Two Lies and a Spy by Kat Carlton Review

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Title: Two Lies and a Spy
Author: Kat Carlton (Twitter)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: September 3, 2013
Genre: YA, Mystery
Pages: 256
Source: Publisher

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...
Kari's life isn't so black and white. With parents who work as top-level spies, she's learned to live her life in varying shades of grey because nothing is really ever quite what it seems. But a Code Black changes everything. Once her father declares it, she knows that something is really wrong, and she knows that she must do anything (and everything) she can to help her parents clear their names. The life of a spy is difficult though, and adding a teenage crush on top if it can only make things more crazy.

It's time for a confession. I have a thing for mysteries. Whether they be books, shows, films...whatever...I love them. What I really love though, is a mystery that is well thought out, well executed and engaging throughout. Two Lies and a Spy offers the young adult crowd all that and more.   Author, Kat Carlton, has given readers a lovable and fiercely independent protagonist in whom we find a heroine worthy of our praise. Twists, turns and young love abounds, making this book a heck of a ride.

For some reason, despite the lack of hype for Two Lies and a Spy, this premise immediately spoke to me, and I knew I had to get my paws on it. I was right, too. Kari was such a fantastic protagonist, and I loved that we were given a strong, empowering girl to follow on this mysterious journey. Perhaps the most endearing quality that I found in her was that, unlike so many other YA characters, Kari actually took the time to think things through before executing her plan, for the most part. She did make one recurring error that irked me a bit, but at the same time, she's a teen under extreme duress, so I can find it believable. On top of Kari's amazing character though, we're also given a host of secondary characters, each of whom is complete with a full set of character traits and a character arc of their own. The thought that went into the this, as well as the interactions between Kari and the other characters of the novel including, but not limited to Luke and Evan, really served to heighten this mystery experience. The one downfall I saw coming was a bit of a love triangle starting to emerge - you all know how I feel about those. Frankly, I find it to be a crutch. If a girl likes a guy, dang it. Stick to that. Give us something legitimate to build upon. However, it was luckily just a minor hiccup, and the story kept spiraling us further along. The mystery element was, at times, far fetched, but it was fun, and it definitely surprised me near the end, which is something not too many mystery books can do. The story wraps up nicely, despite a cliffhanger ending, and I felt satisfied and intrigued. 

Overall, Two Lies and a Spy was a fun, fast and engaging book. While it might fly under the radar for some, it's great read, and I definitely want to continue on Kari's journey. I give it a 4 out of 5, and I recommend this book to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy mysteries and thrillers.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. I have no idea why, but I am really love thrillers and mysteries lately. I have seen a few reviews on this one already and I am really eager to try it.

    Great review, hon! <33

  2. Love triangles are definitely crutches. And, can I say after working with teens for many years, they're pretty rare. Most teens that I know (or just "happen" to overhear when they're talking in class) tend to be focused on one person. Okay, they might crush on a couple but once they start dating, the choice is made. Not ALL but most.

    ANYWAY, yes! This book looks great & I'm definitely going to have to check it out!

  3. The cover is definitely pretty. I am looking for a new book to read and this might be it. Thanks for the review! :D


  4. I think I can handle a touch of love-triangle when the MC is strong and empowering :) This book sounds like fun! Thanks for sharing and I'll keep an eye on it.

  5. I'm glad that you enjoyed this book, Melissa, because I ended up really enjoying it as well. I agree with you on the mystery. It was very well-written and I ended up being surprised by it. I was also a bit disappointed with the love triangle, but thankfully, it wasn't that big part of the plot.
    Fabulous review, Melissa!

  6. A well thought out mystery and a heroine who actually thinks before making decisions? These two points are a rarity in YA fiction! I love mysteries as well, Melissa so I'll have to check this out. Wonderful review! :)

  7. The only teenage spy books I've loved have been written by Ally Carter and Anthony Horowitz, so I'm glad to see there are some more great ones out there. I don't know if I'll be reading this for sure, but I'm certainly curious!(: Lovely review, Melissa!

  8. Great review. I glimpsed this one the other day on goodreads and was immediately intrigued so i'm glad you liked it :)


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