First things first, let me apologize for my absence this summer. I thought I was going to have way more time to blog, but life got in the way, even after I posted my Hiatus is Over post!!! :( I wish I had had more time for blogging this summer, and even my reading took a hit! However, I am back, and I am here to stay! (*fingers crossed*)
I have spent a lot of time getting myself organized for this school year’s classes as well as planning and scheduling a lot of blog posts. I really hope that I will be able to keep this up, and I will strive my hardest to keep this blog up and running. And now, onto the review!!! :D
Title/Author: Also Known As by Robin Benway
Publisher/Year: Walker Books for Young Readers on February 26, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary/Spy Thriller/Romance
Other Books by Author: Going Rogue (Also Known As #2); Audrey, Wait!; The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June
How I got this Book: Purchased
Summary From Goodreads: Which is more dangerous: being an international spy… or surviving high school?
Maggie Silver has never minded her unusual life. Cracking safes for the world’s premier spy organization and traveling the world with her insanely cool parents definitely beat high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. (If it’s three digits, why bother locking it at all?)
But when Maggie and her parents are sent to New York City for her first solo assignment, her world is transformed. Suddenly, she’s attending a private school with hundreds of “mean girl” wannabes, trying to avoid the temptation to hack the school’s elementary security system, and working to befriend the aggravatingly cute son of a potential national security threat… all while trying not to blow her cover.
From the hilarious and poignant author of Audrey, Wait! comes a fast-paced caper that proves that even the world’s greatest spies don’t have a mission plan for love.
I will admit, due to falling behind on blogging I am writing this review about a month after I finished reading this book, which is going to be difficult. However, it is not going to be as difficult as it would have been if I were writing a review about a book I didn’t love! So that’s what I going to start off with – I LOVED Also Known As and (mostly) everything about it. It was downright hilarious, had awesome characters (main characters as well as secondary), and had an interesting mystery plot too!
Firstly, how often do you read a book about a girl who grew up in a family of spies?! Not often enough is the answer to that question! I thank Robin Benway for writing a superb spy-girl novel that is as equally hilarious and heartwarming as it is witty and smart. Maggie, the MC of the book, is a teen safecracker who works for a spy agency called The Collective. Her first solo assignment is set in New York City, and involves cracking the safe (who knew? ;P) of a person who poses the threat of releasing the identities of many of the espionage agents who work for The Collective. NO PRESSURE, HUH?
Maggie, who has never really had the chance to be a teenager in the real world before, gets to go to high school! How exciting is that! Well, I guess for most of us it’s not that big of a deal, but for Maggie the opportunity to be around hundreds of peers her age is the most appealing thing in the world. At school she meets Roux, a quirky, rebellious teenager who has fallen from her high rungs on the social ladder due to some relationship drama. They become fast friends, and Roux helps Maggie come out of her shell, as well as helping Maggie out with a little boy trouble of her own.
The boy in question is Jesse Oliver. Doesn’t that just sound like the name of a smart, attractive teenage boy? Although Jesse wasn’t all that special to me, he was utterly fantastic for Maggie! I wouldn’t call their relationship instalove, but I would say that the whole thing was a little fast paced for my own liking. But, I think that had to do with Maggie’s lack of real-life experience and the fact that an apparently perfect boy just dropped out of the sky for her! So, all the power to her.
My favourite character was Angelo, no question about it. He’s like your cool Aunt, or your best friend’s dad who is just totally awesome and gives you great advice and life tips. Whenever there was a scene involving him, I couldn’t help but picture him as Michael Caine in his role as Victory in Miss Congeniality. Don’t ask why, because I don’t know. But that’s how I pictured him speaking and acting!
You will want to read this amazingly cute and laugh out loud book all in one sitting. Also Known As has it all! A spy girl, a super awesome best friend, a cute boy, a witty and helpful adult friend, and best of all – a mystery.
Brittany says “it’s super, super cute.”
Alexa says Also Known As is “laugh out loud funny [and] packed with superb characters.”
Judith says that “this book may cause uncontrollable giggling and/or the unability to wipe that smile from your face.”