I have finally started going through my Goodreads.com to-read list and finding books to read for this blog. This lead me to Model Spy by Shannon Greenland.
It is a short book at only 140 pages in its ebook format, but it packs a good story in to those pages.
Kelly James is a 16 year old genius with a 191 IQ (as the book frequently reminds us) who is a senior in college. And she is 5'10", blonde, and gorgeous. And a computer hacker. So a wee bit of a Mary Sue character. But she is likable, the author balances out the awesome traits of Kelly by making her an orphan in the foster care system. socially awkward, and a klutz.
At the start of the book Kelly is being arrested for hacking in to a government system. She is doing it to try and help the cute dorm RA David find out who his real parents are. As you would expect, its not her best idea ever. As she sits in the interrogation room she is given two options, join an elite government spy group for young adults or go to juvie. Not too hard of a decision. Five days later Kelly finds herself at the San Belden Ranch for Boys and Girls. To the outside world its a sort of foster home, but for those in the know, its a secret base for the Specialists. The Specialists are teams of teens and young adults who all have some sort of special skill set. Their code names match their skill set, Bruiser is a petite teen girl who is a master at martial arts and Beaker is a goth girl who got in trouble for playing with chemicals. Rounding out the team is Wirenut, an electrical master, Parrot, a master of languages, and Mystic the clairvoyant. All are foster children with a troubled past.
Its an adjustment for them all, but it is their first chance at having a real family.
It doesn't take Kelly, now nicknamed Gigi (short for genius girl), to learn to fit in. In fact, she adjusts quickly enough that she is ready to go on her first mission!
Her mission is to pretend to be a model going to an Eastern European modeling school to track down the bad guy. All of this is an attempt to find David's real father who was kidnapped ten years ago.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, short as it was. I plan on reading the other books in the series if I can find them. I rate it a 3 1/2 out of 5
Perfect Cover (The Squad #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: When I first read the blurb for Model Spy it reminded me of Perfect Cover. Perfect Cover is basically a cheer leading squad that only uses cheer leading as a cover for being spies. And it's a good book too.
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter: Another spy book, this time set at an all girls school specifically training girls to be spies. A very good series.