Review: Out of Sight, Out of Time

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter. Disney Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group. 2012. Personal copy.

The Plot: Cammie Morgan awakes to find herself in a strange bed, in a strange country. Worst of all? A several month block of time is missing from her memory. The last thing she knew, it was the end of the school year and she was leaving, on her own, without telling anyone, to discover more about the secret Circle of Cavan that had targeted her. The wounds on her body tells her things may have happened that she doesn’t want to remember.

Cammie’s going to need all her strength, all her spy skills, all her smarts, and all her friends to figure out what happened to her. Only problem is — when you run away from home, even though people are happy you’re alive, they’re still mad that you left.

Previously, in the Gallagher Girls saga:

Cammie Morgan and the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women (AKA a school for super spies) were introduced in I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You. Cammie juggled spy school, friendships, and secretly dating a town boy who knows nothing about spies or spy schools. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy introduced a new layer to Cammie’s world: boy spies from the Blackthorne Institute including a maddening, heart pounding, annoying, (and so cute!) Zach. Cammie and friends prevent a kidnapping in Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover. More secrets about the Gallagher Academy, Blackthorne, spies, family and friends are uncovered in Only the Good Spy Young.

The Good:  My brief series spiel: yes, this is best read in order. Yes, this is a terrific addition to the series.

What I like about Carter’s series is that she gives readers both what they want (the predictability of a spy story) with what they need (new story and series elements). What I also liked: I had half-suspected that Carter’s overall series arc wasn’t plotted out until the second book, based on who was mentioned and what happened and the like. I had a moment of awesome squee when something from the first book, Love You, Kill You, was mentioned as being important to that arc. Yay!

How does Carter mix things up? Take Cammie: a classic Gallagher girl with mad spy skillz. Out of Sight, Out of Time changes that up, by putting Cammie in the strange position of loss of memory with evidence that what happened to her was bad: “Blood and dirt were caked under [my fingernails] as if I’d crawled out of my school and halfway across the world on my hands and knees to reach that narrow bed.” That Cammie is in this position at all meant, also, that whatever she did over her summer vacation, whatever she did in hunting for information about the Circle of Cavan, it went bad, bad enough for her to be bloody and broken in bed. Bad enough to show that Cammie is not the perfect spy some of us (um, me) had begun to think of her as.

Readers may recall Cammie’s tight group of friends, Liz, Macey and Bex, and boyfriend, Zach, who she trusts as if they were family. This, too, is shaken up, as well as Cammie’s relationship with her mother and aunt, because, well, she left. Trust has to be rebuilt on both sides.

Will Cammie regain her confidence? Will she find out what happened during the summer?

She’s a Gallagher Girl! She’s going to do that, and more.

Some classic quotes; “He looked at me like I was a crazy person. Trust me, I’m a teenage amnesiac. It’s a look I know pretty well.”Jet lag. It’s killed more people than anthrax.”

And the end! The end! All I’ll say is I had a big goofy grin on my face.

Because the Gallagher Girls are my go-to books when I want to be happy. Because these are books about confident, smart teenagers (both girls and boys). Because these books build on each other. This is a Favorite Book Read in 2012.

Other reviews: Emily’s Reading Room; Biblio File; ReaderGirlz (author interview).


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