Book Review: “Also Known As”

“Also Known As (Also Known As #1)” by Robin Benway

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Mystery

Other Also Known As Books

Source: Library

Summary from Goodreads:

Which is more dangerous: being an international spy… or surviving high school?

Maggie Silver has never minded her unusual life. Cracking safes for the world’s premier spy organization and traveling the world with her insanely cool parents definitely beat high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. (If it’s three digits, why bother locking it at all?)

But when Maggie and her parents are sent to New York City for her first solo assignment, her world is transformed. Suddenly, she’s attending a private school with hundreds of “mean girl” wannabes, trying to avoid the temptation to hack the school’s elementary security system, and working to befriend the aggravatingly cute son of a potential national security threat… all while trying not to blow her cover.


This book was a lot of fun. How could it not be? It’s about a teenage spy being sent to high school for an assignment. Don’t take the book too seriously though. A teen who is that good at cracking safes (and has been since she was a toddler) is definitely hard to believe but I wasn’t expecting the book to be an accurate representation of spies.

Maggie was likeable enough. You could sympathize with her struggle of wanting to do a good job and live the life of a normal teenager. It’s obvious that the struggle would happen but it was nice to see it played out. She was a bit dramatic but overall you could see her as a real person. Roux, on the other hand, felt like a caricature. I understood the loneliness of having parents gone all the time and no friends but she didn’t feel like a real person. I liked her well enough but I never viewed her as a normal teenager. Jesse worked out pretty well. Thankfully, he was funny and down to Earth. He had problems but his reactions to the problems were normal.

To a certain extent, the story felt like a more mature version of a Disney movie or something of that nature. For the most part, I liked that but the language and drinking felt a bit forced and a little out of place in that type of story. Going along with that theme, the story wrapped up too neatly. They steal the papers and that saves the day? The helicopter rescues them in the nick of time? Eh, I’m not totally buying it.

The bottom line? A fun story!

8 thoughts on “Book Review: “Also Known As”

  1. I really liked Also Known As. Sure it’s not exactly realistic, but that’s okay. I LOVED Roux though. I didn’t feel like she was a caricature. I loved how upbeat she was, even though things weren’t that great in her life. I do agree the whole helicopter thing at the end was a little silly.

  2. This one was adorable! I could definitely see it being made into an ABC family movie. Roux was my favorite in this book because of how big her personality was, but in the sequel I think she was way too over the top for my tastes. Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Pingback: Listed: Secret Agents and Spies | The Cheap Reader

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