Liberty: The Spy Who (Kind of) Liked Me by Andrea Portes
Publisher: HarperTeen (6th Jun 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 Paige’s 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.
I’d like to thank MPH Distributors for a copy of Liberty for review.
Imagine a book that is centred around an espionage with a sass queen for a heroine, a (kind of) cute romance between said sass queen and the target. Throw in a generous handful of one-liners and action. Et voila! This is what you can expect from Andrea Portes’s latest novel, Liberty: The Spy Who (Kind of) Liked Me!
As a fan of spy movies—I am so excited for the next Kingsman movie—I knew I liked the sound of Liberty the moment I read the blurb on Goodreads. There’s just the whole undercover element of being a spy and adopting different personas that makes the entire experience as a reader/viewer thrilling.
Liberty is about the life of a teenage girl, Paige whose parents were supposedly killed on an assignment and she has a gut feeling that they aren’t dead. After a (kind of) heroic stunt in a diner which was caught on camera, Paige is recruited to be a spy where she is tasked to extract information from Shane Haynes, an Edward Snowden-esque character in the story.
In exchange, the agency is willing to rescue her parents from God knows where. Obviously she had to say yes. Even though her mentor is a bit of a shit and he gets on her nerves almost every time they see each other. Even if she has to fly to Russia and go deep undercover as an exchange student.
What excited me most about Liberty was the whole espionage front in the story. I love that it’s a spy story and I was just pleasantly surprised at how things went in the story, which was engaging and entertaining at most times.
I thought the “fall in love with your target” trope was entertaining but the romance between Paige and Shane lacked a certain sparkle. Which was quite a shame since I really thought they had good chemistry. Especially the quirky banter which I lived for.
Paige can come off as snarky and brutally honest at times, but you’ve got to love a sharp-tongued protagonist who’s also an endearing little child. Life has hit her hard and she just needs a hug or two. Or three hundred. I liked that her internal monologues were insane at times and there’s a certain vulnerability in her that made her likeable.
The book is told from Paige’s perspective and it does offer a very fresh narrative to the genre today. Paige isn’t afraid to be abrasive, she’s not bothered by being nice and she certainly knows how to sass people.
As much as I enjoyed Liberty, I do have to comment on the plot progression because for me, I found it rather lacking in parts of the book and there were a few things that seemed too good to be true which didn’t really add much conflict to the story. If you’re looking for a quick read to lose yourself in, then you should definitely pick this up.