Friday, March 14, 2014

Author:  Robin Benway
Rating:   ★★★
Availability: National Bookstore | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | iBookstore | Audible


Did Robin read my review of the first book in the AKA series, Also Known As? Because, man, Jesse's got it going for me! I want to be Maggie myself and just snuggle up to him. Ugh, adorable guy. I actually got rejected for this from Netgalley, but I still got the book anyway because I love the AKA series. Ahhh book love!


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.

There was a part where I thought Angelo was going to betray Maggie. Okay, for the record, and spoiler alert...he didn't! And Robin, please don't do that to us, it would just break our hearts. And I don't like having my heart broken by books because you know, life already gives us a lot of reasons to have our heart broken (in the form of jerks and unrequited love), but I digress.

Going Rogue was everything I wanted in a YA novel. It was action-packed, the heroine totally kicked ass, it had that not-so-central-theme of schmexy coming-of-age romance without the smut, a little bit of humor, awesome friendships, and heart-warming moments. I sat down and finished like the last ten chapters in one sitting, ignoring everything and everyone else because I was so immersed in the story. Although I couldn't imagine the whole scenery, and what the walls and streets looked like (someday, Paris, someday!), I felt like I was right there, a spectator right behind Maggie. And let me tell you, that is not something I find in every action book, so I find it notable when it does happen for me.

There was awesome character development from Maggie, Roux, and Jesse. Especially with Jesse. If in the first book, Maggie was all girly, she's more serious in the second book although a little torn between her spy and real life. I'm glad she is learning to come to terms with having the two mix, though. 

Roux, oh my god, let me have a friend like you. She has grown up! I feel like she's a little genius but she downplays it because she thinks nobody cares anyway. But she learns taekwondo because hello, her best friend is a spy and she's a good friend who wants to be able to take care of herself and her friend. Without Maggie's having to ask her about it. And Ames, you adorable man, holding her like she's so fragile. *weeps* Please be real.

And Jesse. He speaks the language of my heart that makes me melt whenever I hear someone speak it. Also, from being a confused teenager in book one, he becomes more of a man - more decisive, more understanding, and well, a little more hot. He is shocked at all the heart-pounding action that once again ensues, but he takes it in stride and never leaves or panics. He becomes Maggie's rock and brings on the humor to ease everyone up. And that rooftop scene, oh wow. As I said, schmexy without the smut. Way to go, Benway!

There wasn't so much mystery going on here as simply evading the bad guy and trying to outwit him. Still, the story lines for the main plot got my heart pounding. The transitions in the story from easy going to tense to romantic and hot was smooth. I like the various emotions I had while reading Going Rogue. There wasn't any spectacular maneuver on Angelo's part, but he carried out believable action plans that were realistic. The plot of Going Rogue is not anything original, but it's the storytelling that made it different and enjoyable for me. :)

The only thing I want to know right now is...what happened in Luxembourg? For real. It was mentioned like twice in Also Known As, but it still wasn't addressed here. So Robin, I hope you got a third book in the works. The series is too fun to just end at two!

Hey, reader! If you were a spy and you had to go on a mission, which place would you wish your mission to be in? :D Mine is--surprise, surprise!--Paris. But only because that's my dream place. Although I'm half-half because what if the mission goes bad and I get permanent psychological scars, or worse, be banned in the country? Hehe. Let me know!


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