Friday, December 22, 2017

ARC Review: You Don't Know My Name by Kristin Orlando

Title: You Don't Know My Name
Series: Black Angel Chronicles
Written by: Kristen Orlando
Published: January 10, 2017 by Swoon Reads (Macmillan)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Fighter. Faker. Student. Spy.

Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan. Now Reagan must decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she’s always wanted? And does she even have a choice?

**** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****

I really should have written this review immediately after finishing the book because now I am in that dreaded situation where I do not remember much of what happened. I do remember however that I was excited to read this book and that unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations.

One of my biggest frustrations with this book was with the plot development and pacing. It’s marketed as a spy novel, which had me very excited because I love a good spy story. Unfortunately with this book, that aspect of the story didn’t even happen until the last third of the book. I mean I was very much into that part when it finally kicked in but I seriously could have done without the entire first half. And honestly by the time I got to the second half, which was the half I enjoyed, I ended up just skimming because I just wasn’t engaged at that point. I get that books have to have some exposition and establish the relationships but I just felt like this book took all of that too far.

Speaking of relationships, the first half was nothing but a romance. And it wasn’t even a good romance. It was supposed to be a friends to more sort of thing but I just didn’t buy it. I mean I am a cold-hearted romancephobe so it does take a lot to impress when it comes to romances. Maybe if you are into those kinds of reads you will be perfectly happy with the direction of this book. I however found to be a little cliche and instead of adding to the story it took me out of things completely.

As far as the characters go I thought they were fine but not completely memorable. Reagan and her family were interesting. I like the idea of elite government agents raising their daughter to take in the family business. And I respected Reagan for the dilemma she faced in deciding if it was what was best for her. But I just didn’t feel much connection between the family. It makes sense. I mean her parents weren’t around much for her, but still. When serious moments hit they didn’t have the same weight because I wasn’t as connected to the characters. Honestly, the one I liked the most was probably Sam. I wanted to learn more about her. What’s her story? Give me that book.

Unfortunately this book was kind of a disappointment for me. It did have a good spy story but it took entirely to long to get to the good stuff and at that point I wasn’t as engaged as I would have liked to be.

I give You Don't Know My Name by Kristen Orlando 7.5 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Bypass. I would recommend this book to fans of YA romances if you are interested in books about spies. But if you are looking for a twisty spy thriller you are going to have to look elsewhere.

Have you read You Don't Know My Name? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

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