Monday, January 14, 2013

Jen's Thoughts: Also Known As by Robin Benway


Published: February 26, 2013
Walker Books, 380 pages
Source: publisher
Amazon Summary: Believe it or not, there are some drawbacks to being a 16-year old safecracker, daughter of spies, and member of a Robin Hood-esque organization that fights corruption. On the list: never getting to stay in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend, being the only spy ever to have a 10 p.m. curfew, and being sent on assignment to Russia. In the winter. For Maggie Silver, the major perk thus far has been the avoidance of high school, and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple Masterlocks on the lockers(If it’s three digits or less, why even bother?). But when Maggie and her parents are sent to New York on a major assignment, though, 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 information she needs to crack the case, all while trying not to blow her cover.

For those of you who enjoyed Ally Carter's Heist Society books: Also Known As is better.

There is just something about teenager girls who excel at criminal activity that just makes me fist pump all over the place. Maggie (Margaret, Meg, Peg, Mags, etc.) has been cracked locks and opening safes since she was 3 years old. No big deal, right? Except it is, because she is a total badass. And she helps bring big wig criminals to justice....by a life of essential crime, herself. But I like to think of it as a Robin Hood deal. The good intention cancels out the rule-breaking. Right? Right?!

So she's had high-profile international cases for the past 16 years of her life. Now she gets to go to high school and be the star in her own case. Except this one involves infiltrating the life and heart of a super cute boy and well.... hormones come into play. And can I give Robin Benway a high five for writing some of the best, most entertaining, and most supportive parents in recent memory? It's so refreshing to read about parents who are present and active in YA's lives and it's one of Also Known As' shining qualities.

After Audrey, Wait! I knew that anything written by Robin Benway would be chock full of wit and awesome and hilarious. Also Known As brought it, just as I'd hoped and dreamed. I flew through this book. Favorite part? Maggie feeling her way through her first date, first kiss, and first love. Jesse Oliver is so endearingly insecure and eager to please. When do we ever see that in YA? SELDOMLY. Definitely a coming-of-age story intertwined with incognito spy work, not to mention a lot of awesome best friend sprinkled on top. I loved La Roux. In fact, I am gonna need Robin Benway to write a best friend like this into existence for me, because these types of people just don't exist! (Also, Bulletproof played in my head every time I read her name. A little appropriate for the story, right? Crime? Spies? Bullets?)

Fans of Heist Society's nonstop action and of Audrey, Wait!'s wit and proper sarcasm (and sweet and awkward romance) need to drop what they're doing at this moment and preorder Also Known As.


15 comments:

  1. This book sounds so adorable - and I loved the review. I mean, supportive YA parents coupled with Robin Benway, hilarity, and a Heist Society read-alike? Totally in for that. :) I'll definitely try and procure a copy when I'm in the mood for the story.

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  2. OMG I must check this one out after this brilliant review! I'm a HUGE fan of Heist Society and pretty much anything with spies, con artists and thieves! Definitely putting this one on the TBR pile! :)

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  3. I'm reading this one right now, and I really like the voice of the main character a lot. I can't wait until they are actually IN New York! (I'm almost there.)

    Thanks for sharing! Did you notice there are two covers floating around? I think I like this one more.

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  4. BETTER than Heist Society??? Well, then I must get my hands on this book ASAP! Great review, definitely a book I'm adding to my wishlist!

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  5. Yay! I just read Audrey, Wait! toward the end of last year and was pleasantly surprised with how taken with it I was. I've been looking forward to seeing feedback for this one, wondering if she could stand up to herself. Sounds like she did!

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  6. I just finished Audrey, Wait! YESTERDAY. I loved it so hard. And laughed out loud so much. So good. I'm sure this one is just as stellar.

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  7. You've convinced me. Like Asheley, I just finished Audrey, Wait! a few days ago and am SO ready to read more by Benway. And I really enjoyed Heist Society too so I think this one would be a perfect fit:)

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  8. I love Heist Society! This sounds amazing! Really cool cover too. Your review has won me over. I want to read it NOWS!

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  9. Audrey, Wait! is one of my all-time favorite books, so I'm so excited for AKA! I'm even more excited after reading your review. It's great that Robin Benway always crafts realistic parents- so many parents in YA are MIA or ridiculously relaxed about everything. Jesse Oliver sounds like an amazing character.

    Great review!

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  10. Better than Heist Society? This ARC just moved up in my to be read pile. And it sounds like I need to read Audrey, Wait! as well. Thank you m'lady!

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  11. I just finished my review for this book - and I loved it as much as you did. I loved the fact that I could relate so well to Maggie. The way she thought and the things she felt were so spot on! If only I were just as good at safecracking...

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  12. Wit and proper sarcasm and I LOVED Audrey, Wait so obviously this is going on my tbr.

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  13. Haha, I knew I was going to read this book as soon as I'd started reading the synopsis, then came the first line of your review and there was NOTHINg else in my mind but then one thought - how am I going to get this book? Fast!!!! Sorry, must end this comment and head over to Amazon.com... :D

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  14. I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL I HAVE TIME TO READ THIS. Although, the mention of Heist Society makes me wish Hale was in this book, BUT. It's Robin Freakin' Benway, so I am pretty positive I will love Also Known As.

    And yeah, say Roux and I also add a La in front and start singing about being bulletproof.

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