Release date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Reading level: Young Adult
Series: Book 1 (Sealed With a Lie)
Links: Author's Website/Goodreads
Overall: 2 out of 5 stars
Kari plunges into the world of espionage on a mission to save her parents while trying to impress the guy she’s been in love with forever.
When sixteen-year-old Kari’s dad sends her an unexpected text, she and her brother immediately go into hiding. Because when your parents are superspies and your dad declares a Code Black, it can only mean something bad. Very bad.
Kari soon discovers that her parents have been disavowed and declared traitors, and she’s determined to clear their names. Breaking into the Agency seems like a reasonable plan, especially with the help of a team that includes her longtime crush, Luke, as well as her two best friends—an expert hacker with attitude and a master martial artist—and Luke’s popular, vindictive twin sister. Oh, and a new guy, who’s as cute as he is complicated...
I have to admit, I almost DNF-ed this book, but I wanted to see if it would improve. Unfortunately, Two Lies and a Spy ended up being very disappointing overall. Not only was the plot frustrating, I couldn't connect with the characters at all. I have always been a huge fan of spy novels, some of my favorites are the Gallagher Girl novels by Ally Carter, which this immediately reminded me of. Since that series was over, I had high hopes that this one would be able to take over my need for a series full of young adventure, heists, and spies. I honestly wish I had loved this one, but I just ended up not enjoying it.
Karina's parents are both spies who work for the "Agency" and she becomes engrossed in their world after an emergency meet-up message from them leaves Kari and her brother alone. When her parents don't show up to their meet-up locations, Kari immediately becomes suspicious and distrustful of everyone at the agency. She teams up with some of her classmates and sets out to find out what happened to her parents.
First of all, the plot was very unbelievable. It was hard to imagine that a 16-year-old girl and her 7-year-old brother would be able to avoid highly trained professionals for as long as they did. Also, why would the son and daughter of the director of the agency help a girl they weren't even friends with by betraying their father? There were so many elements of the plot that just left me scratching my head and questioning why that would even happen. I understand there has to be some suspension of disbelief in a fiction novel, but there was just too much that occurred for me to be able to enjoy it.
The characters were also not very likable. Kari was very bossy and annoying. She treated everyone like she was better than them and was very rude. I also didn't understand the romance at all. For the entire novel I thought the author was setting up an entirely different outcome for Kari's love life, but the ending was just so weird and random-- Kari liked a guy she barely knew and had barely any interaction with through the whole book.
I did like her younger brother and how unique and intelligent he was. There were also some interesting plot twists that surprised me at the end. All in all, though, I was very disappointed with this debut and do not think I will be picking up the sequel. If you are looking for an exciting, high thrills spy novel I would't recommend this one.