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Author: Robin Benway |
Website | Twitter |
Publication Date: January 14th, 2014 |
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s |
My Interest: series love, spy thriller |
Source: NetGalley |
Age Group | Genre: YA| Spy Thriller, Contemporary | Romance
Series: Yes | Also Known As series
Pages: 320 |

I’ve have yet to tell my junior high students that I sort of lead a double life in that I’m a spy. See, I figure the best way to keep my cover is to blow it, because no one really believes you when you say you’re a spy.
Regardless, I was super excited to jump back into Maggie’s world–if only to pick up some tips and tricks for my own life.

I received an ARC via NetGalley. I was not compensated in any way for my words (cross my heart) nor did I promise a good rating. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine.

The Story

“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.

-via Goodreads

My Thoughts

Somehow I kind of, sort of almost forgot I even had this read! I haven’t been too close to my Nook for a while simply because I just love real books. But on a whim over break I decided to peruse NetGalley and the the heaven’s opened up with this gem. When I gained approval, I downloaded it and promptly forgot it was on my Nook since I don’t tend to carry it everywhere with me.

But wouldn’t you know, I picked it up one snowy day and just couldn’t put it down.
Going Rogue is a newer title for 2014 (just released last month) and one story on my super long list of anticipated reads. I read Also Known As last summer excited to have found a teen stand-alone spy thriller. THEN I discovered it was going to be part of a series–I sort of love it when a book does that.

I almost feel that Going Rogue is better than the first story, only because we learn so much more about the characters. Since it had been awhile since I closed the pages of AKA I was a little worried about jumping back into the story, but Benway weaves in story 1 details perfectly. She doesn’t overdo the recap, but helps readers remember the plot in a way that moves book 2 along perfectly. I felt as if I jumped right back into Maggie’s spy life ready for another adventure with her. And adventure is what we get.

In fact, the plot really thickens in Going Rogue. If you remember The Collective from book one, they play a huge part in the happenings of this story, but in a way that leads to adventure in Europe, way more action, and a whole lot of espionage. What I love most about this series is that it’s a contemporary (in that it could be happening right now) but it is extremely believable. Do I think there are teenage spies out in our world? Maybe. Do I think Maggie could really (I mean, really) be a spy? Heck yes! Benway’s story isn’t so far-fetched that it’s fantasy. She has a plot that isn’t too movie-esque, bad guys who aren’t too Russian, and strong, reliable main characters. As a reader, I’m swept away into this thrill of a read, but at the same time a part of me really does think this could totally happen in real life. ( I mean, after all I am a spy, so it sort of does.)

It boils down to the characters for me. Maggie, Roux, Jesse, Angelo, and Maggie’s parents are back! In fact, we even see a few more people join the crew. While we get  a whole lot more back story on some of the characters (I LOVE the focus on Roux!!) we also see more of Maggie’s struggles. For me, it’s so important that a main character struggles. Teens don’t live perfect lives, and if they want to connect to a character, then that character has to struggle. Having the chance to see some of Maggie’s vulnerability, not to mention Roux’s and Jesse’s, simply cemented this read for me.

If you loved AKA as much as I did, then you’re going to love Going RogueAs much as I wanted the first to be a stand alone novel, I am so excited that Benway wrote a sequel. I could definitely jump back into Maggie’s world should another book come along, but I’m also, once again, really happy with this ending. If you’re looking for some witty dialogue, a whole lot of thrill, and just an all-around feel-good read, Going Rogue is definitely it.

Pick this read up if you like…

Espionage, adventure, secrets, romance, Europe, wit,  spy thrillers, rebels, contemporary stories, strong characters

Then when you’re finished, try….

Heist Society by Ally Carter


NCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Book Talk: Have you read Going Rogue yet? Do spy thrillers excite you and leave wanting to live a double life? Or are you more of an eh, this doesn’t happen in real life kind of believer?