Title: Also Known As
Author: Robin Benway
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher Summary Courtesy of 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 never read a Robin Benway book prior to Also Known As, but had heard good things about Audrey, Wait. I liked the blurb on this book. it reminded me of the Ally Carter books and I was in the mood for something fun and lighthearted.
Maggie Silver is a sassy, slightly snarky heroine with a seriously unconventional background and I enjoyed being in her head and seeing the world through her eyes. Although she’s an accomplished safecracker with super-spies for parents, she’s not completely impervious to normal teenage woes. She can’t accessorize to save her life, she gets crushes on boys, and has awkward moments trying to relate to the kids her own age. And although she should be hardened by a life spent on the edge, she still has a conscience.
Maggie’s first assignment feels like way too much responsibility for a teenager once you learn what is actually at stake, but the author carries it off and you have to be willing to suspend a little disbelief to enjoy a book like this. Benway drops little clues along the way that feel like throwaway points, only to bring them back in at the end in a way that keeps you guessing until the end, but feels satisfying and earned. I thought I had it all figured out but I was surprised, and I always enjoy it when an author can pull one over on me when I am looking for it to happen. Well done. I would recommend this book to fans of Ally Carter and anyone who enjoys sassy dialogue, a sweet love story (no triangles, yay!) and compelling and capable heroines.
Review copy courtesy of NetGalley.