hood, sort of.
  • “I for one like chaos. Chaos looks good on me.”
  • 8/10 would recommend, 9.5/10 would read again

Perfect Scoundrels

  • my favorite of the three
  • Kat & Hale being cuties
  • I repeat. W. W. Hale the Fifth.
  • more Hale character development than Kat
  • power of big families, power of family in general; “You have a powerful family, boy.” “Yes, sir, please don’t hold them against me.” “Who said I was talking about them?”
  • “We’ve seen what you will do for strangers, but how far will you go for your friends?” or something like that
  • 10/10 would recommend, 10/10 would read again (because… yeah, I did already.)

The Grift of the Magi: A Heist Society Novella

  • half the length of the other books
  • post-Perfect Scoundrels
  • not your average Christmas story
  • Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh
  • “This is my gift to you, Hale. Let me give it.”
  • “You didn’t steal me, you rescued me.” I CRY.
  • 8/10 would recommend, 8/10 would read again

Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story

  • I am a SUCKER for a good crossover
  • especially with anything Gallagher Girls
  • Macey McHenry is bae
  • W. W. Hale the Fifth!!!
  • both born into rich families but have, como se dice, ventured away from their family businesses
  • no Cammie ): but we love Abigail Cameron
  • 9/10 would recommend if you’ve read both series already, 10/10 would read again

Series Overall

  • not as good as Gallagher Girls (seriously, please read it) but still very good
  • makes me want to be a thief
  • but I won’t, I promise
  • Kat’s huge family is awesome
  • 9/10 would recommend, 10/10 would read again

Embassy Row Trilogy

All Fall Down

  • slow build up, kinda confusing
  • but the end was a page turner
  • written in first person
  • the way Ally Carter writes Grace’s flashbacks is GENIUS
  • Noah and Rosie are the best friends ever
  • 7/10 would recommend, 8/10 would read again (mainly to understand it better)

See How They Run

  • Adrian history is very interesting even if it’s a fake country
  • faster paced than the first
  • Grace struggles with her mental health
  • Alexei Volkov is bae
  • the end was an even bigger page turner
  • I had to read the next one immediately
  • 9/10 would recommend, 9/10 would read again

Take the Key and Lock Her Up

  • best of the three
  • Alexei is even more bae
  • gave me trust issues there are so many twists and turns
  • more Adrian history
  • her friends are so loyal
  • Noah and Megan are cutie pies
  • Rosie is the coolest twelve-almost-thirteen year old ever
  • 9/10 would recommend, 9/10 would read again

Series Overall

  • my least favorite of Ally Carter’s books but not by a lot, I love them all
  • i love grace and alexei
  • i love the way she discusses mental health through her characters
  • the overall concept of each person being from a different country is pretty awesome
  • 8/10 would recommend, 9/10 would read again

Don’t judge books by their covers. I love Ally Carter.

If you guys didn’t realize how much I love Ally Carter’s writing before, you do now. She is definitely my favorite author, the Gallagher Girls series being my favorite books. If I were to rank them, it would be Gallagher Girls, Not If I Save You First, Heist Society, then Embassy Row. But honestly, you best believe I’m going to read all of them again and again.

I love how all of her stories have strong female leads with love interests who basically say “you’ve got this, but I’ll be here if you need me.” They are all so unexpectedly action packed, they’re amazing. If you read them, please let me know, I would love to chat with you. I could go on forever.

20 in 2020 Challenge Update: 3 out of 20 complete.

**all rights to Ally Carter**