ARC Review: You Don’t Know My Name
by Kristen Orlando
You Don’t Know My Name is the first book in a new series by Kristen Orlando, releasing on January 10th, 2017. We would like to thank Swoon Reads for the Advance Reader Copy, and know that our opinions are our own, and was in no way influenced.
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Publication: January 10th, 2017; Swoon Reads
Fighter, Faker, Student, Spy.
Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan.
Now Reagan has to decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she’s always wanted? And does she even have a choice at all?
Find out if you are ready to join the Black Angels in the captivating and emotional page-turner, You Don’t Know My Name, from debut novelist Kristen Orlando!
The idea of a teen spy intrigued me right away. I didn’t think it would be as intense as it turned out to be.
Reagan is the daughter of Black Angels. They are an elite group specially trained to rescue and protect. She has been training her entire life to join them. But now, at 17 and a senior in high school, she realizes she may want MORE. And that more is a life of her own choosing — a ‘normal’ life that allows for friendship, love, and an everyday job. The story focuses mainly on Reagan and her daily life. School, friends… and the boy next door (Luke) who she’s grown to have feelings for. But she realizes it can never be; not if her course to the Black Angels stays intact.
I loved so many things about this story. We get glimpses into a secret life: weapons, panic rooms, training. We get to see that as cool as it all seems, sometimes the sacrifices might not be worth it. We get to see the reality of a spy’s life; how it’s not all cool and collected, but filled with anxiety and worry. We get to see how relationships can never develop because they are never meant to last. And, we see the pain of losing someone who sees the real us.
In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what exactly would happen. I assumed Reagan would still be torn in deciding between the secret life and a normal one. I thought the romance aspect between her and Luke would be a big focus by the end. But oh, it’s so much crazier and more intense than that! As Reagan begins to notice people and things feeling off, you almost become hyperaware that something HUGE is going down. But when it’s nearing the end of the story, you’re pretty sure it’s not going to happen this time around. But it does. And it’s so good! I admit parts were probably a bit far-fetched for people to believe, but it’s fiction and the story is engaging. The last 20% or so had me on edge, glued to the pages.
You Don’t Know My Name has the perfect blend of romance, relationships, suspense, thrill, and action for every reader. I was completely invested in these characters and their story. The ending still has my eyes bugging out of my head. I definitely need the sequel ASAP. Pick this one up on release day!