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Review: Also Known As

image from Judith at Paper Riot

Epic Recs is a feature hosted by Judith at Paper Riot and Amber at Books of Amber in which two bookish peeps are paired together to recommend books to one another. It's pretty great. 

And in case you didn't know, Gaby and I are ON FIRE with our recommendations. Honestly it's like we share one brain in two bodies. Which is SUPER RAD in case you were wondering! 

Okay, so we're 2 for 2 for Epic Recs. She loved INSIGNIA and GRAVE MERCY. I loved SCARLET and WHERE SHE WENT. Could we possibly go 3 for 3? Will she love AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR? You'll have to head over to her blog to find out! 

What I can tell you is that Gaby NAILED IT AGAIN with ALSO KNOWN AS by Robin Benway! I LOVED IT. 

Maggie and her parents are spies. Like, legit safe-cracking, cyber hacking spies. Don't worry, they're the good guy spies who stop bad people from doing seriously bad stuff. 

Maggie's never had what you could call a "typical" childhood, what with practicing her safe cracking at the ripe age of 3 and having 15 different passports and all. She'll have to fake being normal though when their next assignment puts her undercover in a high school. She has to save her family and all the spies identities by befriending Jesse Oliver who is just as cute as you think he is. 

Oh yes, this book has the swoons,y'all! Jesse Oliver is a pretty rich boy with substance (so, perfection basically) and Maggie is totally flustered by his flirtations and gets all feely and overwhelmed and it is just SO CUTE. 

Also, Roux is an incredible best friend and while I don't think that's necessarily a swoon, it's totally worth mentioning.

I totally swooned over Angelo, even though I'm totally not his type. I loved his patience and commitment love for Maggie and her family. 

New York City! Part of me wonders if this is why Gaby picked this book for me as she is a Manhattanite herself. Whether she did or not - I loved it! I am SO not a big city girl (I'm certainly NYC would swallow me whole) but I loved the imagery and the shout outs to the different NYC elements. So fun. 

Okay, the sneakiness piece of this review is almost too easy. Hello, she's a SPY.  What could be more sneaky than spies? Well besides ninja's, obviously. 

You don't know WHY it is that Jesse's dad is trying to sell the names of the spies, so that part is kinda sneaky. And the ultimate resolution is twisty and turny and super fun!

Something I love about Benway's writing is that while it is super fun, catchy, and light - she does have authentic characters. Which means they are flawed or have imperfect homes or don't always do and say just the right thing. I love that about her writing because it helps me connect with everyone, even the teenage spy in NYC, on a deeper level. 

Who was your favorite character in ALSO KNOWN AS and why? This is really, really hard because I'm torn between Roux (the teenage best friend) and Angelo (the lifelong family friend). Roux is SO much like Maggie that they are perfect for each other. But Angelo has sage advice for Maggie and her relationships, the job, and fashion. So barely, just barely, I'll have to say Angelo edges out Roux. BUT ONLY BARELY. 
If you were a spy, what would your special spy skill be? My dream skill would be an expert computer hacker. Someone who could figure out passwords and crack codes and all that business. Kinda like Charlie on Supernatural. Okay exactly like Charlie on Supernatural.
Being a spy takes you all the way around the world. What are the top 3 places you'd want to be sent on assignment? Such a good question, Gaby! I'd say London for sure. I mean hello, ENGLAND. I'd also like to go somewhere warm and tropical, so we'll say the Dominican Republic? And finally somewhere remote and mountainy. Chile? Sure. London, Dominican Republic, and Chile. 

YES. AGAIN. Gaby picked a Truly Epic Rec for me! She just gets me, you know? And I love her dearly for it (among the other 8312 reasons). 

What about you? Have you read ALSO KNOWN AS? What about GOING ROGUE? Do you think I successfully recommended AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR to Gaby? Go and see!

And stay tuned for our April epic recs which are coming soon! 

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I REALLY LIKE THE FORMATTING OF THIS POST. I just read my first Robin Benway book last week! I hope she liked Amy & Roger because I think I'd have to disown her as a friend otherwise. Ok jk I'm not that mean. I love the partnership between you two :)

  2. Hooray for picking books that you both love, nice work, girls!

    As a side note, I'm so glad you loved Scarlet, it is one of my faves!

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

  3. I am so, so happy that you loved Also Known As! Isn't it such a fun read? I also really loved the sequel (Going Rogue). When I was reading that one, I had the sudden revelation that Maggie reminds me of Gaby. From then on, I kept picturing Gaby and hearing her voice in my head when I read the book ;)

  4. SO much fun! Roux, Jesse... I want to hang out with these people! Wouldn't we have a blast? There's something so lively about Robin's writing and NO ONE HURT ME I loved this one more than Audrey Wait!

  5. Yay, I'm so glad you liked AKA! Angelo and Roux are such cool characters, and Jesse definitely deserves all the swoons. I love what you said about Benway's writing- it is light and fun, but there's such heart to it.


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