Review: Also Known As (Also Known As, #1) by Robin Benway

13132661Also Known As by Robin Benway

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publicatio Date: February 26th 2013
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, High School, Espionage

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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 is the kind of book I wish I had read during my childhood.

Not The Vampire Diaries or Twilight.

This fluffy book.

Also Known As is not a serious book. It’s not realistic or crazy deep. It’s brimming with humor, silly situations and cool spyish scenes.

Maggie picks locks, that’s her job as the daughter of two international spies. She’s the master of lock picking. She’s so talented that there has been an attempt to kidnap her for her skill.

One day in Germany, one week in England or a month in France? Maggie never knows where they will go next and for how long. For her first solo assignment, she has to seduce—I mean, befriend—Jesse Oliver in order to uncover information about his father and kill the article the latter has been working on.

To do that, she also has to attend a private school in New York.

Private school.

In New York.

Since Maggie never attended high school before, following her as she makes her way through the maze of hormone-filled teenagers was incredibly fun.

She never had friends before—no time!—so her befriending someone in this elite school takes her completely by surprise! Maggie is spunky, witty and extraordinarily entertaining. Therefore, the narration was one of the many things that made me not want to let go of this book.
Maggie may need to act as a banal rich teenage girl to fit in but, deep inside, she is a spy. She’s forever on alert mode and her reflexes and quick-thinking ubiquitous.

Jesse Oliver, Maggie’s new friend—Roux—, Angelo and her parents are the perfect cast for a spy novel. There is nothing dull about this story. It’s fast-paced, there’s always something going on that triggers reactions out of the characters and it’s not as predictable as you may think, despite its youngish vibe.

It’s close to perfect, really. As a young adult contemporary romance mystery novel, it’s perfectly enjoyable but, as a young adult spy novel, it lacks something.


The story focuses more on the relationships between Maggie, Roux, Jesse and the rest of the cast, then the actual spy component.

There are very little kickass moments and no scenes that request gadgets! Where are the gadgets? How can you have a spy novel without gadgets? That’s not something I am able to fathom.

I didn’t mind it enough to discard more than a star out of five, since Maggie does feel like a teenage spy and I had a blast reading it, but I am crossing my fingers for more life-threatening scenes in the sequel that Maggie will be able to get out of thanks to gadgets or martial arts.

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4 thoughts on “Review: Also Known As (Also Known As, #1) by Robin Benway

  1. I’m happy you liked it!

    I’m not sure if I’ll read this. I didn’t like the writing style in Emmy & Oliver so I’m not sure whether I’ll even finish this book. Anyways we’ll see.

    Great review 🙂


  2. YES!!!!! I totally loved this book, but I loved Heist Society and I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You SO MUCH MORE, and I just couldn’t figure out why! You’re right though, it could use some more action. 🙂


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