(Also Known As, #2)
Release Date: January 14, 2014
Publisher: Walker Childrens; 320 pages
Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver. Pros: More quality time with her former mark-turned-boyfriend Jesse Oliver and insanely cool best friend, Roux. Getting to spend quality time with her semi-retired and international spy honorary uncle, Angelo. Cons: High school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. But when Maggie's parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins, Maggie uses her safecracking skills to try and clear their names. Too bad it only serves to put her and everyone she loves in danger. Maggie and her "new team" flee to Paris where they must come up with a plan to defeat their former allies.
I was so excited for this book. When I found out there was going to be a second book, I may have smiled liked an idiot. Also Known As was one of those few books that had me laughing or smiling most of the book. There's so much humor mixed in with everything else that a book has. When an author can be as witty as Robin Benway, it's a definite plus in my book. So when I had the opportunity to snag Going Rogue, I didn't waste a second. Was this book everything I wanted it to be? Yes. Was it better than Also Known As? No. That doesn't mean it was bad, though. Hear me out . . .
While this book was exciting, filled with tons of drama, action and suspense, not to mention a ton of humor it just wasn't as exciting as the first book. I think that's because with the first book, I didn't know what to expect and pleasantly surprised while the second book, I already know the characters, know all about Maggie's secret identity, if you will, and her lifestyle. So, even though the book may not have been as exciting as the first one, it was still a fantastic read. One that you actually don't have to read the first book but I definitely think you'll be missing out if you don't.
Roux is still as witty as she was in the first book. She's such a blunt character. She says what she feels and that's that. I'm kind of envious of her, actually; I always wished I were bolder so I could just give a few people my opinions. She's had a rough few years (hell, she's had a rough life, really) with the people at school being so cruel to her and her parents are never around. She is basically living on her own with no friends except for Maggie and Jesse. Everyone knows, as a teenager, friends are very important in finding out who you are as that's one big thing about your teenage years, finding yourself. Or at least, I believe this. So the fact that Roux is as awesome of a person and as great of a friend as she is, even with everything that's gone on while growing up, is amazing. She's the type of person I'd want having my back and being my best friend so Maggie is very lucky to have her.
Angelo is still probably one of my favorite people in this book. He's so sophisticated, brilliant and loving. He has a heart as big as the world and he's not afraid to show it but he's also someone you don't want to have as an enemy. He plays such a vital role in this book, not that he didn't in the first one but he's just so damn important in this. All he wants to do is protect his family and he'll do whatever he can to make sure they're all safe.
The relationship between Jesse and Maggie is very up and down. They love each other, this is very clear but how can a relationship work when you're dating a spy? It's very strained because there's so many things Maggie can't tell Jesse and Jesse feels helpless because he can't protect the thing he loves most. They actually have this huge fight that just totally made me a puddle of mush. It was so emotional reading it, I actually felt like I was a part of the fight and the hurt that followed their fight. When an author can make you feel that strongly during a scene, they are certainly doing it right.
This book is a little different because it's Maggie doing work not for Collective but she's doing a job to protect her parents, who are now being investigated by the Collective. What she didn't realize, taking this job, was how dangerous it would be for her but also for her parents, Angelo, Jesse and Roux. However, dangerous means you're on to something, right? It means, you're getting warmer at getting to the bottom of what's causing the problem but is it really worth the risk of everyone's lives? When things go awry, they are forced to split up and flee to Paris where she has to trust Angelo's plan. A plan she knows nothing about. I definitely feel like the best part of this book came once they had to flee. We meet some very interesting & fun characters and we get to see a new side of Roux, one I really like!
Like I said earlier, you don't have to read Also Known As to read this but I recommend you do. If you're looking for something light, easy and fun then these books are definitely for you. I can guarantee you'll have a few laughs with a smile on your face most of the time.
Thank you so much to Bloomsbury for allowing me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.