Friday, August 8, 2014

Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway

Also Known As by Robin Benway
Series: Also Known As #1
Published by Bloomsbury
Pages: 308
Genre: Contemporary/Espionage (YA)
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When safecracker Maggie gets her first solo mission, she had no idea how difficult it would be. All she had to do was enroll in a private high school in New York and get close to a well known media mogul's teenage son. Simple: get the information she needs to stop a personally dangerous news story from ever being leaked and scrub the proof. Instead she makes her first friend and finds herself falling in love with her target!

I'm the only spy in the world who has someone telling them to go to bed.

This was a cute, easy read. Our main girl is a spy and she has been working with her spy parents for years. I suppose, reading the synopsis, you know what this book will be like. It's not serious. This story is silly, I mean, really. There was a lot more teen-drama than I predicted, but the characters were likable enough.

The story was told completely from Maggie's point of view, and she was a surprisingly fun narrator. She's got a sarcastic sense of humor and a witty remark for most situations. (The asides in parenthesis did get awfully tiring after awhile though.)

It isn't long before Maggie meets Roux and the story really takes off from there. At least the high school side of the story. Roux is the perfect foil for Maggie - being a lot like her, only much more socially adept. And let me tell you, Maggie takes socially inept to a whole new level.

In fact, Maggie's kind of inept at everything. Including being a spy, even though she's apparently been in the business ever since she was four. Don't ask me, I don't know how that works. She's also apparently the only person under eighteen working for the spy company.

The only thing Maggie's not inept at is the one thing she shouldn't be good at. She accidentally woos her target - falling in love with him in the process. Really, Jesse was a surprisingly sweet guy. A lot different than I thought he'd be - which was a relief.

With this spy story, the focus is mostly on teen drama and it pretty much lacks any espionage. I kept waiting for the big twist at the very end, then the book ended and I realized I wasn't going to get it. I would also have liked to hear a bit more (or, perhaps, anything) about the resolution to the case. The spy bit was just - well... Over. It ended and the loose ends that got tied up were about the teen drama in the story.

It was a decent enough read, but really lacked much of a driving plot point for me. I just cannot help but feel this was a book that had a hook, but didn't use it fully.