Title: Also Known As
by Robin Benway
Publishing Info: February 26, 2013 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: March 25, 2013
Related Posts: Going Rogue (Also Known As #2), Emmy & Oliver, Far From the Tree
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.
ALSO KNOWN AS was my first Robin Benway book and SHAME ON ME for waiting so long! I know you guys are all raving over AUDREY, WAIT! (which I own now, but still haven’t read yet) and praised Robin’s wit and delightful characters. NOW I GET IT. This book was flat out hilarious — jokes, sarcasm, banter — ALSO KNOWN AS had it all. I was literally laughing out loud reading this book and now I can’t wait to go read more of Robin Benway’s books!
ALSO KNOWN AS, as you probably know, is about Maggie — a sixteen year-old-spy who gets her very first solo assignment. Maggie is clearly the highlight of this book. Her personality and sense of humor make the reader feel at ease and really invested in her story as well. I instantly wanted to be BFFs with Maggie and so I was right by her side as she went through wacky hijinks, flustering friendships, and her very first kiss.
We’re talking about spies here, so you know there are going to be some twists and turns! I actually did NOT see the twist coming. I had written it off as a cute but simple story. Turns out, ALSO KNOWN AS has a few more layers than I anticipated! The only complaint I can make about the plot is that I wish a few more twists had been introduced earlier on to gather just a little more excitement. I was totally invested in the story already, but that extra little twist would have added the “knock-me-off-my-feet” aspect to the book for me!
All of the characters were pretty amazing and stood on their own two feet. Each one had a big personality and leapt off the page! Obviously we know I love Maggie (duh) but I also liked her friend Roux (okay, she was a tad much at times, but that was the whole point), her love interest/assignment Jesse Oliver, her clueless-on-how-to-raise-a-real-teenager parents, and her almost mentor/family friend Angelo. I adored Maggie’s relationship with Angelo. He’s a great person for her to turn to when she needs to step away from her parents, away from her friends/assignment/distractions and get an honest yet gentle answer. He’s always calm and very wise.
ALSO KNOWN AS was a very quick read, but in a good way. I didn’t want to put it down! It was filled with everything I love: humor, suspense, romance, awesome characters, and a twist to keep me guessing. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun read and I cannot wait to read AUDREY, WAIT! and more from Robin Benway!
MAGGIE: Maggie was a hoot. I loved hearing her story as well as her direct speech to the reader. It’s so much fun when I feel like the characters are talking to me (if it’s pulled off well — And of course Robin Benway knows how to create a very personable narrator). I immediately wanted to be friends with her and wished she was a real person because I know she’d be a blast to hang out with!
JESSE: Jesse was a pretty great match for Maggie. I LOVED that he accepted her for all her wackiness and that’s why he ended up liking her. Nothing like loving a girl for the way she is!! He got a little silly himself at times and it made my heart melt! I love fun & spontaneous things like that!
ANGELO: I loved Angelo as Maggie’s mentor! Welll, I’m calling him a mentor. Really, he’s a family friend and a great resource/shoulder to lean on (or cry on) when Maggie has no one else to turn to. He was definitely one of my favorite characters…. Although really, they all were pretty great!
This book was soooo much fun. I absolutely loved Maggie and I loved the comedy involved, keeping everything light. Absolutely delightful book.