Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Live and Let Shop (Spy Goddess, #1)” as Want to Read:
Live and Let Shop (Spy Goddess, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Live and Let Shop (Spy Goddess #1)

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  923 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Not really. I'm just misunderstood.

Of course, that's not how the judge saw it.

That's how I wound up at freaky Blackthorn Academy. Talk about boring. There isn't even a mall nearby. I mean, what did they expect a girl from Beverly Hills to do?

Also, from the start I could tell there was something really weird about Blackthorn:

The headmaster, Mr. Kim, knew way too much about
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by HarperTeen
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Live and Let Shop, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Live and Let Shop

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lady Entropy
Feb 23, 2014 Lady Entropy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
(Given as ARC by NetGalley)

Making a good teen spy book is more than just creating a super academy, finding a sassy main character with a chip on her shoulder, a group of friends and a catchy title that makes a bad pun with spy-related movies or books.

Gallagher girls had a series of well-defined support character, an interesting main character, before it worried about getting the spy-pun title.

Unfortunately, Spy Goddess failed to impress in its first outing: the secondary characters were mostly t
As mentioned on another review, I am horrible at writing reviews, so have decided to keep a score card & write in my thoughts of why I chose that rating for it. Every category is based out of 5.

Review Tally:

Overall: 4

Story/Plot: 4 - The general premise of this novel is a young troubled teen who has a second chance by going to a special school. I enjoyed the humor even if I did think the heroine was considerably immature - but then, it could be representative of some young teens.

Re-read Value
Dec 05, 2008 Hangg rated it it was amazing
The book I’m reviewing is Spy Goddess by Michael P. Spradlin. It’s a fiction book. The main theme in Spy Goddess is the curiosity and courage to make people be stronger and better, especially with friendship. It almost talks about the friendship and some unbelievable things that make people scare and confuse about life. Spy Goddess took a place in Blackthorn Academy in Pennsylvania.
Spy Goddess talks about a main character; Rachel Buchanan is moved from California to Blackthorn Academy in Penns
Jan 20, 2014 Nikki rated it liked it
My copy was provided to me by Netgalley.

Rachel is a typical spoiled brat. She's ignored by her parents and she acts out against everything they say. Her mom tells her she dresses like a slob so she dresses even more like a slob. She befriends the bad crowd at school because they're the opposite kind of people her parents would want her to interact with and they care about her.

Well, she was wrong. When Rachel takes the blame for stealing a car her "friends" stole, she's given two choices. She ca
Sarah Crawford
Feb 28, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really good and rather unusual book. First, the main character, Rachel Buchanan, is not the typical "nice girl." She's be in trouble with the law before and at the beginning of the book she gets involved in a joyriding mishap which lands her (again) in front of the judge.

She's given two choices; one, go to juvenile detention. Two, go to some school called the Blackthorn Academy. She ends up at the academy and tries to escape on her very first night. You see, the girl has a lot of attit
Mar 29, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*I was sent this book for review from NetGalley*
This was a very light read. If you are looking for a novel that is cute, but still interesting, then this is your book! I thought that it was very witty with well-written humor. The characters were adorable and I felt so connected to them. And can we please talk about the plot twist? The plot twist. Oh, the plot twist. It was extremely unexpected and I thought it was absolutely genius! The plot twist made this book so much better than what I expect
Jennifer Maloney
Oct 11, 2014 Jennifer Maloney rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy  M. Brobst
Apr 22, 2008 Amy M. Brobst rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teens
Recommended to Amy by: no one.
I read this book in like an hour and half. Of course this book is targeted toward a teen audience, but I still really enjoyed it. I felt sorry for the main character, Rachel, who got sent to Blackthorn Academy (a boarding school), across the country, because she got busted for something she participated in. She was good friend and did not snitch on her fellow car borrowers, but they were terrible friends to her. Her parents ignored her until she got in trouble, but all they did was send her away ...more
Dec 22, 2013 Katarina rated it it was amazing
I totally loved this book.

I love these kinds of YA books, esp set in a boarding school. This book reminded me of "The Specialists" series by Shannon Greenland, which I also love.

