I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You

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I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You
I'd tell you I love you, but then I'd have to kill you.gif
US hardback cover
AuthorAlly Carter
CountryUnited States
SeriesGallagher Girls
PublisherHyperion Books for Children
Publication date
April 1, 2006
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Followed byCross My Heart and Hope to Spy

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (2006) is a young adult fiction novel written by Ally Carter and is the first book in the Gallagher Girls series. In October 2007, a sequel was released titled Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy.


The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school—that is, if every school teaches advanced martial arts in PE, chemistry always consists of learning about the latest in chemical warfare, and everyone breaks CIA codes for extra credit in computer class. So in truth, while the Gallagher Academy might say it’s a school for geniuses what they really mean is spies. But what happens when a Gallagher Girl falls for a boy who doesn’t have a code name?

Cammie Morgan may be fluent in fourteen languages and is very capable of killing a man with a few pieces of uncooked spaghetti, but the Gallagher Academy hasn't prepared her for what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without him ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her? Cammie may be an elite spy in training, but in her sophomore year, she’s doing something riskier than ever—she’s falling in love.[1]


Critical reception to I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You was mixed to positive, with two reviewers for the School Library Journal giving differing opinions. One stated that the book "lacks the warmth and appeal of other teen books ... such as Meg Cabot's The Princess Diaries"[2] while the other reviewer praised the book's unique voices, calling it an "excellent choice for young teens".[3]Publishers Weekly praised the book's tension while stating that they wished the character of Macey had been more fully developed. (The character was more fully developed in later books.) [4] Common Sense Media wrote that the book was a "fun debut" without much controversial material.[5]

Movie adaptation[edit]

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You was initially optioned for film by Disney, with the option later being sold to Walden Media.[2] In June 2009 the movie option expired.[citation needed] Carter announced in August 2013 that production company Tonik had optioned the series for film.[6]


Preceded by
Gallagher Girls Series
Book 1
Succeeded by
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy