Thursday, April 25, 2019

REVIEW: Going Rogue by Robin Benway

Going Rogue (Also Known As, #2)
Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver.

Pros: More quality time with her former mark-turned-boyfriend Jesse Oliver and insanely cool best friend, Roux.
Getting to spend quality time with her semi-retired and international spy honorary uncle, Angelo.

Cons: High school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

But when Maggie's parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins, Maggie uses her safecracking skills to try and clear their names.

Too bad it only serves to put her and everyone she loves in danger. Maggie and her "new team" flee to Paris where they must come up with a plan to defeat their former allies.

It has been a while since I read Also Known As and I remember enjoying that book. While I liked this book, I did not enjoy this one as much as the previous book and I'm not sure if it's just not as great as the first book or if my taste for books has changed since I read the first book.

Maggie is now staying in New York City, hopefully for good. She's a safecracker and undercover operative for the Collective, with her parents, and since the events of the last book, her best friend, Roux, and boyfriend, Jesse, also know about her spy status. Things seem to be normal, at least for a spy, but when Maggie's parents are accused of stealing coins from the Collective, Maggie aims to prove their innocence. But can she keep secrets from her friends and family to keep them safe? Or is everyone in danger? What if the Collective isn't safe anymore?

One of the reasons why I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought is that, looking back, I realized that not much happened, especially for a book with spies in it. There is definitely some action in the book, but it's closer to the end and happens very quickly. I'm not really sure what was happening throughout the rest of the book, because until that scene, the book is mostly character interactions and one stakeout. One of the strange things about this book is it is a thriller/contemporary romance hybrid. For most of the book, it is closer to contemporary than thriller, which isn't a bad thing because this brings up the humor in the book, but sometimes it feels odd with the intensity in other parts of the book.

The characters in this book are fantastic. I love Maggie and Roux's relationship and I love Roux as a character, even though I don't know what she went through in the previous book. There is also Angelo and the folks Maggie meets in Paris. Benway really does a great job creating relationships and dialogue between the characters. Maggie's parents are a lot more involved than other YA parents which is fantastic. One of the main struggles in this book was there was a lot of arguing about secrets. Maggie did not want to tell her parents things to keep them safe, but when her parents did the same, she got upset. There was also conflict with her friends because Maggie also did not want to tell them anything. I could understand why Maggie wanted to keep things secret, but it also frustrated me because her friends and family were already involved and were willing to help. All of this secret-keeping took up a bigger chunk of the book than the actual conflict with the stolen coins, which was disappointing.

As for romance, there was some because Maggie does have a boyfriend, who she met in the last book. I don't have any strong feelings, positive or negative about the romance in this book. It did not distract from the plot and it felt more like an average teenage relationship which is more than I can say for some books

Overall, I did like this book, mainly because of the characters. The plot didn't do as much as I hoped it would, but it was a quick read and it has some fun moments. This is the last book in this series. I will be reading more from Benway in the future, but her other books are a little different from this one.

I hereby give this book
3 Stars
Meaning: I liked it.

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