We've talked about the series here before. We see the series as a fantastic and exciting venue for teaching conservative values and positive character development for young women. They are also pretty darn entertaining (no matter what age).
Since our first look at the series, the fifth book has been announced, has a release date and cover art! Out of Sight, Out of Time will be released on March 20th, 2012.
The first two books establish a vivid portrayal of the universe in which the story develops- perhaps overly so. After you finish book one - I'd Tell You That I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You you are left with a solid concept of who these characters are, where they live and what they do. But there really is no foreshadow of what's to come. The span of events and revelations from the end of the first book and the end of the fourth book (the last book at the time of this writing) is unbelievable. It's like the series grew up really fast. The first half of the series suffers from a lot of fluff. No one is really ever in danger. There are important characters introduced, but Carter sure takes her time getting to the real meat of the series.
On her website, Carter states that she struggled with the 2nd book, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, which was the least of the four in my opinion, too. I speculate that she almost introduced some of the plot elements into book two that we see right out of the gate in book three. It probably was a good decision on her part. What now is maybe too long of a setting up for the series may have suffered stepping into the 3rd act in that second book. It could've made quite a cliffhanger, though. Even so, what we have in the end is good quality.
The last half of the series- Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover and Only the Good Spy Young doesn't just turn up the action and danger, it's like suddenly just on! Full blast! These two books make for a very exciting espionage thriller, even for the young adult audience. I feel the first two books ought to be read for much back story, but it's the second two books that really make the Gallagher Girls books great.