Also Known As

AlsoKnownAs_BenwayAlso Known As
by Robin Benway
Realistic Fiction
* * * Stars (Pretty good)

Maggie Silver’s parents are spies working for the Collective – an organization devoted to ferreting out bad guys and righting the wrongs of the world. Maggie herself, is an expert safe-cracker and lock-picker. After her family finishes up an assignment in Iceland, they move back to New York where Maggie is given her first undercover job. Disguising herself as a high school student (this shouldn’t be too hard, since she’s a teenager), she is supposed to infiltrate an elite private school and befriend wealthy (and gorgeous) Jesse Oliver, whose father may be about to publish sensitive information concerning the Collective’s operatives. Maggie finds high school rather more traumatic than she’d expected, but she makes a couple friends (Roux and Jesse) and learns all about what life as a “normal” teenager is like. Her parents flip out on her regularly and saddle her with curfews and unsolicited relationship advice. Despite her best intentions, Maggie finds herself falling for the guy whom she’s supposed to use as a means to an end. When her investigation uncovers a mole within the Collective itself, Maggie realizes she is in over her head. Since her parents don’t trust her instincts, Maggie has to rely on her friends to help her complete her assignment – a dangerous gamble that pays off spectacularly. With its likable characters and trappings of espionage, “Also Known As” is a quick and enjoyable read. Mostly focused on the budding romance between Maggie and Jesse, it might benefit from some additional grounding in the spy world of the Collective.

Reviewed by YA Librarian