They Call Me Alexandra Gastone

T.A. Maclagan. Full Fathom Five Digital, $5.99 e-book (226p) ISBN 978-1-63370-057-4
Everything about Alexandra Gastone, a 17-year-old American high school student, is a lie. She's actually Milena Rokva, a sleeper agent who replaced the real Alexandra (who died in a car accident with her parents) years ago in order to eventually infiltrate the CIA. She answers to Perun, a secret agency dedicated to freeing her homeland of Olissa from outside influences. Alexandra loves her new life and the "grandfather" she lives with, but she knows not to get too close to anyone. When Perun unexpectedly activates her as an agent, Alexandra realizes that she's not entirely willing to betray her friends and family. Numerous twists keep this The Americans–style thriller from becoming predictable, though the multiple layers of truth and revelation do require some hefty suspension of disbelief. Nevertheless, the intersection of action, espionage, and drama makes for solid popcorn entertainment: readers will gladly sit back and watch Alexandra navigate the obstacle course that comes with playing her role too well. It's a strong debut for New Zealand author Maclagan. Ages 12–up. Agent: Lucy Carson, Friedrich Agency. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/11/2015
Genre: Children's
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