ARC Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway


January 25, 2013 by Alice in Readerland

Also Known As CoverBeing a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She’ll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school’s security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.

Title: Also Known As

Author: Robin Benway

Special thanks to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for letting me read an ARC. Also Known As will be in stores on February 26th, 2013.

Margaret, or Maggie (or Peggy or Maisie or Molly or Margie or Meg), has twelve different birth certificates and cracked her first lock when she was three; the first name she ever wrote wasn’t her own, it was a near-perfect forgery of her mother’s signature, and when she was tall enough, she started picking locks. As the daughter of spies who work for the Collective, Maggie’s used to changing houses and names; when she wakes up the next morning after a mission in Iceland, it takes her a few seconds to remember that she’s at their new home in New York. But she also wakes up with a surprise: her first solo assignment. Someone is going to expose who works for the collective, and it’s up to Maggie to get the information back. But that involves going to private school (she says the uniform will make her show more leg than she ever has before) and getting close to the son of the man who might publish the article, Jesse Oliver (Maggie says that Jesse Oliver’s golden retriever might be the best part about meeting Jesse). What’s a spy to do?

As soon as I saw this book, I knew I absolutely had to read it because:

1)      It was written by Robin Benway (I loved her book Audrey, Wait! and called it a reason to love the YA genre).

2)      It was about a teenage SPY who is a SAFECRACKER! Need I say more?

The first few chapters made up the most hilarious and catchiest intro I’ve ever read in YA book. Maggie is a great character with such a funny, sarcastic voice, and I also enjoyed seeing her interact with her parents. Her mom is a computer hacker, her dad can say “You’re grounded!” in twelve different languages, and both find it absolutely hysterical how people think spies are supposed to dress (The trench coat! The Fedora! Ha!). I also enjoyed seeing Maggie interact with the secondary characters from family friend Angelo (described as being if Tim Gunn and James Bond had a baby, and that baby was Yoda), to her new friend Roux (you do not want to ask if it’s “Roo” as in “Kanga”) to rebel-without-a-cause Jesse Oliver (who ends up having a very interesting reason for being caught stealing a paperback of The Catcher in the Rye).

This is one upcoming novel that you will definitely want to buy when it comes out!

Cynical Cindy Says:

I think this is a fabulous book, but I was also disappointed in it, if that makes any sense. There was a lot of romance and funny lines in Also Known As, which can be great, but in this instance it felt like it was taking priority over the spy story line, which was one of the main reasons I picked up the book. Still, I’d definitely recommend this Also Known As.

Filled with an awesome main character, plenty of laughs, and cool spies, this is one fun book!

 4 Teacups

4 out of 5 teacups


Also Known As

Above is the original cover for Also Known As. I love how the original cover shows Maggie’s different identities, as that is an aspect I loved about the book.

Which cover do you like better?

I love comments


22 thoughts on “ARC Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway

  1. Sunny says:

    Your review is great! You word things so well, I’m envious :) I love both covers and the original is unique, but I have to go with the latest one. Since she said she has so many nicknames, I see the identities, but since I never had a look at any of them, I like the latest cover. Besides, both are amazing :)

    • Thank you so much, that’s really nice of you to say! :) I like the latest cover too (particularly because I love the color green & the words are a neat aspect) but I think a lot of my fondness for the original cover stems from it being the first cover I saw for this fun book! :) Thanks for stopping by & commenting!

  2. This seriously looks like fun, great review!

  3. Wow, I kind of love the description of this book. Based off the cover(s), I likely never would have picked it up though. Thanks for sharing this!

  4. Bella says:

    I can’t wait to read this! :) You wrote up a really good review. I think I like the first cover better, but I doesn’t matter too much for me.

  5. Lottie Eve says:

    I just finished reading this book to :) I thought that the spy aspect of the novel left much to be desired but overall this book was very enjoyable. Maggie and Roux are my favorite characters!

  6. Michelle says:

    I’m jealous!!! I want to read this one and don’t want to wait!! Anyway it sounds really cool! I think I like the original cover better just bc it’s more original. I feel like I’ve seen the new one before :(

  7. OOH I’m really glad you liked this one! This kind of reminds me of Gallagher Girls right? :) I should definitely check this out I have a soft spot for spy books and espionage too :)

  8. Candice says:

    I’m a HUGE fan of spy books like this! I’ve seen this one on NetGalley and really got excited about it! So glad that it was fun and cute and all the things I was hoping it would be! I can’t really decide which cover I like better; I’m leaning to the first one (with her in 3 faces). The other looks too much like the Gallagher Girls covers – which are cute, but it feels a little copycat. Great review!

  9. Great review! ARC are so awesome. I loved Audrey, Wait! So I am going to preorder a copy of AKA :)

  10. […] The first rule of being a spy: Listen. Our family friend Angelo says that a good spy never asks questions, that people will always tell you what you need to know. ~ Also Known As by Robin Benway (my review) […]

  11. […] Also Known As by Robin Benway […]

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