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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Book Review: #Prettyboy Must Die by Kimberly Reid

I really don't normally read this kind of book, but I figured, what the heck, and I gave it a try. It was fun! Basically, it's a teenage CIA agent in a spy thriller that, aside from the prologue and backstory, takes place in the course of one day.

I know, a teenage CIA agent already makes you roll your eyes (it's called Operation Early Bird, get it?) But hold that aside, and we've got a teenage hacker and orphan, Jake, who was found breaking into the NSA's database, and instead of being prosecuted, was made a part of this program. And we start off in the Ukraine, on the last day of a huge case, where Jake manages to get in the way instead of help and a bad guy gets away.

Fast forward a few months, and he's no longer an active agent, but his boss has helped him get into a fancy prep school in Boulder, CO, where he thinks there might be some activity, in particular where he thinks the hacker the Ukrainian bad guy was using might be hanging out. Without his boss's approval, he's been trying to track the hacker down.

Then one day he's at the track, running, with his best friend, Bunker, when a group of freshmen girls ambush him and take his picture, without his shirt or glasses, which starts going viral on Twitter with the hashtag Prettyboy. So his cover is blown and he can't go back to the CIA. But he doesn't even have time to be mad about that, before a couple of bad guys rappel down through the ceiling into his chem lab classroom (luckily he was getting supplies from the supply closet at that moment.) And he has to go into full-on spy mode and use all his Langley training, to try to save all his friends and classmates from the bad men who have caught up with him.

The action was non-stop, I kept wondering exactly who could be trusted, as there are some other spies and some double-agents, and plenty of red herrings to throw readers off the path. It was just good, old spy thriller fun, and I wish his cover wasn't blown, because I'd like to read another book starring Jake.

This book is published by Macmillan, my employer.

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