Authors You Should Know: Ally Carter

To some of you, this might seem like a no-brainer because I know her books do very well, but at both of my libraries so far, she’s really not widely read, so for those of you who don’t know her or have seen the books on the shelf but not picked them up, this is for you.

Ally Carter has three series: Heist Society, Gallagher Girls (completed) and Embassy Row.

Heist Society contains three books so far. Heist Society, Uncommon Criminals and Perfect Scoundrels. Carter does plan on writing at least a fourth book at some point. Each book stands alone decently well but you do benefit from reading them in order.

Heist Society revolves around a girl named Kat and her ‘family’ who all come from a legacy of thievery and the teens are no different. But Kat wants out. At the start of the series, she’s at a fancy boarding school but that doesn’t last long as she gets pulled back in. Has a great element of Robin Hood-ness, clever cons and wonderful characters who manage to be their own people but also indulge in great witty banter (which I’m a sucker for). This would appeal to fans of the great con genre, people who liked shows like White Collar and Leverage and movies like Italian Job and Ocean’s 11 (and sequels) and similar fare. There’s not a lot of that in YA fiction these days so it’s a nice breath. It’s also Ally Carter at the top of her game. It also skews a little older and more sophisticated than the Gallagher series.

Gallagher Girls:

This is a complete six book series and needs to be read in order. The first, I’d love you but then I’d have to kill you, is clearly a debut but also stands alone well on its own and doesn’t suffer in the fact it’s a fun romp.

Plus the final book which is United We Spy.

The Gallagher series stars Cammie and her three best friends as they go through their four years of high school…at an elite school for spies. The first book mostly serves to introduce us to the characters and their abilities while books 2-6 cover the meaty plot of the series. This is a great series for anyone who likes liberal does of action/adventure thrown in with their romance and series with great girl friendships. They are generally lighthearted (even with some more serious moments) and read quickly and easily. It’s a read-alike (or vice versa) for Robin Benway’s Also Known As but again, not a lot of female teenage spies out there. Or Charlie’s Angels fans. Far more male (think Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series or the young James Bond by Charlie Higson, etc.). This series would be great for older middle schoolers (it’s on our 7/8 grade list this year).

And finally, her newest series is Embassy Row. There’s one book that came out earlier this year, All Fall Down, and this one, at least so far, I can’t keep on the shelves at my library. Not sure if it’s the slightly different take on girl power or the cover or what. (If any of you have experienced the same phenomenon, let me know your thoughts in the comments or on facebook)

All Fall Down and the rest of the Embassy Row series focuses on Grace, who is returning to the embassy row where her father works in a small fictional country somewhere in Europe for the first time in quite a few years. The first time since her mother was murdered. Like her other books, All Fall Down reads quickly. Unlike her other books, All Fall Down has a heck of a twist at the end of book one that seems to set up a lot for the rest of the series (although exactly how I’m not entirely sure yet).

Grace meets friends old and new as she tries to settle back into a place that contains both wonderful and terrible memories. Although she has no particular skills (other than falling off things), Grace still manages to get herself into troubles that the main characters of Carter’s other series would be proud of. She’s resourceful and pretty clever but she’s also every girl. This series might well appeal to people who aren’t into the over the top idea of teenage spies and thieves but still want some action and a nice liberal dose of potential romance and cute guys.

One Comment

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *