With the ten-year anniversery of publication of this one, I've been hearing really good things about these books. Now, having read it, I have to admit that I'm... kind of disappointed. I feel like I missed something.
I think part of the problem is that this felt too juvenile for me. I don't generally have a problem with books targetted toward younger audiences... but this time it got to me. It limited me ability to relate to the characters, and the simple writing style didn't appeal to me.
The most frustrating part was the boy Cammie liked. It seemed like a disproportionate amount of trouble to go to for someone she'd met once and had one pretty boring conversation with. Again, I feel like I missed what was interesting about him? Maybe it's because I didn't really get crushes in high school, so I was unable to relate...
I think because of that everything else fell apart. It seemed like trained spies (or even half-trained ones) would just... include meeting a person in their report? And not make some truly ridiculous mistakes. I also would have liked to see more of their training... what we did see left something to be desired. I appreciated what the author was trying to do, but it just fell a bit flat for me... I didn't connect to any of the characters, and the plot failed to grab my attention.
The overall verdict, I think is "this one just wasn't for me." It wasn't what I was hoping for from a spy school, and I think the plot was a little to juvenile and/or unrelatable for me. I can see it being fun for a younger audience, even the writing, characters, and humour where not to my taste. I might give the sequel a try... but I kind of suspect that this series just isn't something I'll enjoy.