When sixteen-year-old computer genius Kelly James agrees to help her cute college RA uncover some top-secret information, she has no idea that she’ll land in hot water with the government. After all, he’s cute and it’s just the government. But when she is caught and taken into custody, it becomes clear that this isn’t just any arrest. To avoid the juvenile detention center, Kelly accepts a deal to change her name and enlist in a secret government spy agency that trains delinquent but brilliant teens like herself for undercover missions. When she arrives, she must train for her first mission, where she will pose as an undercover model to gain access to a certain dangerous Russian mogul with bad intentions.
This novel starts out very strong with a wonderful opening and a clever hook, but didn’t really stand up to the expectations set up in the opening. It felt a bit to me like the author was dumbing down the story for a younger audience. There’s no problem with the plot- it’s fast-paced and has an intriguing villain, but the writing itself fell flat for me.
That being said, I loved Kelly as the lead character. She’s smart as can be and just a little bit on the klutzy side, so seeing her morph into an undercover model and fight her natural tendencies was a fun ride. She gets flustered when she’s nervous and is just about the most unlikely of teens to become a spy, but her intellect and drive to succeed ultimately serve her well.
I really wanted to see more of the other teens in the program. The author does a wonderful job of setting up this diverse and interesting cast of characters, but they really don’t feature much into the main plot line and we only get a small glimpse of what they can do. This book is the first in a series, so perhaps we see more of them in a later book, but I really missed having these characters developed into part of the plot.
Overall, this was a fun read that had lots of untapped potential. It ends up reading a little predictable, but the main characters are likable and the plot is fast-paced. It’s worth a quick read.