Also Known As by Robin Benway
Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She’ll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school’s security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover. (Goodreads)
Maggie is sixteen. She and her parents are international spies. Her life as the safecracker on their undercover team is always an adventure. In many ways it’s fun, but it’s not so great for the old social life since they never stay in the same place too terribly long and since Maggie can’t exactly say Hello! I’m a spy.
Her new assignment is different. Exciting. Maggie and her folks move to NYC as she embarks on her first solo mission. Freedom! She has to get to know Jessie Oliver, fellow student at her snooty prep school and son of the man who is about to blow the whistle their whole spy organization, endangering the lives of Maggie, her parents and many of their loved ones. The job seems simple enough: Befriend Jessie, steal secrets files, done. Except there’s a problem. Jessie is nice. Maggie actually likes him. She may even like him like him. And worse? Maggie, the girl who is supposed to be undercover and slipping in and out without making a ruffle, is making friends. She’s enjoying high school! Eeeks. She knows she’s getting in too deep and she’s getting too attached but she’s not sure how to fix it.
Oh, this book is crazy cute. Benway is so funny. The banter between Maggie and her new friends, and Maggie and her parents is hilarious. And the characters are so likeable. It’s one of those worlds you just want to sink into because of how quirky it is. The story is fun, believable enough to make you wish you were a spy. And the romance with Jessie is a promising start, enough to make you smile like a high school girl. I was sad to see it end.
Crush Intensity: 4.5/5 I loved it. Benway’s style and the story reminded me of a hybrid of Ally Carter and E. Lockhart. I’m definitely a fan now.
Awesomeness: I was a very lucky girl this weekend and attended the LA Times Festival of Books where Benway participated in a YA author panel and signing. She confirmed that she just finished a sequel to Also Known As (and she was super nice). Holla!
Thank you to Net Galley and Bloomsbury for giving me an e-galley of Also Known As.