First in a series
By Kat Carlton
Available September 3, 2013 from Simon & Schuster BFYR
I'll make this review short and sweet, much like TWO LIES AND A SPY itself. When Kari gets a Code Black text from her dad, she instantly ditches school, picks up her little brother, and goes to the designated rendezvous. But her parents, both spies for the US government, aren't there.
Kari soon finds out that her parents are suspected of being double agents, traitors. And thus Kari hurries to clear their names, with the help of her best friends, her crush, her crush's bratty but talented twin sister, and the guy who doesn't realize his flirting style really isn't working with Kari. It's a fairly large cast for such a short novel, but they're well defined personalities that work well together.
There's just something so fun about comedic spy hijinks - you get laughs, action, romance, and probing questions about identity. I loved that TWO LIES AND A SPY went somewhere quite unusual for a YA spy novel, a twist that makes me extremely excited about the second book.
My only quibble with the novel is that Kari, who is pretty good at spy craft for an amateur thanks to her parents' training, makes the same mistake twice. Her instincts tell her that something is off, she doesn't listen, and it turns out she should've been paying more attention. It is difficult to explain and stay vague to avoid spoiling anything, but I don't think it would spoil anything . . . the real problem is that Kat Carlton tries to foreshadow the twist in both instances, but does it too heavily. I think it's an issue of inexperience.
But TWO LIES AND A SPY is super fun, and Kari is pretty new to this after all. I think fans of Robin Benway's ALSO KNOWN AS and Ally Carter's Heist Society series will devour this debut novel. On the more manly side, I think it has some appeal to Alex Rider fans too.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster, I have two hardcover copies of TWO LIES AND A SPY to give away to two In Bed With Books readers with a US address.
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