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Model Spy (The Specialists #1)

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,949 Ratings  ·  317 Reviews
Teen genius Kelly James is in a lot of hot water. A whiz with computers, she agreed to help her college rA, David, uncover some top-secret information. After all, she doesn't have many friends and David has always been nice to her. it doesn't hurt that he's supercute and irresistible, too. All she has to do is hack into the government's main computer system. but a few hour ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published May 10th 2007 by Puffin Books
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Amy Suto
Feb 23, 2010 Amy Suto rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a perfect example of why I have issues with Young Adult books. Some authors pare their writing down for young adults, thinking that by watering down the story and adding strange adages such as "yowza!" will make the story 'hip' and 'relatable' to teenagers.

The opening chapter was perfect- the hook was great. The rest of the beginning, after she arrives at the camp, was terrible. Her team could've been omitted from the novel, as the only thing they provided was a few comments here and th
Aug 18, 2013 Anna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: so-awful-its-sad
Umm.. after reading the Gallagher series this book fell pretty flat. Even I could see through the weak writing. The characters completely confused me and there was almost no development. It was a pathetic copy off the aforementioned series and like an old, cheesy movie. This in no way captured the covert, serious and dangerous life of spies, I doubt the writer had any idea of what she was really writing about. The "spy" plot-line is a really intriguing genre for me and shows me that there is a l ...more
Dec 19, 2013 Laurice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No, you're not mistaken. I give it a 5/5 without a doubt.

If you're looking for a hardcore action-packed series matched with heavy romance, this book is absolutely not for you. But don't get me wrong. Model Spy is definitely a must-read! It is light, funny, and sweet. Yes, innocently sweet. With all the rated-PG books nowadays, this book fits just perfect as a comic relief.

It actually reminds me of Charlie's Angels, but now with six undercover gifted minors ready to fight off some bad guys. The l
Jun 23, 2012 Beth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was really excited to read this book. REALLY excited. I read the blurb and first chapter online, and I was like finally, a good teenage spy book.


The idea was great! The main character could have been lovable. But the execution of the story was terrible! I can't soften the blow here. So it's starts of with Kelly getting arrested for hacking the government computer system. Then, a strange man comes and offers her a chance to leave her criminal record behind her, and go be a spy for a few y
See more of my reviews at Me You and My Shelf

Model Spy just fell flat for me on so many levels. I did not enjoy reading it, and found the story quite cheesy and unbelievable.

Model Spy is about a teen genius (yeah, right) who hacks into a government database. The government finds out, and she gets recruited by an angency called the specialists. She soon has to go undercover in Ushbania as a model to try and locate her friend's father.


So, Kelly hacked through 9 out of the 18 levels in the g
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Model Spy by Shannon Greenland is one of those books that is a quick fun filled read. I have not read a lot of spy books but this one is a great beginning to the series that I will continue to read. It is action packed and full of surprises that the moment you begin to read it you are hooked and need to keep reading it.

Kelly James is a teen genius who is at college. While at college her RA David asks her to hack into the governments computer system so he can get some information. Kelly agrees an
Eustacia Tan
Feb 06, 2013 Eustacia Tan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I think the last time I read a book like this, it was "I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You" by Ally Carter. But while this book is as fun as the Ally Carter one, it's different in one significant way:

GiGi, our protagonist, is a klutz and a technological genius.

The story starts when GiGi is arresting for hacking into nine of the eighteen levels in a government system. After scaring her a bit, she's offered a choice - she can escape all this by joining The Specialists, a group o
Jul 09, 2011 LadyTechie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am seriously hooked on these teen spy books right now. I really liked this book. I was a bit unhappy that books 3 and 4 are on Kindle but book 2 is only paperback or audio. The paperback was not available locally so I had to stop reading the series and order it through Amazon. Hopefully the publisher will work on that. I do not agree with the people who gave the book a 1 on Amazon because book 2 is not available on Kindle. It has nothing to do with the book's content or author's ability to wri ...more
Tabitha (Bows & Bullets Reviews)
The review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews

