Author: Cecilia Gray
Genre: Young Adult
To Be Published: December 15th 2013
Publisher: Gray Life, LLC
Source: ARC via Netgalley
Take a journey into the gritty world of political espionage through the eyes – and lies – of one extraordinary girl. A wholly original tale of friendship and betrayal from the author of The Jane Austen Academy series....
Sasha has a secret – that she can make you spill your secret with nothing more than a question. Her strange gift makes her a burden to her foster family and a total freak of nature. Not that Sasha cares. Why should she when no one cares about her?
Then the CIA knocks on her door. They want to give Sasha a new identity and drop her into a foreign country to infiltrate a ring of zealous graffiti terrorists. They want to give Sasha something to care about.
To survive a world where no one is who they seem, Sasha needs to make people trust her. But when that trust blossoms into love, Sasha is forced to decide between duty and friendship, between her mind and her heart, and whether to tell the truth or keep her secrets.
The distances between facial and body features are the same for everyone. Eye to nose. Eye to eye. Mouth to chin. All the same. It's the other distances that mess me up - the distance between people.If you read the blurb above and expect a fun YA mystery filled with espionage and action (like I did), then I’m sorry to say you’re most likely going to be very disappointed (like I was). Sasha is sent on an assignment in Brussels, Belgium for her special truth-extracting powers and talent in art to infiltrate the underground graffiti scene, identify the artist known as Kid Aert, and somehow persuade them into doing propaganda for the US.
The storyline has potential, but I lost interest pretty quickly somewhere in the middle of the book, especially when most of the book decided to focus on Sasha's high school life and romance instead. I did enjoy Sasha's blossoming friendship with Viviane, the teenage daughter of the undercover CIA agent whom Sasha is staying with in Brussels. Vivi is bubbly, outgoing, and trusting. She's someone Sasha, who has always pushed people away and never had a close friend, needs in her life. On the other hand, Sasha's romance on Sebastian just seemed tacked on. There really isn't anything special about Sebastian's personality to make me believe that Sasha would be attracted to him so quickly. In fact, I'm not sure Sebastian has much of a personality in the first place. It's another case in which lust is mistaken for love.
Her CIA assignment itself is also extremely easy to solve for the reader which makes it doubly frustrating that Sasha took so long to arrive to the same conclusion. It was already difficult to suspend my disbelief that Sasha first started working for the FBI at the age of twelve, and even at the age of sixteen, Sasha was never able to convince me she was mature enough to handle her position.
One of the biggest problems is that Sasha herself has the special snowflake syndrome. I can understand why she has trust issues and difficulties forming close relationships with others considering her past and her special power of making people say whatever's on their mind, whether it's polite or not. I can't help but side-eye her, however, when she starts to question why people like to group together and do simple things like go to the bathroom together or eat lunch together. News flash, Sasha: They're not doing it because they're sheep. They're doing it because they're friends.
I actually wished the book had focused more on Sasha and her relationship with her foster parent, Chelsea, instead. Rather than just tacking it on at the beginning and end, I would've liked it more if the entire story was just about the both of them kicking ass and taking names in the FBI together. That would've had a lot more potential. (Rating: 2/5)