May Contain Spies
By J.A. CiprianoBlurb: Abby Banks is your typical sixteen-year-old girl, except that her entire life has been one big lie. Kidnapped as a young girl and fostered by a government agency as collateral, Abby never knew she was important… until her mom’s terrorist organization unleashes a devastating attack on the facility.
Genres: Young Adult Thriller, Romance
Publication Date: April 23, 2015
My Rating: 1 star
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
May Contain Spies was perhaps the longest 193 page book I shall ever have the pleasure(?) of reading. I want to say that it started out well, but it really didn’t. From the first page, I had issues with it, and those issues only intensified with each chapter. I picked this up because I was hoping to read a book that captured the same intensity and girl power as did Gallagher Girls; but, and I really feel bad saying this, May Contain Spies really didn’t contain much of either of those things.
The first thing to get on my nerves early on was that all the teen girls are Teen Girls—as far as the stereotype goes at least; I can say that there is almost no teen girls I know who act as outrageously as this book portrays them. The main character isn’t actually the worst perpetrator in this story; her best friend is. (Though Abby has problems I’ll tackle later on.) The girl has a notebook that she just fills with her name paired with the last name of the boy she has a crush on at the time. Regina George would have a FIELD DAY with this chick, she wouldn’t even have to LIE to Aaron Samuels.
Speaking of teen tropes, BEWARE OF INSTALOVE. Insta-love that is the most unnecessary thing in this story. I get it, Stephen’s hot, but Abby is literally lusting over his luscious lips—pardon the alliteration—while they are being chased by people with guns, and in no universe is that okay. The irony of it all is that Abby describes herself as practical, and yet that scene is still a thing. In another instance, Stephen, the Edward Cullen of spies, apparently has a thing for falling in love with girls he protects. Abby frets that—even though Abby first talked to him a couple hours ago at this point—she is the rebound girl.
I really just can’t get behind Abby and Stephen’s relationship, and not just because of the insta-love, though that is a major part of why I’m not ever shipping this thing. The way Abby describes Stephen is just strange. At one point, the sound of his voice “rolls over her” like “hot fudge and silk.” I know that this was supposed to be romantic, but all I could think about is how sticky that would be.
Some of the scenes are just so unrealistic in this book. Abby’s mother knifes a shark in the water, killing it, and all I could think was “feeding frenzy feeding frenzy feeding frenzy.” What a horrible decision that would have been in real life!
Other scenes made me mad because Abby would always do something so STUPID. I really didn’t like her. It took the whole book for her to finally truly stand up for herself, something I was hoping she would do from the get-go.
I think this book took me a total of a week to get through, which is really rare for me, especially when a story is under 200 pages. It became a chore to read, and that’s never fun. I think this may be a series based on how it ended, but I’m stopping here.