Kelly James’ life changes the minute she agrees to help David, her RA, uncover top secret information on his father. She’s a genius (literally) and a whiz with computers, she knows she can get to the info if she is willing to dig deep enough. Unfortunately, the information is super top secret and few hours after hacking the government, she is arrested….and offered a job? She gets taken away to a farm for the super-smarts and offe
Mar 09, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, 2009
3.5 stars. I don't know why there are suddenly so many books out there featuring teenage spies, but whatever. This one, the first in the series The Specialists, features Kelly, who at sixteen is about the graduate from college. She's an orphan with a 190+ IQ and very skilled at hacking, recruited into a secret organization that takes teen orphans with special skills and turns them into agents. In this book, she's recruited into the organization, discovers that the guy she thought was her college ...more
Jun 20, 2009 Tasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The moment Kelly James agrees to hack into the government's files she knows she will regret it . At least she knows it will be easy for a computer genius like herself. Just mere hours after hacking into the system she is arrested. She is a lucky girl though because the agents offer her an alternative, the opportunity to go to a top secret government spy school and change her identity. She agrees, because who wouldn't want to not have to go to jail?? She quickly adjusts to the spy environment, ev ...more
Genius computer girl who just happens to look like a Victoria's Secret model, but has never been liked or understood, gets recruited by some shadowy governmental agency to break into a Russian bad guy's compound, and there's a cute spy boy, blah blah blah.

Makes me grateful for the Ally Carter books instead. Somehow they manage to carry off farfetched espionage plots requiring teenage spies with a joyous spirit that makes me laugh along. This one just plods.
Sep 01, 2015 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had been in a huge reading slump since almost the end of July! This book was light, funny, and really simple. Now, I can see why that can be a two edged sword because I can just picture myself not loving this as much as I did out-of-reading-slump. Don't get me wrong, I still would've liked it but probably just not as much as five stars worth.

A couple points I liked:

-Gigi was down to earth and quite genuine. I really liked her as a character, she was kind of refreshing and I liked her story. I
Suitably nerdishly cute! I just wish it hadn't ended so abruptly. And realistically speaking, how many genius scatterbrained computer nerds manage to look like Victoria's Secret underwear models without even trying? I wish I could.

Also, do David and Kelly/GiGi ever get together?!?! *hopeless romantic fit*
Joan{missing the vampire bunny slippers!}
It's a fun read and it makes computer geeks like myself feel cool! :D
I loved this motley crew of misfits and geniuses! I would love to get my hands on the next one but I haven't had much luck so far.
Great book if you're looking for a good gift.
This was one of the most horrible books I've ever read. If I hadn't read it on my kindle, I probably would have started a fire with it. And that says something, considering I a) don't have a fireplace and b) it's probably a 100F in here. ANYTHING to get rid of it.

But, with a lot of self-motivation, I managed to get through this... thing. I'm sorry, I can't call it a book.

It's been a while since I've finished it but such a horror simply cannot be forgotten.

It all starts with the cover. Ugh. I ser
Jessica Bronder
Jan 31, 2013 Jessica Bronder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kelly is sixteen year old genius orphan. While at college, a cute guy asks her to find out information about his adoption. She ends up in custody for hacking into the government’s database. Kelly is give two choices, prison or to join the government as a spy. It doesn’t help that she finds out the cute guy that set her up is going to be her trainer.

Along with being super smart, 191 IQ, she is also tall and very pretty. There is a terrorist that has the location of a top computer programmer. He
Dec 07, 2010 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review: Kelly James has been caught. For what? Hacking in to the government's top secret database. And now she is being shipped off to some ranch in California. Except this is no ordinary ranch, this is The Specialists Headquarters. The Specialists are a group of super talented kids that have broken the law, just like Kelly. Once you join the Specialists there is no getting out and Kelly can't decided what she wants to do. Save the day or go back to being a normal foster care kid?

Model Spy was a
Dec 22, 2012 Books rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, netgalley
One chapter into this book and I was so hooked, I couldn’t put it down until I’ve devoured it all in one afternoon! This book was everything I was hoping it would be, and so much more. “Model Spy” is one of those rare gems you read while smiling all the time. It’s fun, filled with adventure and excitement, and the non-stop butt-kicking action and suspense had my adrenaline pumping. I can only best describe it as X-Men (with brainpowers instead of super powers) meets Miss Congeniality.

I really l
Nathania Ma
Spy, computer wiz, genius, specialists are the keywords that aroused my interest in this book but halfway through the book, the plot proves to be so illogical I'm ready to smash my phone against the wall (I'm listening to an audiobook copy from audible). Here's the points I find completely unacceptable (warning: spoiler ahead)
(view spoiler)
You're under arrest for threatening homeland security and suspected terrorism

I was given an e-galley copy of MODEL SPY for the purposes of providing a complete and honest review. I was intrigued by the gorgeous, vivid pink cover, and I honestly had not even read a description of the plot when I decided to read this book.

