Friday, February 22, 2013

Up and Coming: Also Known As by Robin Benway

Katie always has the inside scoop on the latest girl spy books...

Also Known As by Robin Benway

Release Date: February 26, 2013

There is an entire school of thought that says fun, light reads are for summer only. Having spent yesterday morning curled up with a mug of hot tea while it snow-rained and Robin Benway’s latest--Also Known As--I feel the time has come for me to tell you that this school of thought is dumb. Some winter days just need something frothy to accompany your hot chocolate (in addition to marshmallows). Frothy but not overly sweet, light but still smart, and plain and simple fun. Also Known As is all of the above. It is a book that demands the suspension of belief in many cases, but isn’t that the whole fun of reading anyway?

Maggie Silver is a world-class, teenage safe cracker. Luckily, she comes from a family of spies and has the opportunity to put this skill to use in her parent’s cases around the world. It’s only when The Collective brings them back to New York City and requires Maggie to enroll in high school that she finally has a case of her own. And it’s a case that needs to be solved quickly or she risks the safety of her family and everyone in her life that she cares for. The thing is the number of people she cares for starts to grow once she has to act like a normal teenager for the first time in her life. And that, of course, is when things get really complicated.

These fun reading romps are often only as strong as the supporting cast, which in this case is rocking near superhuman muscles. Maggies’s first friend is Roux, the social outcast and former mean girl with a firecracker personality. And then there is Jesse Oliver. Any boy that is known by both his first and last name and knows how to plan a first date is total fictional boyfriend material. Maggie’s parents leave no question as to where their daughter got her sense of humor, and the family friend Angelo... well, I’m still figuring out how to make him a part of my family. And not just because it’s handy to have a gifted forger a phone call away.

I’ve seen this book recommended to fans of Ally Carter and Veronica Mars, and I heartily second those thoughts. But really, I think this is for anyone who likes year-round summer reading, laughing, or romance, all with a side of espionage tips.

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