ARC Review: They Call Me Alexandra Gastone

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
226 pages
Expected publication: May 20th 2015 by Full Fathom Five Digital

When your life is a lie, how do you know what’s real?
Alexandra Gastone has a simple plan: graduate high school, get into Princeton, work for the CIA, and serve her great nation.
She was told the plan back when her name was Milena Rokva, back before the real Alexandra and her family were killed in a car crash.
Milena was trained to be a sleeper agent by Perun, a clandestine organization from her true homeland of Olissa. There, Milena learned everything she needed to infiltrate the life of CIA analyst Albert Gastone, Alexandra’s grandfather, and the ranks of America’s top intelligence agency.
For seven years, “Alexandra” has been on standby and life’s been good. Grandpa Albert loves her, and her strategically chosen boyfriend, Grant, is amazing.
But things are about to change. Perun no longer needs her at the CIA in five years’ time. They need her active now.
Between her cover as a high school girl—juggling a homecoming dance, history reports, and an increasingly suspicious boyfriend—and her mission in this high-stakes spy game, the boundaries of her two lives are beginning to blur.
Will she stay true to the country she barely remembers, or has her loyalty shattered along with her identity?

*I received this book from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange of an honest opinion

I don't usually read spy thrillers, but the blurb of this one sounded so captivating that I decided I HAD to read it. I'm very pleased to say that the blurb didn't let me down. I really enjoyed this book for many different reasons.

1. Alexandra's character was amazing. She was absolutely kick-butt, and I loved her innate sense of right and wrong. She has to choose between her loyalty to Perun and to Albert, Grant and Martine, and she handled it perfectly. She always has this inner conflict about being Alexandra Gastone and Milena Rokva, and it contributed well to her development as a character.

2. The plot unfolded in a fascinating way. One of the reasons I don't like reading spy stories is because they tend to be tiresomely predictable. In this book, I was met with some incredible plot twists.

3. The supporting characters were very likeable. The grandfather-granddaughter relationship between Albert and Alexandra was so sweet, and I love how they stuck by each other till the end. Martine was the wonderful, quirky best-friend, and Grant was adorably loyal. I especially liked Brad, who we only get to meet near the end, but still leaves a good impression.

For a spy story, there wasn't a lot of action, and I wish there has been. That's the only aspect of the book I complain about, because when I pick up this type of book, I expect action, and lots of it. Alexandra was supposed to be trained to kill, but we don't see much of her deadly skills.

Who do I recommend for?
People who love spy stories, with your typical trained assassins and double agents and covert ops. Alexandra's problems with high-school, Grant, Martine and false identity puts the YA aspect into this book.

Final reaction:

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