Author: Robin Benway

Also Known As by Robin Benway | Book Review

Posted February 7, 2014 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 6 Comments

Also Known As by Robin Benway | Book ReviewAlso Known As by Robin Benway
Series: Also Known As #1
Published by Walker Children's on February 26, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 318
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
Add to Goodreads
Buy on Amazon
5 Stars

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.

From the hilarious and poignant author of Audrey, Wait! comes a fast-paced caper that proves that even the world's greatest spies don't have a mission plan for love.

I love books about teen spies, and I’m not quite sure why. I love Ally Carter’s Heist Society series, and so I fully expected to love this book as well. And I did! What a breath of fresh air, Also Known As is! Robin Benway is quickly climbing the ladder of beloved authors, because I have not yet read a book from her that I have not adored! I thought Audrey, Wait! was wonderful, but Also Known As was perfection. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I think my favorite part of the book is the snark and sarcasm. These characters are hilarious, and I laughed throughout the entire book. I love it when an author is genuinely funny and not trying to be funny by inserting cheesy lines that have you laughing as a result of uncomfortable cheesiness.

2. I love the main character, Maggie. She and her parents are part of this spy organization called The Collective, and she is an amazing safe cracker. She’s never been on an assignment by herself before, so she makes some mistakes… like falling for her assignment. I love how quirky and dorky she is. She is not a normal girl, and you can totally see the awkwardness dripping from the pages. She warmed my heart.

3. Maggie makes a friend while she is undercover, and her name is Roux. Oh my gosh, I love this girl. I think I love her more than Maggie. She’s a mean girl who got a huge dose of karma, and is now the social outcast. Her new status has made her very uninhibited, and the girl has no filter. She gloms on to Maggie, and the two become inseparable. Can I have this girl over for some girl talk, please? She is so much fun, but also broken as a result of her absent parents. This brokenness gives her depth, though. Love her.

4. Jesse is adorable. I mean really. Initially I was not his biggest fan, just because he comes off as this entitled, spoiled rich kid. But then we are given the opportunity to get to know him, and he’s just so sweet and caring!

5. Angelo. Oh. My. Can I have an uncle like him? He’s this suave, debonair, dapper older gentleman who is also part of The Collective. He is a very close friend of Maggie and her family. I love his relationship with Maggie most of all. He is just so loving, and he adores her in this grandfatherly way. I just found him to be so charming and likable.

6. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I loved these characters so much. They made the story for me.

7. The adventure was pretty awesome, too!

All in all, Also Known As is wonderful. I have no complaints, and can’t wait to finish Going Rogue which I started as soon as I finished this one. If you like spy stories, funny characters, adventure, and romance than give this one a shot!

5 Stars

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway (Book Review)

Posted March 20, 2013 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 11 Comments

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway (Book Review)Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
Published by Razorbill on April 10, 2008
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Add to Goodreads
Buy on Amazon
4 Stars

California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, “Audrey, Wait!” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous!

Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can't hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi.

Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is.

Audrey, Wait! is one of those hidden gems that hardly anyone seems to know about. I know I have heard very little about lately, what with all the buzz for new releases lately. This story is hilarious and so much fun, and I am so glad I read it!

1. The idea behind the story is magical. We’ve all dumped someone, but I’m pretty sure not all of us became a band’s muse because of it. I’m also confident in saying that not all of us have a hit song written about us. This is Audrey’s life, and her story is so funny.

2. I love how the entire book is Audrey talking to the reader. She wants us to hear her side of the story, since we obviously read all about it in People magazine and saw it on the news. As she is telling us her story, she adds additional parenthetical thoughts like “(I’m sure you’ve heard The Song by now.)” I really liked the fact that we were included. I felt like I was hearing about this over junk food at a sleepover.

3. Audrey is someone I would have been friends with in high school. She is down to earth, funny, a little eccentric, a music lover, and she marches to the beat of her own drum. And honestly, she handled this overnight fame like a pro. All she did was dump her boyfriend! That’s it! And all of a sudden she’s being asked for autographs, hit on by celebrities, stalked by the paparazzi, and ripped a part by teeny boppers on online message boards. I loved, loved, LOVED her voice. She is just so funny! This is my favorite quote, and sums her up in as few words as I can think:

“Oh Jesus, they had heard the song. They had heard the song and listened to the lyrics and then got totally paranoid and hacked into my email account and figured out that Evan and I had slept together, and now I was going to have to sit through some intervention where my parents talked about sperm and condoms and responsibility and teenage pregnancy statistics. And then they’d probably ship me off to one of those wilderness camps where they give you a name like Little Running Bear and make you scavenge for food to build up your self esteem until you swear to be abstinent for the rest of your natural life.

I’ll tell you this right now: me and nature? Not so much.”

Perfect, huh? I read this quote two or three times, and laughed each time. 

4. Really, I loved all the characters, except for snotty Sharon. Evan is the typical boy band boy, but we get to see him grow up and change with his fame. It was refreshing to discover that I liked him more after he became a famous musician than before. Usually that goes the other way. Victoria is Audrey’s best friend, and the kind of person I need in my life to push me into adventures. She’s spunky and a lot of fun. She’s in total contrast to Audrey, and it was so much fun to read about their friendship. I also love Audrey’s new love interest, James. He’s a nerd and he’s shy and sweet, and he says some of the most swoonworthy things. I love how he adores Audrey. I just want him all to myself!

5. Bendomolena, Audrey’s fat cat, is definitely one of my favorite characters in the book. And seriously what is with that name? I would love to hear the story behind that name. Anyway, Bendy is amazing. Even though she does not get to say anything, she says enough with her mannerisms. I am a major cat lover, and I think this is the first book I’ve read with a cat as a character. She made me smile.

6. My main complaint is all the swear words. I can not tell you how many f-words there were in this book. This young adult novel had more swear words in it than most adult novels I have read, and I started to get really annoyed. I also did not love the characters as much as I could have. I really dislike profanity in books.

Overall, this book was an adorable romp through the life of a teenage girl whose claim to fame did not get the best of her. When she finally got to confront the World she did it with style and panache that I could not help but cheer for. I loved it!

4 Stars