Who here enjoys books or movies about spies? I enjoyed the Spy Kids movies, well, the first one mostly. It's always fun to imagine that your parents are actually spies and they need your help to save the world. I mean, who doesn't love secret missions, cool gadgets, and guys in suits? Well, this book is more realistic about spies, but it definitely keeps you on your toes.
Live and Let Shop by Michael P. Spradlin
Format: Hardcover/ paperback/ e-book
Pub. Date: March 1st, 2005
Not really. I'm just misunderstood.
Of course, that's not how the judge saw it.
That's how I wound up at freaky Blackthorn Academy. Talk about boring. There isn't even a mall nearby. I mean, what did they expect a girl from Beverly Hills to do?
Also, from the start I could tell there was something really weird about Blackthorn:
The headmaster, Mr. Kim, knew way too much about me.
The class schedule features Intro to Code Theory and Microelectronics.
A whole section of the school is off-limits.
Then the FBI showed up ... and Mr. Kim disappeared.
Well, here's something Mr. Kim didn't know about me: Rachel Buchanan never gives up when there are secrets to uncover. Watch out, Blackthorn Academy.
My rating: 3 out of 5 spies
My recommendation: Anyone who lies spies and boarding schools.
My copy was provided to me by Netgalley.
Rachel is a typical spoiled brat. She's ignored by her parents and she acts out against everything they say. Her mom tells her she dresses like a slob so she dresses even more like a slob. She befriends the bad crowd at school because they're the opposite kind of people her parents would want her to interact with and they care about her.
Well, she was wrong. When Rachel takes the blame for stealing a car her "friends" stole, she's given two choices. She can either spend a month in juvie or she could spend a year at Blackthorn Academy. Obviously, she chose the academy. But this school isn't an ordinary boarding school.
The school teaches you Tae Kwon Doe, Criminology, has a whole floor of the school off limits, and the headmaster freaking knows Jackie Chan. This definitely makes Rachel suspicious of the school.
I really like the beginning of this book and the premise of it. I thought it sounded cool about a spy academy and secretly being trained to be a spy.
Rachel is a witty character with actual problems and funny comebacks. I liked Rachel and she was an intriguing character. She doubts herself and doesn't think she's all that. She pretends to be invulnerable, pretends that having her parents ignore her is okay with her, but she actually had feelings.
Her friends were kinda flat to me. They didn't make very many appearances in the beginning of the book and Rachel didn't even like them or care for them all that much. But then she was suddenly going off on an adventure with them and depending her life on them. If there was more backstory, more feelings about them, I would have connected with them.
I would have preferred if this book didn't have the magic in it. I didn't think it was really necessary for the magic to be in it. It was too much what with the spies and the stolen artifact. Just being a spy is enough, I think, to make this book work.
Also, some things just seemed to happen way too coincidentally. Things fell in place rather artificially and didn't seem as if they would be possible in real life. The ending felt rather quick and seemed to skimp on the details.
But I do want to read the next book and find out what happens with Rachel. The book leaves at a cliffhanger that I definitely want to explore. Spies and more reside in this book, but it isn't too complicated and it's interesting enough for me not to want to put it down.