Book Review: Two Lies and a Spy by Kat Carlton

Two Lies and a Spy
Two Lies and a Spy #1
Kat Carlton
Genre: YA Contemporary, Espionage
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...
There are spoilers

I love YA espionage books. I loved The Gallagher Girls. I liked The Heist Society. The Specialists, The Squad, Also Known As, and Digit were okay.

But this? This was not up to par.

Yes, the heroine was kick-ass but not smart. Was she really given lessons by her spy-parents? When you go under "Code Black" or whatever name you call your highest-level-emergency, You. Don't. Trust. Anyone. Ever. Kari was doing well, giving the school the slip, rounding up her little brother, dodging agents and following the family protocol but then she goes and make contact with her friends. There's nothing wrong with getting help from your friends but effing hell You're "Trained" By Spies Act Like One! Seriously. Kari blabbed everything to her motley group including that her parents were spies and she wanted their help to break into Langley. Ahahahahahahahaha. See the major breach here? And when they entered Langley, Kari had this small, niggling thought that everything was too easy then it probably was... which it was. A trap, too. I mean, highly-trained agents could apparently be distracted by jiggling set of bazoongas. Come on. Pffftttt
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Then, the mission itself. Proving Kari's parents were not double agents. Nice, nice vehicle for action and conflict. Finding out that they're really double agents. Major drama. But there was something wrong with the picture here. Oh yeah, that confrontation scene. Why didn't she swap back the charm with the fake charm or whatever. Honestly, the superficial girl had more sense of swiping something, i.e. an access id, from an agent.

Oh yes, for the romance folks out there. Kari had this major crush on some guy from school who happened to be the campus heartthrob who happened to be the son of the director of the Agency. You'd think he'd be the guy to watch out for since he's the one Kari's been fantasizing of kissing. However, with the description of International Jerk of Mystery, I've latched on to Evan as the one I'd be rooting for, even though he's a flirt and oggled anyone with a nice pair of breasts. He tried to be smooth but didn't and tried to be intriguing by revealing who he really is but that was sort of anti-climactic. But I liked him more than Luke. Jeez, Ethan got more screen time with Kari than Luke. Ack, I don't know.

The story has potential as far as a YA spy novel could but the execution and the heroine... I'd stick with my Gallagher Girls.
Ayanami Faerudo

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