Saturday, March 02, 2013

Book Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway

Book: Also Known As
Author: Robin Benway
Published: February 26, 2013
Source: Review copy from publisher via NetGalley

The daughter of two spies and a gifted safecracker herself, Maggie has had a strange childhood, to say the least. She’s been all over the world but never attended school. She’s hobnobbed with the best spies in the world, but never had a best friend her own age.

Now Maggie’s facing her first solo assignment. She’s sure she can carry it off. She’s only been in training since she was three years old. Then she discovers that pretending to be someone you’re not is easy, until you meet the people that you really want to like you for yourself.

I thoroughly enjoyed Benway’s first two books, so I picked this one up and wasn’t disappointed. Was it believable? No. Was it cotton-candy fun on a silver platter? Oh, my, yes.

Watching Maggie try to apply her spy skills to fitting in at high school (even a posh New York City high school) is the kind of fish-out-of-water stuff I really enjoy. And it was no surprise to anyone but Maggie when Jesse, the boy she's assigned to crack like one of her safes, turned out to be sweet and cute and probably the best fictional boyfriend a girl could ask for.

Her other big find was Roux, a former mean girl, long toppled from her throne and now friendless until Maggie turns up. Roux was hi-larious. I had a little trouble believing that she could have been the mean girl, because she was so delightful. Then I realized that the things that made her delightful - loads of snark, well-hidden vulnerability, and a certain high-handedness - would have actually made her a really good Bitch Queen.

If you’re jonesing for more Gallagher Girls, this should help with that. Breezy, funny, and sweet, this confection of a novel is just right to put a smile on your face.

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