The book is well written, it's exciting all the way through, the characters are all unique, the setting is perfect....I loved it and can't wait to read more from this series.
Erica Handley
Jun 12, 2009 Erica Handley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I love this book. I have tried to find similar books but nothing has compared to this book. I have gotten all of my coworkers addicted to the series. The books in the series are fun, have adventure, and who wouldn't want to go to a spy school.
May 30, 2015 Homefrontgirl rated it liked it
Shelves: for-work
While this book was predictable even for a YA title, it was the voice of Rachel (main character) that kept me interested. Some of the plot lines we're a little out there, but Rachel's one-liners were so funny I didn't didn't bother me that much.
Aug 06, 2009 Girl4beluga rated it it was amazing
The backround of this troublesome teen lands her in BlackThorn Academy. When strange acurences and the strange class courses including code theory leads her to discovering a mystery that was unravaling at her fingertips. Now she must imbark on a journey to self discovery.
Sep 03, 2016 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Rachel is even better than Harriet! Gets a little creepy at the end!
Dec 29, 2016 Mrslabraden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-shelf
Live and Let Shop is the first book in a series about Rachel Buchanan. Rachel is a rich Beverly Hills teenager whose parents have better things to do than deal with her. Since her grandmother, who was the only person who seemed to care about her, died, Rachel has slowly getting into more and more trouble until she ends up in court for Grand Theft Auto. Instead of sending her to juvie, the judge decides to send Rachel to a school in Pennsylvania for troubled students. This school is like no other ...more
*Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

3.5 stars

This is a quick, fun read that is perfect for those who want a story of light espionage and action. The cover is bright, however I feel it needs something more to help it stand out.

When Rachel is caught during a speed chase in a stolen car, she is happy to take the blame knowing her parents will get her out of the mess she has caused. She is wrong. She has been faced with a decision, attend Blackthorn Academy for one year or a
Feb 17, 2014 Christian rated it really liked it
Shelves: series-started
Rachel Buchanan lives in Beverly Hills and enjoys a privileged life but one without the attention of her parents. She's been getting into some trouble with the law lately, and this last incident has her facing a judge. Rachel is given a choice---juvenile detention or Blackthorn Academy. She knows that she'll never last 30 days in juvie...she'd be killed! She's not designed to fight so she agrees to go to the academy, but she didn't know she was agreeing to a year there!

Rachel travels across th
Kat E.
Dec 21, 2014 Kat E. rated it it was ok
I originally gave this book three stars. It's an okay, easy read and I did find myself enjoying it. However I changed my review to two stars after finding out that after book three the series changes to manga. For no particular reason the author decided that it would be a good idea to say "hey I'm gonna write this series in manga form" HALFWAY THROUGH THE SERIES. Now admittedly I wasn't totally in love with the series anyway. I found most of the dialogue to be a bit cheesy. And now apparently di ...more
Jul 10, 2011 LadyTechie rated it liked it
I enjoyed Live and Let Shop. It was very funny for the first half. The second half started to get a bit different. I'm not sure how I feel about the storyline with regard to the villain. I'm also not sure how I feel about how things ended. I'm still mulling it over. I would have liked things better if the ending followed the same premise and path of the first half of the book. It kind of felt like she had people working to discipline her and control her in Beverly Hills and then she arrived at t ...more
Dharia Scarab

My love of reading started when i was young, and it gives me immense pleasure to provide books to Spread the Word Nevada, an organization that passes them on to children in the community. They are a terrific organization supporting an important cause. If your local I encourage you to check them out. For those living further a field, look in your own community, their may already be a similar program in place. And if not, you can always help start one.

Myself, I go ou
Mandy K
Jul 26, 2010 Mandy K rated it liked it
I had never heard of Spy Goddess: Live And Let Shop, and honestly it looks old, unloved, and cheesy. But I was in the mood for a spy school sort of read so I decided to pick it up despite its cover. (Point one for Mandy's moral)
This book intrigued me. It was interesting that the school isn't full of elitists but of second-chancers and under dogs. Though it wasn't as spy-ish as I would have liked, the book was still good. This book is better suited for middle-schoolers, but it was still a nice re
Mar 21, 2010 Jess rated it it was ok
No, I was not expecting this to be intellectual. No, it wasn't. I mean, it wasn't dirty, and there really wasn't anything objectionable to it, it just didn't do anything for me. Nothing. If you like a more translucent storyline, to feel smart by guessing the bad guys, and a mildly annoying main character, then you'd probably like this. That said, I'll probably read the next one. But only because I can't figure out who she ends up with, Brent or Alex. I'm rooting for Brent, just fyi. He's super q ...more
Meh. This book should have been the first third in a whole book. It's like the whole book is just one long (and tedious) set up for the title of the book (but not the subtitle ... it has no reason for being) and to present the reason for the second book. It could have been written in 1/3 of the space and been much better. There is a word for books like this: Sloppy. Yes, sloppy writing. Terrible balance of story, CONVENIENT plot--especially at some key points ... I won't bother with the others. ...more
Jun 29, 2010 Amy rated it it was ok
Recommended to Amy by: unshelved newsletter
Got this thinking one or both of the granddaughters might like it, but neither seemed too interested. Looks like the start of a kick-ass new series for kids though. I'm pretty sure I read a review of it in the Unshelved newsletter, but can't find it now. So, misunderstood (not juvenile delinquent) Rachael Buchanan and her buddies from Blackthorn Academy race to save the world from the evil genius of Mithras reincarnated.
Hunter Meshanic
Sep 16, 2015 Hunter Meshanic rated it liked it
Rachel is a spoiled teenager that is caught joyriding. She can either go to Julie or to a mysterious school called Blackthorn Academy. There she meets Pilar, Brent, and Alex who she becomes friends with.When their headmaster disappears they take it upon themselves to find him. After sneaking out of the school they have a lead and get on a boat with a man who calls himself Simon Blankenship.Can they find their headmaster or is it too late? Find out in spy goddess by michael spradlin.
Jul 27, 2014 Michele rated it liked it
I really do wish I could give half stars because I'd rate this 3.5. not quite a 4 but better than a three. It was a quick read, a good story just not a GREAT story. But I am interested enough to read on in the series.

