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Model Spy- mixing beauty with brains

Wednesday, January 02, 2013 Geraldine Lee 0 Comments

Model Spy, by Shannon Greenland, is a wonderful start to the Specialist series. Based on my experiences reading a few spy novels (such as the CHERUB novels by Robert Muchamore), they were all about action and beating the bad guys by using their physical skills. Being a person who doesn't do well in sport, I never liked how these spies could be so athletic. Then, when I read the introduction to this book, I felt that there was finally a spy book that had a heroine who didn't need to be athletic to be a spy and beat the baddies. Have a look at it:

'Teen genius Kelly James is in a lot of hot water. A whiz with computers, she agreed to help her college rA, David, uncover some top-secret information. After all, she doesn’t have many friends and David has always been nice to her. it doesn’t hurt that he’s supercute and irresistible, too. All she has to do is hack into the government’s main computer system. but a few hours later, her whole life changes. she is caught and taken in for questioning, only this isn’t your run-of-the-mill arrest. rather than serve a juvenile detention sentence, she accepts the option to change her name and enlist in a secret government spy agency that trains teen agents to go undercover. As if that wasn’t overwhelming enough, she discovers that David works for this agency as well! And before she even begins to understand what is going on, she’s sent on her first mission as an undercover model. And who better to partner with than David himself!'

What I liked about in this novel, as I like in all novels, is that the protagonist has gone through some growth. Not only physically, through the physical training Kelly has to endure, but also in her personality. Kelly starts off as a college student with a love and a brain for computers. She also is an orphan that has been shipped off to many homes and has lost all faith that she'll ever stay in one place for a long period of time, the reason why she never unpacks her luggage. She ends the book with friends, confidence in herself and her luggage finally unpacked.

However, one thing I didn't get was why Kelly decided become a spy in a secret spy agency. Was it because of the intrigue? Did she think she'd have a better life at the spy agency? Greenland never explained Kelly's motives in agreeing to be a spy.

Additionally, the number of names I had to learn confused me. There weren't many characters; rather there were many names for the few characters introduced, For example, the man in charge of the spy agency, TL, was first known as Mr. Thomas Liba. It took me a while to get used to Greenland calling him TL. The same went for Kelly and her teammates Kelly had many names, from plain Kelly James to her model name Jade January to her code name, GiGi.

Although Kelly did have to undergo some physical training for her spy work, she didn't become some ninja master that defeated her enemies with her karate skills (that would be Molly's line of work). The physical training was used to supplement her work instead, in defending herself.

This book was effortless for me to read, having no complicated plot for me to have to study. There weren't any high-tech weapons that I had to familiarize myself with, thankfully too. The computer speech GiGi thought about when nervous was another innovative part of the book. Instead of saying 'Kelly thought of computer speech, needing something to focus on', Greenland, showed us what Kelly was thinking about, then explained why Kelly she thought about it.

Model Spy has me rating it a 4 out of 5 stars. I would gladly recommend it to anyone. If anyone is looking for me, I'll be reading this book's sequel, thirsting for more of Kelly's spy adventures.

Keep reading and loving books!

Geraldine

(I got an ARC of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review)

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