You Don’t Know My Name by Kristen Orlando
Release Day: January 10, 2017
*e-ARC provided by Swoon Reads via Netgalley for an honest review*
I’m starting to notice a trend for early 2017 YA books – if Jason Bourne had babies. Seriously, I’m up to about 3 books so far in ARCs that have parents that are super spies/secret agent men/wo-men that either teach their kids to be Totally Spies or keep them underwraps. This book totally fits the former, and truthfully, I’m not quite sure what to make of this new trend in YA contemporary…or thriller? I’m not even sure.
Let’s start off with the basics (thanks to a little help from Goodreads):
Fighter, Faker, Student, Spy.
Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan.
Now Reagan has to decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she’s always wanted? And does she even have a choice at all?
This is yet another addition from Swoon Reads, which I’ve talked about in the past about the love/hate relationship I’ve had with their books. Yet, I cannot stop myself coming back for more, and this book was one of the best ones that I’ve read from them.
The plot was fast-paced, action-packed, and while there were a few things that I clearly saw coming, it was still super interesting to keep me coming back for more. Around the 40% mark, I got super hooked and ended up binge reading the last part of it because it was so compelling.
There was also just something about the readability of this book and Orlando’s writing. It was easy to read, and even though book got darker than I thought it would be – truthfully, I was thinking Mission Impossible with fluffy bunnies and hugs – but it was just a breeze to read. Orlando can definitely write, and I will definitely be looking out for more book for her in the future.
The characterization was pretty good. I liked Reagan as a main character. She was smart, willing to fight for what she wanted, and had a good head on her shoulders. However, she got kind of stupid at parts – I mean, she had alllllll of this training and didn’t tell people about things she thought was suspicious? IT WAS CLEARLY SUSPICIOUS. Other than that, I did like her and she took responsibility for her actions. I also liked her well enough to feel bad for her and her plight. I rooted for her to make her own decisions, and the argument was so fully formed that it was convincing.
I did like Reagan with Luke. Romance did not need to be the main focus of this novel, and while it was a bit in the beginning, once the action started happening, it fell into the background like it should have been. I wasn’t ever really fully committed to their relationship, but it worked well enough.
There was one slight issue that I had with this book, and I’m not even sure it’s the book’s fault. I just didn’t fully connect with it. For the first half of the book, I really just had this major feeling of disconnect and I was kind of eh about it all. As I said, though, once I got into the groove of it around 40%, I was definitely enjoying the crazy ride. It just took me a long time to get that feeling of excitement for it, and that’s the main reason that I took down a crown.
Overall, though, this was a fun little spy-ish thriller? It’s super unrealistic, but pretty convincing for a YA spy book. It’s enjoyable – as enjoyable as baby Jason Bourne. 😉 An Ariel rating, and 4 crowns from this Book Princess! Make sure to check out this book tomorrow!
Check it out:
What do you think? Have you noticed a spy trend as well? What do you think of it – love it, meh it, or hate it?