Review: Also Known As by Robin Benway

Synopsis/Cover Image from Publisher's Website

From New York Times bestselling, National Book Award winning Robin Benway comes a hilarious and romantic series about a normal girl . . . who just so happens to be a spy.

Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.

A long time ago I read Robin Benway's THE EXTRAORDINARY SECRETS OF APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE and I LOVED it! Seriously, if you haven't read it already go do so immediately! Fast forward all these years later and I'm wondering why I haven't read more by Robin Benway, especially since I even own a few of her books. Ergo, I decided to fix this by reading ALSO KNOWN AS. 

The result? I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK. Adorable, quirky, and suspenseful, ALSO KNOWN AS is a wild adventure from start to finish! I don't think I stopped smiling once when reading, that's just how cute it is!

What I Liked: 

1) The characters - Robin Benway has introduced such a fantastic cast of characters. Maggie, Roux, Angelo, Jessie, and Maggie's parents...I adored them all! What I loved even more, however, was how much they stood on their own. They had their own personalities as well as their own quirks. Maggie, the lead, is my favorite. She's sassy, fearless, and - most importantly - a kick-a$$ spy! Her transition to regular school was hilarious (think Cady's start in Mean Girls but without all the cattiness). Roux, Maggie's best friend, was the perfect side kick. Her sarcastic, tell-it-like-it-is personality had me in in stitches multiple times. Jessie, the love interest, was sweet and nerdy. At first I thought he was going to be the stereotypical rich boy, but there was a lot more to him than that. 

2) Friendship- I feel like friendship in YA isn't nearly as prevalent as should be in YA so I loved seeing such a strong bond between Roux and Maggie. The adventures they went on always had me laughing (especially the party debacle - I couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard!), and what I loved even more was that they had their ups and downs, which made their friendship all the more realistic. 

3) Dialogue - It's snappy and quick - think Gilmore Girls. Better yet, I feel like Robin truly captured the voice of teenagers. The conversations flowed naturally. 

4)Present Parents - Like friendship, present parents is sometimes lacking in YA; however, that wasn't the case here! Maggie's parents were supportive, loving, and caring. Sometimes they went a tad nuts, but all in good fun! 

5) The Mystery! (Also SPIES!!) - The mystery was super suspenseful! I never knew quite how it was going to end, and I loved how Robin Benway pulled it all together. There were several times I didn't realize an occurrence was as important as it was. 

5) Romance - Falling in love with your target? Now that's complicated business! The romance between Jessie and Maggie was fantastic! It developed at such a great pace, and I liked how they started off as friends. 

What I Didn't Like: 

1) That it didn't go on forever - No, I'm kidding! Honestly, there's nothing I didn't like about this. 

Overall, ALSO KNOWN AS is a gem! I already have a copy of GOING ROGUE (Book #2) on hand, and I can't wait to start it. Fingers crossed it doesn't suffer from the dreaded sophomore slump! 

Last but not least: If you love Ally Carter's GALLAGHER GIRLS there's a 99.99% chance you love this as well! 

4.5 stars!!

Also Known As is now available! 

Source: Publisher 

Buy Links: 

Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks 

Author Links: 


  1. Love a good parental relationship in YA and also so glad this one has a healthy friendship! It sounds like a very cute story!

  2. I loved this one too. Benway is one of my favorite YA authors. Every time she writes is just wonderful. I loved the romance in this one, especially!
    Great review! :)

  3. I really enjoyed this one too! Didn't like the sequel quite as well but I'm generally a big Robin Benway fan!
    Jen Ryland Reviews


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