Liberty: The Spy Who (Kind of) Liked Me – Andrea Portes – HarperTeen – Published 6 June 2017
What is a hero? Paige Nolan knows.
Edward Raynes, the young man who exposed America’s unconstitutional spying techniques, is a hero, even if half the dum-dums in the country think he’s a traitor. Or her parents, journalists who were captured by terrorists while telling stories of the endangered and oppressed. They were heroes, too. Were. . . or are—no one has ever told Paige if they’re still alive, or dead.
Not heroes? Anyone in the government who abandoned her parents, letting them rot somewhere halfway across the world. And certainly not Paige herself, who despite her fluency in five languages and mastery of several obscure martial arts (thanks, Mom!) could do nothing to save them.
Couldn’t, that is, until she’s approached by Madden Carter, an undercover operative who gives her a mission—fly to Russia, find Raynes, and discover what other government secrets he’s stockpiled. In exchange, he’ll reopen the case on her missing parents. She’s given a code name and a cover as a foreign exchange student.
Who is a hero? Not Paige Nolan, but maybe, just maybe, Liberty is.
Liberty – The Spy Who (Kind of) Liked Me is absolutely hilarious. It is a super fun, caper of a spy novel with an instantly likeable protagonist.
Paige Nolan’s parents, high profile journalists, are missing. They may be dead, Paige was never told. So when Paige is recruited from her (mostly) mundane college life by a spy (handsome, is younger than expected, and wears a suit very nicely), she is at first incredulous, then reluctant, but finally agrees knowing it might be the only chance of finding her parents.
The synopsis for this sounded fantastic, but it wasn’t until I started reading that I got an idea of just how awesome this book was going to be. I was captured from the first page and I didn’t not want to be released. The book is written in second person. Extremely hard to pull off and yet this book does it flawlessly. Paige is talking directly to the reader, warning them about the story to come, filling in a few details about how the whole thing came to be, and then providing commentary the whole way through the story. It is very well written, the reader is at once both in Paige’s head and right amongst the action.
I love her voice!! I love how Paige is so dispassionate, sarcastic, passionate, and ridiculous all at the same time. Hilarious. It is so much fun to read and is wonderfully unique.
Have I mentioned that this book is insanely funny. Like, I just snorted my drink all over my iPad funny. And it’s also a bit insane. This story has to be read to be believe. It’s like James Bond crossed with Alex Rider series crossed with… I don’t know, maybe The Three Stooges.
I could not stop reading this book. Could. Not. Stop.
This story is the perfect mix of young adult and new adult to give the characters some credibility. It reads like a young adult story and yet Paige is in college and acts accordingly, so I’ll be recommending this for mature readers. Paige can seriously kick butt. She knows four types of martial arts and can speak five languages. But she is terrible at driving (really, really bad) and gets very distracted when telling her story. Sometimes her tangents are hilarious and other times just weird. So much so that you could skip a few paragraphs and still not be back on topic. At one point she calls herself never-met-a-tangent-she-didn’t-follow. So. True.
This book is undeniably American. There are a lot of political and ethical undertones/jabs/jokes/bias. I feel like I could dissect it and analyse it, and read nefarious meaning into so much of it. But instead I chose to read this for pure enjoyment. It would be perfect for a teen book club discussion, though, looking at the perspective and motivation and the time in which it has been written and published. I love a book that sparks discussion but is the very opposite of boring or mundane.
I’m really hoping there will be a second book, because I would love to continue on this wild, funny ride with Paige.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Spies, espionage, parents, missing persons, action, humour, college, Russia.
Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Sexual references, numerous implied sex scenes with minimal details, references to mast******** and multiple sexual partners. Frequent course language, f*** (28), sh** (5), bit** (3), assh*** (2), di** (4). Frequent references to the consumption of alcohol, mostly vodka.
Published: 6 June 2017 by HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. 400 pages.