Format: Hardcover, 308 pages
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Thriller
Which is more dangerous: being an international spy... or surviving high school?Maggie Silver has never minded her unusual life. Cracking safes for the world's premier spy organization and traveling the world with her insanely cool parents definitely beat high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. (If it's three digits, why bother locking it at all?)
But when Maggie and her parents are sent to New York City for her first solo assignment, her world is transformed. Suddenly, she's attending a private school with hundreds of "mean girl" wannabes, trying to avoid the temptation to hack the school's elementary security system, and working to befriend the aggravatingly cute son of a potential national security threat... all while trying not to blow her cover.
Also Known As is the first installment in author Robin Benway's Also Known As series. Meet 16-year old protagonist Maggie Silver. It's not her real name, just one of the many she's had to use over the years as an international spy. Maggie is something of a prodigy who was trained out of diapers to pick locks and open safe's. Now, she's the best at what she does. Maggie and her parents have lived all over the world. They work for an organization called the Collective which is supposed to be fighting for good.
Maggie's mother is a brilliant hacker, while her father is a statistician and linguist. Believe me, it does make sense once you read the story. Anyway, Maggie and her parents are sent to NYC for their next assignment. An assignment that is Maggie's first real solo mission. The mission? Get close to 16-year old Jesse Oliver who's father Armand is about to reveal the identities of certain spy's that make up the Collective. Maggie's job is to get close to Jesse, gain access to his father's email, and stop the article from being revealed.
That's all fine and dandy for someone with Maggie's skill set and her training to remember to listen, be beige, never look back, and there is always a choice. Rules she was taught by family friend Angelo. The problem is that she has to go to Harper School in Greenwich! Maggie has never had a best friend. Which means that she's never had the time for a boyfriend either.
Meet Roux Green, resident ex-Queen Bee, bad girl, and now the target of much scorn and hatred. Roux, do not call me THAT ROUX, is absolutely hilarious and she owns up to what she's done in the past. I adore Roux. I love the chemistry between Roux and Maggie and even Jesse. Oh yes, Jesse isn't who you think he is either. Jesse is actually a pretty decent human being, for a boy, who ends up caught up in Maggie's web of hilarity, danger, and romance.
Oh, yes, have I mentioned the parents? Of course. Remember how many times I've bitched about helicopter parents not caring what the kids do, when they do it, and who they do it with? Not Maggie's parents. Nope. They are spot on when it comes to protecting Maggie and ensuring that she doesn't blunder into something she can't handle. Yes, I adore the banter between Maggie and her parents. I adored having Roux and Jesse meet the parents. Especially Roux who's own parents are just horrible!
One final thing. I love Angelo. He and Maggie have a little game where he leaves her a card with clues, and she tries to find out where she's meeting him. He's rock solid behind Maggie in every way. He also has a funny encounter with Roux that really warmed my heart. I dare say he's probably the perfect mentor and friend anyone can say, and he's not afraid to stand with Maggie when her parent's are having a minor freak out.
Next up: Going Rogue