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October 7, 2013

Review: Two Lies and a Spy by Kat Carlton

Two Lies and a SpyTitle: Two Lies and a Spy
Author: Kat Carlton
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: August 1, 2013 
Source: Gifted
Goodreads Summary:
Kari plunges into the world of espionage on a mission to save her parents while trying to impress the guy she’s been in love with forever.
When sixteen-year-old Kari’s dad sends her an unexpected text, she and her brother immediately go into hiding. Because when your parents are superspies and your dad declares a Code Black, it can only mean something bad. Very bad.
Kari soon discovers that her parents have been disavowed and declared traitors, and she’s determined to clear their names. Breaking into the Agency seems like a reasonable plan, especially with the help of a team that includes her longtime crush, Luke, as well as her two best friends—an expert hacker with attitude and a master martial artist—and Luke’s popular, vindictive twin sister. Oh, and a new guy, who’s as cute as he is complicated...

It's clear that I love any books about spies. Bad ass heroine + cute guys + spies = my perfect book. They're always basically guaranteed to be fun and action packed and this one was just as entertaining as I thought it would be.

I hate that every time I read a teen spy book I end up comparing it to Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series but I can't help it. Although nothing has quite lived up to my love for that series (I've basically grown up with that series), this one kept me up well into the night.  I carried it around for two whole days and read wherever I could fit in a sentence or two (that may have included stoplights...don't judge).

It starts off with the main character, Kari, receiving a single message: "Can u pick up milk on ur way home?" To any other teen that would be something normal and quotidian but not for Kari. This only means one thing. CODE BLACK. She meets up with her 7 year old brother at a park and this is when all hell breaks loose. From here on out there are very few lulls in the story, on the contrary, it picks up speed right to the very last page. There were back to back twists and if you already know me, you know that I usually guess the twists way before they're announced. Even though this was the case here too, the action was enough to keep me turning pages.

The characters are all very different. There's Kari, daughter of two spies, but she's not really into the whole spy thing. She knows very little of what her parents do because they're rarely home and when they are, they can't share anything from their missions. So when it comes to saving them, she has to rely on her friends to help. Then there's her baby brother Charlie. He's basically a child genius and my favorite EVER. He says the best things and you can really tell that he loves and wants to protect Kari even at his young, tender age of seven. Kari has two best friends, a professional hacker and fashionista with a snazzy attitude (I loved her personality and what she brought to the story) and Kane, a martial arts genius. Lastly, there's the two love interests. Where would we be if there wasn't a love triangle between a good guy and a bad boy? (Drips sarcasm) Although I'm annoyed with all the love triangles, I have to say, I'm all in with team bad boy, Evan, although there were times when I thought he over did it on the rude and snarky comments. There were things that were unnecessary but out of the two I have to go with Evan because Luke was just too boring for my liking.

My one problem with Two Lies and A Spy is that Kari is so open about her parent's status as spies. By around page 80 everyone and their mother, neighbor and friend knew that Kari's parents are spies and that they've gone missing. I would like to think that if any of us were in Kari's situation we would be more cautious about who we tell what. Most spies try to keep their identities a secret, even when they're in trouble and have limited resources. They work with what they have. Kari clearly didn't learn this from her parents.

That said, I did really enjoy this one and want to see what happens now because that ending left me anxious for more. I recommend this to anyone looking for a fast paced story with a hint of funny and intense. It won't disappoint.

★ ★ ★ ★ 

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