{Review} They Call Me Alexandra Gastone by T.A. Maclagan

December 19, 2020 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

{Review} They Call Me Alexandra Gastone by T.A. MaclaganThey Call Me Alexandra Gastone by T.A. Maclagan
Pages: 242
Published by Full Fathom Five Digital on May 20, 2015
Series: Alexandra Gastone #1
Genres: Young Adult, mystery, Romance
Source: ecopy from Publisher

"An intricate, debut spy thriller...readers will keep turning pages, and the surprise ending will have them anxiously awaiting a sequel." --Booklist

When your life is a lie, how do you know what's real? Alexandra Gastone has a simple plan: graduate high school, get into Princeton, work for the CIA, and serve her great nation. She was told the plan back when her name was Milena Rokva, back before the real Alexandra and her family were killed in a car crash. Milena was trained to be a sleeper agent by Perun, a clandestine organization from her true homeland of Olissa.

There, Milena learned everything she needed to infiltrate the life of CIA analyst Albert Gastone, Alexandra's grandfather, and the ranks of America's top intelligence agency. For seven years, "Alexandra" has been on standby and life's been good. Grandpa Albert loves her, and her strategically chosen boyfriend, Grant, is amazing. But things are about to change. Perun no longer needs her at the CIA in five years' time. They need her active now. Between her cover as a high school girl--juggling a homecoming dance, history reports, and an increasingly suspicious boyfriend--and her mission in this high-stakes spy game, the boundaries of her two lives are beginning to blur. Will she stay true to the country she barely remembers, or has her loyalty shattered along with her identity?

Praise for They Call Me Alexandra Gastone:

"Death-threats, global takeover, double-agents, hidden files and a blown cover--by the time you get to the shocking conclusion of this cliff-hanger, you won't know who to trust..." --Girls' Life

"I couldn't put They Call Me Alexandra Gastone down--Maclagan's clever, never-what-they-seem characters and authentic tradecraft tidbits lured me in, while Alexandra's resourcefulness against overwhelming odds kept me constantly guessing." -- Lindsay Smith, author of the Sekret series

"A solid debut that has both heart and smarts. Clever, solidly paced, and power-packed with a killer voice. They Call Me Alexandra Gastone is a blast to read. A perfect balance of mystery, romance, and betrayal. Bring on the sequel!" -- Lindsay Cummings, author of The Murder Complex

YA Review My Thoughts

They Call Me Alexandra Gastone is the first book in the young adult spy & mystery series by T.A. Maclagan. The series is aptly titled the Alexandra Gastone series. I think I will need to read the second book in the series to be able to fully develop my thoughts because one of my main issues with They Call Me Alexandra Gastone is that I thought it was going to be more of a spy book, and the series very well might be, but this first installment felt more foundational to me, setting up the stage and allowing the readers to really get to know Alexandra and her inner dialogue and conflicts. While I did enjoy those aspects of the book, I felt like they might have taken up a bit too much over the overall storyline, leaving not very much time for the typical spy and espionage aspects of the story I was expecting. Again, this might be a short term issue with the following books in the series being able to focus more on the spy/espionage aspect now that we know the players, the world and the set up. Time will tell. I am interested in continuing one with the series, but I am not sure when exactly I will be picking up the second book.

In They Call Me Alexandra Gastone, we meet our main character Alexandra or Milena. Milena is a sleeper agent, trained by her homeland of Olissa and planted in the life of the CIA analyst Albert Gastone. The main focus of They Call Me Alexandra Gastone is not how she infiltrates the CIA and her being an active agent, but is more so about Alexandra/ Milena herself. This book is very inner dialogue heavy, so be [prepared to jump into her thoughts very frequently. I really enjoyed the inner conflict that our heroine was facing. Her loyalty to Olissa goes head to head with the love she is having over her new life with Albert, her boyfriend and the US in general. It was a really fascinating conflict and it was my favorite aspect of the story. When I pick up book two it will be because I want to see more of how Milena sorts out her desires and determines what she wants to do, and less for the spy plot. I will be interested to see if there is more spy action in the second book, but I think this is much more of a character driven mental aspect of spying novel than it is about some of the more physical and confrontational aspects of being a spy.

They Call Me Alexandra Gastone was a really interesting read, and one that I really enjoyed. I liked Milena. At times I found her inner dialogue to be a bit much, but I really appreciated the direction it led the story in. It got me thinking in a way I was not expecting to when I first picked up this book.


Michelle @ Book Briefs

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2020 Tackle My TBR Reading Challenge

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