by Robin Benway
Book 2 of Also Known As
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 safe-cracking 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 read the first book in this short series nearly four years ago, I think, and absolutely loved it. Why I didn't continue on with the second book, I'm not entirely sure. Could just be that I'd started growing out of YA books and didn't care enough. And so it took some time for me to recall events from the previous book enough not to feel confused at certain references to the previous book, but our author, quite excellently, offers up some explanations for anything I might have forgotten since our last encounter with these characters.
Going Rogue was just as fun and delightful as the previous book, with a fast-paced espionage plot, a little bit of romance, and some fun, bantering humor between all the characters.
Of course, my main complaint about this book might have been the fact that we maybe went a little overboard with the joke-y behavior. There were several conversations that I had trouble taking seriously--which needed to be taken seriously--because Maggie and Roux and Jesse were making light of the whole situation by throwing jokes out left and right. I mean, I love characters with a great sense of humor, and I loved some of the one-liners that were presented. But at some point, maybe less is more, and jokes strewn about in moderation might have had a better impact on the story's overall presentation.
And then there were maybe some moments at the end of the book that felt a little too deliberate in how the conclusion was tied up. Everything felt almost too convenient, and our main villain was merely a name in the background until the end of the book. Things felt rushed.
But all-in-all, the book was enjoyable. The kids were maybe a little over-dramatic in some of their actions and behaviors and dialogue, but they're teenagers, so I'll cut them some slack.
On a side note, I had also acquired the audio book version of both the first and second books, narrated by Robin Benway. But I decided to nix the idea of listening to the audio book when I remembered that Benway is not exactly the best narrator in the world--no inflections, no voice changes to depict a different character's dialogue--no matter that she's narrating her own book.
Square: School's Out For Summer | Read a book that appears on any school related "summer reading list," or that is identified as YA or MG.
How it fits: This book is identified as YA.
Page Count: 321