Jake Morrow is an undercover CIA operative currently posing as Peter Smith at a fancy boarding school in Colorado. He’s flying pretty low under the radar until one of the girls at the school posts his picture to Twitter with the caption “See the pretty boy run.” All of a sudden, #prettyboy is trending, not just at his school, not just in Colorado, but across the United States.
I love a good teenage spy novel. I also have a complicated relationship with them, because sometimes I think I place a bit too much importance on the suspension of disbelief. Now, of course, I know that books like this aren’t going to be realistic. I know that there aren’t kids highly trained in military combat hanging out at high schools across the country. I also know that foreign powers probably aren’t going to send out skilled assassins to take down a seventeen-year-old kid. But when a book is written realistically enough that I can shut down that part of my brain, I’ll probably love it.
Unfortunately, my entire brain was screaming at me that Jake/Peter was the worst spy who ever spied. I mean, the kid gets nauseated anytime he has to do something remotely spy-ish. Every little thing makes him lightheaded. I figured out who the “mystery hacker” was within the first 25 pages, but CIA kid took forever to put the pieces together. He’s also a sassy little teenager who has zero respect for the chain of command. (That’s me as an adult talking.)
I loved Katie and Bunker. I think that the general idea of the plot was good. I love the whole idea of #alexfromtarget being spun like this – what if he was an undercover operative? How would he handle his face suddenly being everywhere? I just thought that the plot was a little messy and I couldn’t get over the fact that the main character would actually make a terrible spy.
Final rating: ★★☆☆☆
I received a free ARC of #Prettyboy Must Die from the publisher (via Netgalley) in exchange for my honest review.