Title: Model Spy (The Specialists #1)
Author: Shannon Greenland
Genre: contemporary, romance, chick lit, teen spy
Publisher: Puffin (an imprint of Penguin)
Publication Date: December 2007
Pages: 224 pages
Rating: 2.5 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
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!
Kelly James is a teen hacker extraordinaire. School records, top-secret government databases – neither of them pose a problem for the sixteen year old college junior.
But when she gets caught trying to dig up some ultra sensitive information for a cute boy, Kelly gets given a choice. Join a team of teenage spies or go to juvenile detention. Easy decision. Kelly becomes the newest member of The Specialists.
There were a number of things I liked about this book. For a book all about espionage and teenagers being able to save the world from terrorists, it had some great realism to it all. Kelly is not perfect but she’s trying. Whilst she has no problems getting computers to do whatever she wants them to she has some huge interpersonal issues.
The rest of the Specialists are interesting characters that whilst we didn’t get to see all that much in this first book I can’t help but to think they’ll be fascinating to read about in the other books of the series. I liked TL and David but they were a little two-dimensional.
In terms of plot – it was a little predictable and unbelievable. The super secret mission involves a role that only a teen model with off the charts computer skills can handle? Good thing Kelly was there to save the day. That said, I liked how everything played out. And how the rest of the team treated Kelly and her efforts.
It’s a fun story that has a family friendly vibe – refreshing in a world where most of the teen literature is PG-13.
Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin for the review copy.
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I read this book as a part of the 2013 TBR Reading Challenge