Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 2178
Like Salt
(Updated: June 08, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Espionage. Assassination. Ulterior motives. Politics. High school. Murder. Spies. Terror. Each one of these words are important in this story of Milena Rokva. Any young teen (12 or older) can pick up this book and enjoy some killer fighting scenes and its intense plot. By plot, I mean actual plot of murder and assassination, lies and deception. Milena Rokva, who is better known as Alexandra Gastone because Milena Rokva is dead to the world, is charged with pretending to be Alexandra since she was a very small child.

Like Black Widow (Natasha from Marvel's line of Avenger movies) and Salt (played by Angelina Jolie in SALT), Alexandra is a spy. The young girl and narrator used to be called Milena as I said before. From Olissa (a fictional place probably located near or in Russia), she is on a dangerous mission to extract secrets and understand the motives/actions of Albert Gastone. Albert Gastone, Alexandra Gastone's grandfather, works for the CIA. It is a straightforward mission until Perun charged her with a deadly mission: to assassinate a public figure. That is when her motives and her character truly comes out. That is where Milena really comes out.

She is not without love interests. The author has already set up two and their foundation (for a relationship). One is in love with Alexandra Gastone, but knows that she is hiding a lot from him. The other knows the girl behind the face of Alexandra, but is in danger because of what he has done to Perun. So who would it be? But the romance is yet a subplot, not a big deal.

The writing style seems awkward and rough, though it is easy to adjust with over time. The story spins wildly, as wild as SALT (the movie) and THE BOURNE IDENTITY (the movie). Though there are some moments of cliches and strange transitions, the plot does run quickly and fast-paced. Readers won't be bored.

Perun is definitely not the most friendly organization, but they support Milena and they back her for many years. The complexity of Perun interests me. Are they a villain? Or are they good? Are they trustworthy? Or will they backstab one of their own to get ahead? Throughout the novel, Perun's history and true motives has been hinted at and the clues are many while answers are so few. Perun is a mystery. It is a dark group of people, and by the end of the novel, Milena comes to her own conclusions about the complicated and rebellious organization that has trained her to become a teenage spy for them.

Overall, THEY CALL ME ALEXANDRA GASTONE is a fascinating spy thriller. Though some scenes have been seen and done before, there is a great character behind the face of Alexandra Gastone. This is best for fans of darker spy thrillers.

Rating: Three out of Five
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