Books about a (shock shock) Rich girl who gets sent to boarding school instead of juvi and finds out there's more to the school than she thought. spy stuff ya know? I do like that sort of story line so I'll continue to read the series.
Dec 08, 2012 Rojo rated it it was ok
I really don't even remember this book, it's been so long.
All I remember is the main character being sent to a reform school, finding a secret-attic-type-mall-thing, and talking about the Gap. And it really annoyed me at the time to read it as "the Gap".

I'm pretty sure I liked it, and there was supposed to be a sequel wasn't there? It seriously just left off on a cliffhanger if memory serves correct. So where is it?!
Dorian Johnson
Mar 23, 2008 Dorian Johnson rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who are REALLY bored
Shelves: mylovelyshelf
It was alright. It was the normal Kung-Fu action book were the "bad girl" becomes reformed at a mititary type school, and thinks the school is sort of supicious and then uncovers that the principal is in major trouble and she and her friends use there amazing KUNG-FU powers to kick butt and retrieve their authoritive figure. But sadly, I kinda liked it. :)
Jun 25, 2012 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This is the first non paranormal book I've read in a long time and it was pretty good fun. The plot line is frankly quite outlandish, yet at the same time I kept being entertained by the characters and what they got into. I will most likely be reading any sequels and hopefully enjoying those as well. Great YA book for those who are getting tired of the whole paranormal scene.
Jeff Crosby
Sep 30, 2014 Jeff Crosby rated it liked it
Shelves: espionage, suspense, 2014, ya
I continue to binge on YA espionage fiction, and I'm having a lot of fun. This first book in a series has some serious issues with reality. We have another spy academy. In this one, most of the high school kids are somewhat dysfunctional in society. The story is quite simple, but swerves into the silly supernatural. Light, fast and fun.
rachel buchanan is moved from california to blackthorn academy in pennsylvania becausethe Judge thinks she steals a car with her friends. But , she actually doesn't tell the names of her friends, so everything just happen's on her on. In Blackthorn Academy, she tries to escape many times because is hard to study, especially with tae kwon do, which practices to be in army.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Fight to the Finish (The Specialists, #5)
  • The Lost Island of Tamarind (Tamarind, #1)
  • Double Digit (Digit, #2)
  • The Royal Marriage Arrangement
  • Alibi Junior High
  • Spy High Mission One
  • A Case of Poisons (Anthony Maxwell #1)
  • Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning, Vol. 01
  • Killer Spirit (The Squad, #2)
  • Along Came a Spider (Transplanted Tales, #3)
  • Q.E.D. (Quod Erat Demonstrandum) Vol. 1
  • Two Lies and a Spy (Two Lies and a Spy, #1)
  • Feudlings in Flames (Fate on Fire, #2)
  • Book Girl and the Suicidal Mime
  • Echoes (Fingerprints, #1-3)
  • You Should Smile
  • Fake ID (Hunted, #1)
  • Code Red Lipstick (Jessica Cole: Model Spy, #1)
Michael P. Spradlin is the author of more than a dozen books for children.
More about Michael P. Spradlin...

Other Books in the Series

Spy Goddess (3 books)
  • To Hawaii, with Love (Spy Goddess, #2)
  • The Spy Who Totally Had a Crush on Me

Share This Book