Sunday, April 1, 2012


There are two types of people in this world: the type that believe there are only two types of everything and the type that don't. The problem with those of us human beings who belong in the first category is that we don't allow ourselves any room to be wrong. If we say there are only two options--- a right and a wrong--- then we're being ignorant because we're also saying that WE are right, and all who disagree are wrong. This is why I belong to Type Two: I believe that there isn't just black, and there isn't just white, but there is also gray. And blue. And pink, orange, yellow and green. And that there are shades of all of them. And that we have to be open to removing our blinders and seeing the world as a kaleidoscope of options.

I say this because I can explain exactly why OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME didn't wow me, but I need you to be patient and to understand. Understand that I DID like the story. That I DO love the series. That I think it was told EXACTLY the way it needed to be told. But alas, on its own merit, it is not the "bestest" book in the world.

Now be patient with me as I try to explain. I'm going to explain everything that put a damper on my enjoyment of the story and then I'm going to tell you that you MUST read this book. Why? Why would I go into depth about things I didn't like about a story and then turn around and tell you to read it? For three reasons:

1. Because I can.
2. Because the story itself IS GOOD and is an important--- and extremely vital!--- installment to a series I will be recommending to people until my dying breath.
3. And because you have to read it so that you can argue with me. If you don't read it but turn around and say, "But it's AMAZING!" I will regrettably have to punch you in the face. I hope you understand. But if you DO read it, you can point out passages, throw a hissy fit--- heck! You can even throw a hard copy through my window! I want to KNOW that I missed something--- that there was more to it than I received.

Here's the trouble I had with it (and like I said, be patient--- I had a lot of troubles not with the storyline but with the story itself): for a series that is getting progressively darker, the characters in this installment felt uncomfortably... stiff.

And as I write this, I realize that, in my mind, at least, THIS was my problem. Just this one. And it presented itself in many different areas--- in many different ways. The first and most obvious way was in Cammie. For a girl who had gone through so much in a summer, who had forgotten so much of her life... she got on my nerves. Aren't I supposed to be sympathizing for an amnesiac-slash-basket-case?

I am! to answer my own question. I AM supposed to feel SOMETHING for her--- especially after all she goes through throughout the story (kudos, Ally Carter, for having the plotting and pacing skills of a master). But all I could think about as I flipped through page after page was, "If she talks about her memory-loss one. more. time...." and "Stop feeling sorry for yourself, Woman! If you're doing all the pitying, what's left for me to feel sorry for?!?!" I don't know why I thought these things. I'm sure if I lost my memory, I would be sulking, whining, begging my brain to present answers, too. But... I'm sighing right now because I feel like this "realistic" element slowed the book down for me. Not that the book was slow. Trust me, I MEANT IT when I gave Ally that kudos up there. It's just... CAMMIE. I wish I counted the amount of times she mentioned her amnesia and made a scene about it. I wish I'd counted how many times she mentioned it and DIDN'T make a scene about it. Because there were a bunch and yes--- I GET that this is what the story is centered around. But I felt like there were other things--- more important things that she needed to be dwelling on. Things she could've been doing instead, you know? And it irked me. To the point where I just gave up on caring about her feelings because I knew how she felt. She was fine. That much was obvious. I had to stop myself from skimming because I knew I was getting upset for no reason. I realize, now, that I was getting upset because I'd set impossible expectations for a story that HAD TO HAPPEN in order to set us up for what's to come.

But still, I have to tell you, that it's not. just. Cammie. The team of operatives that surrounded Cammie (aka Bex, Liz, Macey, Zach, and... more...) I felt were just being used as pawns to fuel or justify Cammie's fits--- Cammie's need to talk about her amnesia and do the recap-of-everything-we've-just-heard-about-slash-time-to-feel-sorry-for-myself bit she pulls throughout the ENTIRE book (okay. Not entire. It KINDA stops around page 252). Let me say that, in all fairness, they weren't really needed for much more than that. This was--- IS--- Cammie's story, and she really needs to figure out everything on her own, but she can't do that without backup and I was just... SURPRISED at how little time I got to spend with the others and how most of that time was just like a game of chess... strategic moves of the pawns used to protect the Queen. And I wish I didn't notice it, but it felt like we were watching the same moves being played over and over again in different locations, under varying degrees of pressure... I don't know what else to say. I know these things are trivial, more on the nitpicky, technical side of the story, but what can I say? I'm a nitpicky, technical kinda girl.

All that said, I have to point out, as always, the things that made me realize that, although I may have been right about this not being the BEST book in the series, it's still a really good one:
-Rachel Morgan is awesome.
-Cammie Morgan kicks butt.
-Zach is still hot.
-Action speaks louder than words and this book brings it.
-The motives in this story are so twisted, ohmygosh.
-The characters may move to the beat of Cammie's drum, but they've been so well crafted that, despite their static nature, they still manage to make me feel like the Gallagher Academy is real and I might've seen them, and yes--- they are awesome. Somewhere in the universe, Macey and Bex and exchanging satisfied smirks.
-The story? It's SO good.
-We get answers.
-We ACTUALLY get answers.
-Although I see this story as a set-up for what's to come, I realize it's necessary and honestly? I wouldn't have it any other way. Well... I would have fewer mentions of the amnesia, let me tell you.

But Ally did an amazing job in plotting this story AS A WHOLE. I highly recommend OUT OF SIGHT to fans of the Gallagher Girls series, and I HIGHLY recommend the Gallagher Girl series to EVERYONE. As you can see, the pros outweigh the cons, but unfortunately for ME, the cons were enough to put a damper on the book.

Fortunately for you, though, you're not as crazy as I am. And you'll most likely be able to see the awesome in this book and ground that into your heart and mind as you await the next installment. In the meantime, talk to me. If you read this one, do tell me what you thought and tell me if I'm as ridiculous as I feel I must be.

Book of the Week
Blurb from Goodreads: 

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan--an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and the dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home. 

Once she returns to school, however, Cammie realizes that even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers. Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind. It’s a race against time. The Circle is hot on their trail and willing stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.

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