Saturday, May 19, 2018

Spies, Lies, and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts

Summers are supposed to be fun, right? Not mine. I’ve got a job at my dad’s company, which is sponsoring a college scholarship competition. I just found out that, in addition to my job assisting the competing interns, I’m supposed to vote for the winner. Totally not what I signed up for.

My boss is running the competition like it’s an episode of Survivor. Then there’s Carlos, who is, well, very distracting––in a good way. But I can’t even think about him like that because fraternizing on the job means instant disqualification for the intern involved.

As if that’s not enough, an anonymous informant with insider intel is trying to sabotage my dad’s company on social media... and I’m afraid it's working.

Much as I’d love to quit, I can’t. Kristoffs Never Quit is our family motto. I just hope there’s more than one survivor by the end of this summer.

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Entangled Publishing

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Laurel wants to spend time with her workaholic father, the geeky dad who used to spend a ton of time with her. She's willing to do anything, even be the assistant/spy to the new set of interns.

In this young adult novel, not only is the connection between a daughter and father explored, but also that between friends. How perception is reality and first impressions aren't accurate descriptions of the real person deep inside.

From outward appearances, Laurel looks to be a spoiled, rich daddy's girl who has the world at her fingertips and not a care in the world. While the other interns duke it out in a survivor-like competition to win a full scholarship, they resent the girl who is there to help them, seeing her as she appears to be.

Each intern has their own set of challenges and strife, which makes Laurel feel as if her need to spend time with her father is indulgent and not important. Settling for a few minutes to and from work in the car is worth working a 9-to-5 for Laurel.

Laurel doesn't come off as whiny or spoiled or entitled, so I got her position. When surrounded by people who all have deeper issues than you, what you're going through is trivialized, like it's not important. It is important. Life isn't a competition to see who has it worse, to the point you don't need help/attention/love because your lot in life isn't as bad as someone else's. Everyone is equally important.

Laurel was surrounded by people who put out into the world, "let's talk about me, because your issues aren't as important as mine," which feels narcissistic and dismissive, not true friend-like behavior, when she was already putting everyone else first.

Amongst the angst, Laurel's longtime crush is one of the interns, when he doesn't even remember her name after an entire school career together, along with another employee's daughter, who has never given her the time of day. The other three interns are strangers, and more willing to get to know Laurel.

The bond that forms between them was sweet, while their real-life issues will be sure to resonate with every reader. The crush of budding first love, while getting to know one another as friends first was sweet, broody, and angsty deliciousness.

The 'mystery' of the novel was predictable, and I wished another character was chosen as the villain of the story, but it created a fast-paced, addictive page-turner of a read.

I definitely recommend Spies, Lies, and Allies to young adults and those young at heart, looking for a fun, light, yet equally emotionally deep novel. Lisa Brown Roberts has become my go-to young adult fix.

Young Adult age-range: 12+, includes kissing and cussing.

Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life’s painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.

Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, four-legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.

Connect with Lisa

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Spies, Lies, and Allies by Lisa Brown Roberts to read and review.

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