Kelly is a stunningly gorgeous teenage girl who just happens to be a complete and utter genius when it comes to computers. She can code everything and hack an
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Kelly, a foster teen with nowhere to call home, gets herself into a little bit of trouble hacking into a government computer system as a favor for her hottie R.A. Now she's under arrest.

Kelly's given a choice of being sent to a juvenile detention center or a government Special Operations Unit. Soon, her identity is gone and she's now Kelly Spree, working for the government as the resident computer genius with other teen agents.

But the biggest sur
Dec 31, 2012 Putri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Model Spy was a kind of guilty pleasure for me. It's one of those teen books that doesn't really require you to think a lot.

And indeed it was.

There were various parts that I frowned upon. One of the examples is Kelly's clumsiness or whatever awkwardness it is. No way someone that awkward and clumsy could bring David to his knees on her very first training in martial arts-- or whatever name that is. Kelly is the typical-predictable heroine that thinks she isn't beautiful or not worthy enough, tho
Kathy ~ Bookworm Nation

I liked this one; I think it was a fun start to a new series. GiGi was a likable heroine, although at times a tad unbelievable. I mean, she’s supposed to be this shy computer genius and at the same time pass as a super hot confident model. I guess I just didn’t get a good feel for who exactly she is, shy girl or confident hottie. Maybe she’s both. The love interest was okay, I wouldn’t have minded a bit more, but I’m guessing since it’s a five book series the author will take her time with th
Jan 30, 2013 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
PDF free for honest review

Oh my gosh, I LOVED this book! I was immediately sucked into it and enjoyed the whole experience of reading the book; the characters, the plot, the action/adventure, and the mystery of it all. It was one of those reads where the action started pretty much on page one and didn't end for the entire read, which is what makes it such a great book in my opinion. I hate it when you start out with action and then fizzle out, but this was not the case in this book. When I had
Aug 14, 2008 Rachael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kelly James is a computer genius; that’s why she’s about to graduate college at the young age of sixteen. So when her (incredibly hot) friend David asks her to uncover some top secret information belonging to the government, she agrees and manages to hack her way through half the levels of the government’s main computer system – only to get caught. But instead of being sent to jail, Kelly is offered a chance to join a special-operations division of the US government called the Specialists. Even ...more
Jan 24, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so excited to be participating in this tour today. As some of you following my blog may know, I'm involved in a LOT of "official" reading right now. I'm thoroughly enjoying it, does mean that I don't often get to pick up just fun books anymore.

Having the chance to read this book for the tour was GREAT. This was the "fun" book I've been dying to read lately. This book had adventure, romance, and a smart chick who also just happens to be somewhat klutzy...right up my alley, LOL!

I lo
Jun 05, 2008 Miriam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beach readers with short attention spans
Shelves: ya
The cover is candy pink and has some legs on it. I suspect this, and the title, were the design of some marketing bimbo who assumed that pink sexy things are more appealing to readers than intelligent female protagonists who are computer nerds cum secret agents. I'd be more offended if the book weren't so fluffy and silly. I know this is supposed to be the start of a series, so I'll give benefit of the doubt to the author and assume she is setting the stage here for better-developed adventures t ...more
Aug 03, 2009 Reggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the very first book in The Specialists series. Model Spy is one of my favorites from the series. After I read it, I decided I was going to get the entire series (but I might be biased cause I have a soft spot for spy books).

The book is in GiGi's perspective. At first, she's still unsure about being an agent but she soon finds friends in her other teammates. When she goes on her first mission, she is obviously hesitant but she was determined to prove that she could do it. She learned how
Karen Syed
Mar 10, 2008 Karen Syed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves spy adventures!
Recommended to Karen by: I know the author.
Shelves: kids
When Kelly James meets hottie David, she has no idea how he will change her life. Caught up in the fact that he likes her, Kelly hacks into a government computer system and soon finds herself in custody. But things aren't always what they seem and Kelly is given a second chance--the chance of a lifetime. The kicker is, she's not sure she can handle it, or survive it.

With a cast of characters who are beyond likable, Shannon Greenland offers a series for young readers who enjoy in your face advent
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Hi, welcome to my profile! I write under two names: Shannon Greenland if you're in the mood for romance/adventure/suspense and S. E. Green if you're looking for a thriller. SHADOW OF A GIRL is my latest novel (due out 9.19.16).
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Other Books in the Series

The Specialists (5 books)
  • Down to the Wire (The Specialists, #2)
  • The Winning Element (The Specialists, #3)
  • Native Tongue (The Specialists, #4)
  • Fight to the Finish (The Specialists, #5)

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