Monday, January 7, 2013

Also Known As

Maggie is used to cracking safes, not people, so when she is assigned to get close to Jesse Oliver to prevent his father from publishing an article about The Collective, she is out of her element.  All her life, Maggie has been a spy, moving from country to country (let's not talk about Luxembourg) and working with her parents to take down bad guys.  But now, she gets to be normal (sort of) and go to high school.  But how do you infiltrate the social pyramid that is high school without getting involved? Between Maggie's adorable social awkwardness, her crazy new BFF, Roux, and her guardian angel, Angelo, you've got a plot driven novel with some very compelling characters.  

Maggie makes a great spy.  She's exceptional at her trade, but she has a very hard time being a normal person, which makes for some great situations, like forging a signature for Roux, and breaking into Jesse's locker.  Also, the relationship that she has with her parents is great too.  They've never had to raise a normal teen before and they are rather daunted by the task.  The scene where they find out about her date with Jesse is probably one of the most entertaining in the whole book.  Despite being a spy family, they are very normal.

Then there's Roux, all alone in her penthouse apartment without a friend in the world.  But she's feisty and impulsive and it turns out, quite helpful.  Plus her relationship with her ever patient doorman, Harold, was so funny.  I bet that deep, deep down that old curmudgeon does care about her.  

I had to admit that Angelo had me guessing.  His three piece suits and suave manner bring to mind James Bond, without all the special effects.  He is the typical cunning spy.  But I was afraid that maybe he was a double crosser, because who knows Maggie and her family better than Angelo.  I'm very glad that my fears were wrong and that Angelo is the good guy he was always portrayed to be.

This book will have instant success with fans of Ally Carter's books, Gallagher Girls and Heist Society. It's quick, fun, and entertaining, but also shows a loving family relationship and good friends.  There are definitely sequel possibilities, and I wouldn't mind getting a little more of Maggie, although what I'm really looking forward to is Roux as a future spy.  

I'd say that this book is best left in the YA section, but teen readers should really enjoy it.

Happy Reading!

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