Monday, June 23, 2014

Investigating the Hottie - Juli Alexander

When Amanda spends a week with her aunt, Christie, she learns that her aunt is a spy. Christie admits that Amanda has security clearance and has already started her training. When her aunt asks her to investigate a teenage hacker, Amanda thinks that spending time with a nerd should be doable despite her social ineptitude. Unfortunately for Amanda, the hacker is a hottie.

Amanda Peterson, super spy. At least, that's the temporary occupation this high school sophomore takes when she spends her fall break at her aunt's place. Her assignment? To investigate a hacker who has promised something big come next Monday. So far, the top suspect is Will Middleton, who attends school near the area. Unfortunately for Amanda, the hacker is, in her words "yummy".

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

I actually really liked this book. It's definitely for a slightly younger audience, but the flow of the story, from exposition to rising action to climax to resolution, was really really good. I thoroughly enjoyed the main plot, and the romance was pretty good as well. The plot twist at the end was actually really really good (though I'm beginning to realize that maybe I have a knack for spotting foreshadowing way before the reveal is, well, revealed).
The characters were all pretty likeable. I was particularly surprised at how much I liked Will, as usually I'm pretty apathetic about the love interest in these sorts of novels, but here he and Amanda both seemed to come alive. I felt the chemistry was good. Plus, it was fun to see her aunt, Christie, banter with her partner, Nic. Overall the relationships shown in this book were organic and pretty realistic - or at least as realistic as a book with spies can be.
The only bad thing is more of a personal preference, I guess. I was a little creeped out by Amanda's word choice when describing Will, as her go-to word is "yummy" or some variation thereof. I can understand it maybe once or twice, but after a while it seemed a bit creepy. And while I was glad there was at least one person of color, there was a line that was a little suspect. Like, there are black people who don't live in the south. They're going to have whatever accent that area has. Not everyone speaks in solely AAVE. Come on, people. (And then, as usual, heteronormativity. "I wanted a boyfriend. What girl wouldn't?" Well, most of the time, me to be perfectly honest. And other asexual girls. And lesbians.)
However, despite those little things, I found myself having fun while reading this, and I actually finished it pretty quickly because I kept wanting to read further.
I would definitely give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

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