Benway, Robin. Going Rogue.
January 14th 2014
by Walker Childrens
E ARC from Netgalley.com
In this sequel to Also Known As, Maggie is thrilled that her parents are not going to take another assignment with the Collective so that she can finish up high school in New York City and stay with boyfriend Jesse and best friend Roux. This doesn't last long-- Dominic, who went to school with her parents, is now trying to get them kicked out of the Collective by saying that they stole valuable gold coins. Angelo knows that this isn't true, so tries to get Maggie to get the coins back from Dominic's place without letting her parents know she is doing so. This results in her getting stuck in a crawl space at Dominic's house and missing a dinner date with Jesse and his mother, but she eventually gets the coins. In retribution, Dominic attacks her family and friends at her home, setting it on fire. Everyone escapes, and Angelo whisks Maggie, Roux and Jesse off to France, where they seek a safe house and have a few people around to help them. It turns out that the Collective has bigger problems than just accusing Maggie's parents, and Dominic must be taken down. Of course, there's plenty of time to hang out in Paris, and Roux even finds a boyfriend in Australian spy Ames. How will Maggie manage to clear her parents' names and convince them that she should go right from high school into full time spying?
Strengths: There's a lot of romance in this one, what with Jesse and Maggie always canoodling and professing their love for one another, Roux and Ames, another spy couple, and even the parents being a bit googly eyed. Good descriptions of Paris, and a convincing spy plot.
Weaknesses: Rather slow. Much more romance than spying, which will work for some girls. The cover clearly indicates that the emphasis on girly stuff rather than spy stuff. Too bad-- the scene where she is trapped in the apartment is rather good. I hope the next book, when an alternative to the Collective is probably going to be set up, has more spies and less pitching woo.
Christopher, Lucy. The Killing Woods
January 7th 2014, Chicken House
E ARC from Netgalley.com
This is NOT a middle school book for a variety of reasons, mainly sex and language. Since I did not get this from the publisher's description, I thought I'd mention it. My students are always asking for murder mysteries, and this is why they have a very limited selection.
"Fatal attraction, primal
fear, survival in the forest: From the author of the Printz Honor Book
STOLEN, the highly anticipated thriller about deadly games played in the
Ashlee Parker is dead, and Emily Shepherd's dad is accused
of the crime. A former soldier suffering from PTSD, he emerges from the
woods carrying the girl's broken body. "Gone," he says, then retreats
What really happened that wild night? Emily knows
in her bones that her father is innocent -- isn't he? Before he's
convicted, she's got to find out the truth. Does Damon Hilary, Ashlee's
charismatic boyfriend, have the answers? Or is he only playing games
with her -- the kinds of games that can kill?"