Ally Carter is such a fun author. I wouldn’t normally pick up a romance heavy YA spy-ish book, but when Carter’s name is on the cover, I want to. Something about her books feel different. It’s trope-heavy, but it always feel new in some way. This book was exactly what I wanted. Fun, light, and ultra-badass. If you want that kind of book, and haven’t picked up something by Ally Carter yet…get on it! This one would be an excellent start.
After a near fatal incident protecting the president’s family, Maddie’s Secret Service father quits his job and takes off to Alaska with his daughter in tow. Years later, Maddie’s former best friend (the president’s son) returns to her life. She is so angry with him she could kill him, but in order to get the chance she’ll have to save his life first…
Half the draw of this book is Maddie, let’s be real. Carter is spectacular at creating unconventional but brilliant female leads. Maddie is badass, fashionable, clever, funny, compassionate…whatever you could hope for in a heroine. Logan is a good narrator too, but nowhere as much a delight as Maddie.
Most of this book takes place in Alaska. What do I really know about Alaska? Not much. At the same time, however limited my perspective may be, it really feels like Carter did her research? At the very least, the wilderness aspect feels accurate, even if maybe some of the Alaska-specific stuff isn’t. This is a spy story, and a love story, but it’s also a survival story. Maddie and Logan have to make out in a big Alaska storm with nothing but their scrappiness and luck.
There is a twist-y sort of mystery element to this book. If anything, this was the weakest part of the plot. The weakness does not show so much though. The Maddie and Logan stuff is so great it almost doesn’t matter that the life-threatening conflict is less memorable.
All in all, this is a really solid read. Ally Carter knows how to write traditional YA, and I continue to want to read it.