They Call Me Alexandra Gastone

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They Call Me Alexandra Gastone
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
May 20, 2015
ISBN
9781633700574
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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: “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

Editor reviews

1 reviews

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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User reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0  (3)
Characters 
 
5.0  (3)
Writing Style 
 
5.0  (3)
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Awesome
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Um, wow. So this book hooked me from the very first page, and it's not often that a story can do that. It begins with the kind of first chapter, in my opinion, that would make it difficult for anyone not to continue reading. I found Alexandra's -- or should I say, Milena's -- adventure riveting all the way through. Her relationship with her boyfriend was sweet; her relationship with her "grandfather" was even sweeter. The heroine makes hard choices that are motivated by love -- and I love that in a book. Can't wait for book 2!
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Thought-provoking debut novel
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
So, I loved this book. From the opening page, Maclagan had caught me and I just had to know what happened next to Lex. The main character was especially well written, and I loved the emphasis on her inner struggle as well, and how the protagonist's true personality was conveyed.

What really impressed me was how Maclagan used the themes of identity, authority and control in this novel, and the strong, almost moral, messages that jumped from the page--without sounding at all preachy.

This book held just the right amount of suspense, tension, and action to keep me reading right to the end. The dialogue felt real, not at all forced and I could just see all this happening. In fact, I thought the writing style was almost cinematic in places as I could visualise everything. This is such a clever story and would make a great film.

If you love spy thrillers, then I'd highly recommend this book. I'll definitely be looking out for more hooks by this author.
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Not Your Typical Spy Novel
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Oh man, I LOVED this. It's so different from a lot of YA spy novels out there. It's a bit darker. You get more into the protagonists head. Lex's life is so complicated and it's really fun joining her as she navigates through it. Tons of twists and turns in this one and good Lord, the ending killed me. I loved it.

Also, loved her romantic relationship with Grant. He was so my kind of guy!
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