Investigating the Hottie -- Juli Alexander
Book 1 of Investigating the Hottie
2012 Release -- Createspace/Smashwords -- Indie author work
Young Adult, High School, Romance, Mystery, Espionage
Despite the set-up being a bit confusing, I have to admit that I found Investigating the Hottie to be quite enjoyable in that “Turn your brain off and be amused by all it’s strange quirks” type of way. It’s not the best book in the world and it’s not the most insightful nor the most inspiring story ever, but it was cute and entertaining--a fun type of “I’ve got a little extra time to kill” sort of read; very quickly devoured in one sitting.
The writing isn’t the best, and the context of our main character, Amanda Peterson’s narration came off kind of juvenile and nonchalant (her voice sounds much younger than sixteen.. or is she supposed to be fifteen?), but she’s got an amusing sense of humor, and some of the one-liner quips DID manage to bring out a few laughs in me.
Again, the telling is extremely juvenile without a wit of seriousness; it reminded me of a made-for-television family movie with a comedic flair that wouldn’t remotely be taken seriously because of how unrealistic all the situations and all the characters’ actions were. In which case, it was entertaining because of all that.
Amanda comes off as that awkward teenager at an awkward phase in her life who let’s her imagination run a little too wild, though in an entertaining, enjoyable way. She reminds me of me when I’m just sitting and letting my thoughts wander, starting with an imaginary scenario that could happen in my life that gets more and more out of control as my mind stops making logical sense--the next thing you know, you’re angry at an imaginary friend or family member who said or did something in your convoluted reverie because you tend to get really pessimistic and cynical in your own mind-ramblings.
She is definitely an interesting character to follow.
The Story in Brief:
Amanda is spending fall break with her Aunt Christie as a means to “de-stress” from the knowledge of her parents’ divorce. But Amanda learns, upon arrival at her Aunt Christie’s home, that her aunt is actual an agent spy working for the government and that Amanda, herself, has been secretly trained via school courses and activities (such as a technology based camp or specialized physical education courses) for the past few months.
And now Amanda is being offered her first mission as a teen spy. There’s a hacker at Princeton Academy who has been wreaking havoc on a fairly small scale, thus far. But said hacker has promised an even bigger act that could “affect millions” in America. Amanda’s job is to get close to Will Middleton and determine whether or not he truly is a hacker and what his plans for that bigger act consists of.
Unfortunately, she realizes that her first act as a teen spy could very easily be road-blocked by her inability to NOT fall for the “hottie” hacker.
Final Thoughts: The story is very straight-forward with no unpredictable twists and turns. In fact, even the one little, itty, bitty surprise twist at the end wasn’t too awe-worthy and you kind of see it coming miles away.
This book was mainly a “The Day in the Life of Amanda Peterson, Teen Spy In Training” as well as a cutesy high school romance folded into it. The tone of the story was consistently mild and almost comically humorous in a strange way. Where I would have expected a little bit of seriousness, I instead felt a sense of inappropriate nonchalance… but the cutes-y factor of the story and our teenage characters made it manageable.
Other side and supporting characters were pretty flat and one-dimensional and extremely stereotyped as the “typical” high school students. Even Will was pretty boring and standard teen high school boy material.
Amanda, herself, had her quirks and was an enjoyable character to follow. But she, unfortunately, didn’t stray far from the usual teenage girl stereotypes found in YA lately: cynical about her looks and very, very boy crazy. I lost track of how many times she drools or fawns over Will and his “yummy hotness”. Although I DO give props to the fact that Amanda shows a few moments of interest in things that are NOT Will Middleton or any other hot boy, and that’s quite alright with me.
To be honest, the romance was lacking (and juvenile), focused a LOT on how Amanda was very attracted to Will’s hotness--and I was a little disturbed her her consistent description of Will’s “yumminess” because it feels very non-teen to me. You don’t see much romantic chemistry between the two, but maybe that’s the whole point of this quick and easy read.
And then there’s Christie and Nic (who act like teenagers at best); they were actually a pretty intriguing pair; if ever written in a more mature fashion, I would be interested in seeing how some of their spy missions pan out and how their bickering love story unfolds.
This book is a pre-chosen participant in the following Reading Challenge(s):
- 2015 TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader
- 2015 Reading Assignment Challenge hosted by Because Reading and Fantasy is More Fun