Thursday, February 1, 2024

Today's read... Nose Jobs, Hair Dye, and Other Ways to Fake Your Death by Natalie Tay

Today's read is one I picked up as a Free read from a book group's (can't remember which one) special listing. There were quite a few on their list, and I was determined to keep my selection down to 1 or 2 because I really try to keep my reading lists at a manageable level...meaning I will get to most of them withing the next half year or so. While it was a very hard a cover girl, I was tempted by so many fun ones...and yet, I kept glancing back at this title. I didn't even read the blurb, when I picked it up. Now, that I've read that, too, I'm really hoping this will thrill the action fan in me and be an entertaining read.

buy Natalie Tay
YA Mystery Thriller  /  
Spy Adventure
264 pages

Death changes a person... Especially when their death is faked.

When your father happens to be the next Presidential hopeful, flying under the radar is about as easy as scaling a twenty-story glass building in broad daylight. Even if I was mostly in the background, staying in Dad’s spotlight would make my ambition of becoming a spy difficult at best. And he didn’t want to be the one to take away my dreams.

The plan was to fake my death a month after he announced his candidacy, but everything changed when I didn't make it home for winter break.

They insisted it was a car crash, but that didn't explain the gunshot wounds in my chest. Or why Dad said it was best to let people think that I was dead.

Six weeks and eight surgeries later, I was back at school. New name, new face, and a couple hundred classmates still mourning my death. I thought it would be easy to adopt the new identity, especially since I’d spent the last three and a half years at a special high school run by the Department of Defense.

But no amount of training could have prepared me for this.

After all, I still had to figure out who killed me.



High-stakes, deadly secrets, and an internship at the FBI spike the tension and keep this read grabbing all the way to the unexpected twist at the end.

Kat's the new girl and three weeks late into the Semester...but not really. As the daughter of the next Presidential hopeful, she's spent her life in the lime light, which also makes her dream career in the CIA as a spy difficult. Her death changed everything. An attack she can't remember lead to massive plastic surgery, and now, she's born again, safe but having to start a new life while being reminded of her old one. Except her killers were never caught, and while they might not know who she is, their goals haven't changed. Plus, she really wants revenge.

With the whispers of an academy read, it remains so much more and doesn't slip into the cliches of that trope. Instead, it offers the backdrop to root her teen life as she already spreads her wings toward what awaits after graduation. Although this is an action novel, Kat's character carries more depth than first appears. She not only struggles with the slow recovery of the memories of the attack (a very brutal one) and constantly faces who she was before but recognizes the shift in her own perception of the world around her. Plus, there's an interesting play of redefining who she is. While none of this propels into deep moments chucked full with wisdom, it gives Kat more substance with problems and scars.

Then, there's the mystery and action. It grabs on every page and makes sure there's never the blink of a boring moment. Some clues are a bit easy, but that doesn't bother as the read smoothly flows from one sticky situation to the next. It's light, doesn't take tons of need for thought, and entertaining. I did read it in one go and couldn't put it down. 

There is romance, which worked fine, but I wished it didn't get quite as much page time as it did, since the story didn't really need it. Plus, some of the other characters missed a little depth. But none of this bothered, either, as the book flows very well for a light, exciting read. 

For readers wanting a fun read with action, tension, danger, some girl power, a bit of romance, and criminal chasing atmosphere, this is one worth taking a look at.


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