Book Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway

Also Known As
Author: Robin Benway
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Contemporary/Spy Thriller
Released: February 26th 2013
Review Source: Purchased
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) 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.

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Benway this past weekend at Books & Books at the Triple Threat Tour with Yelena Black (Dance of Shadows) & Megan Miranda (Hysterical), but I had never actually heard of Benway until I met her. I know, lame. I found out that she actually did the audio book for Also Known As & after hearing her read a passage from the book, I can't say I'm surprised. If you like audio books, I highly recommend getting it. The way she reads her characters is truly something magical. 2013 is shaping up to be the year for contemporary romances. I enjoyed this book immensely, but for totally different reasons.

Maggie is part of a family of spies. Her specialty: safe cracking. Maggie, along with her parents, works for a secret organization called The Collective. In a nutshell, they travel the world correcting the misdoing of others. When they move to NYC for Maggie's first solo mission, The Collective doesn't make it easy on her. Not only does she have to go to high school for the first time, she also needs to get close to a boy named Jesse Oliver (who I must say is absolutely adorable)! His father has some how gotten a hold of some important files that could put everyone in The Collective, including her family in danger. She must retrieve those files no matter what. Her only problem? Cracking people isn't as easy as cracking a safe.

Reading that you would think "Yes! This is going to be a super awesome spy book. I can't wait to dive right in." That, my friends, is not the case. Really the whole aspect of anything remotely close to something spy related is lost in these incredible characters. Even though Maggie does pick some locks & cracks a couple of safes, that really isn't the main focus of the story. We mainly focus on the interactions between the characters and I, for one, was ok with that since in the end it's what really made the book so like able. 

Maggie has to be one of the few characters that I loved inside & out. Not only is she funny, she's also very clever. She one of the few heroines that actually thinks things through. As much as I enjoyed Mags, Roux (her first real friend) & Angelo (her kick-ass mentor) actually stole the show for me. From being over-dramatic to absolutely hilarious, both of the characters were perfectly written. I've never had the pleasure of reading so many secondary characters that shine throughout the whole book. That's including her parents & Jesse. 

Even though I did start reading Also Known As for the spy aspect of the story, in the end I really did love reading this book. Benway's wit and sense of humor leaps off of the pages & will keep those pages turning while laughing out loud throughout the whole book. So, if you're looking for a couple of laughs & a little bit of romance this is the book for you.

1 comment:

  1. I had so much fun reading this book-the plot, the characters, the humor! It was all enjoyable.


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