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Also Known As #2

Going Rogue

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Being permanently based in a local New York City high school as an undercover operative has its moments, good and bad, for 16-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver.

Pros: More quality time with her former mark-turned-boyfriend Jesse Oliver and insanely cool best friend, Roux.
Getting to spend quality time with her semi-retired and international spy honorary uncle, Angelo.

Cons: High school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

But when Maggie's parents are falsely accused of stealing priceless gold coins, Maggie uses her safecracking skills to try and clear their names.

Too bad it only serves to put her and everyone she loves in danger. Maggie and her "new team" flee to Paris where they must come up with a plan to defeat their former allies.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published January 14, 2014

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About the author

Robin Benway

13 books1,941 followers
Robin Benway is a National Book Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author of six novels for young adults, including Far From the Tree, Audrey, Wait!, the AKA series, and Emmy & Oliver. Her books have received numerous awards and recognition, including the PEN America Literary Award, the Blue Ribbon Award from the Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults, and ALA’s Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. In addition, her novels have received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly, and have been published in more than 25 countries. Her most recent book, Far From the Tree, won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the PEN America Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, PBS, Entertainment Weekly, and the Boston Globe. In addition, her non-fiction work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Bustle, Elle, and more.

Robin grew up in Orange County, California, attended NYU, where she was a recipient of the Seth Barkas Prize for Creative Writing, and is a graduate of UCLA. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Hudson.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 367 reviews
Profile Image for TJ.
978 reviews119 followers
April 1, 2016

Why this book?

I liked the first book in this duology

What I thought

This book wasn't as funny as the first one, it had a more serious tone to it. The characters were still awesome though. I loved to see Roux and Jesse getting part in the the action. I also loved the characters interactions, even though at parts some feelings were hurt they all still loved eachother at the end. An awesome sequel to Also Known As
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,606 reviews1,480 followers
December 24, 2014
The first book in this series was better and a little more fun than this book but I still really enjoyed being in a Young Adult book again with actual Young Adults and not characters that do things that 30 year old characters would do.

First this book has actual parents in it. I KNOW!!! A young adult book where the parents aren’t mysteriously absent the entire book or the MC is lying to them constantly, thank you. Maggie is a Spy her parents are spies and that does lead to some issues but she treats them like parents and they are a huge part of her life.

Second she has friendships and a boyfriend that seem age appropriate as well. These are the characters I enjoy in the book the most because they talk about things I think kids this age would talk about and usually it is light and fun and even when it gets a bit romantic it isn’t over the top ‘I will love you until the end of time’. There are some very sweet and adorable moments between Jesse and Maggie and I loved them all but I also didn’t feel smothered by them. (I know this is a super long passage but it was adorable and I didn’t even put all of it in there)
“You seriously don’t know why I stick around?” he asked, almost incredulous. “Are you being serious right now?”
I nodded. I hated being vulnerable in front of him, asking him the questions whose answers scared me more than Dominic or any of his cohorts. “
Okay,” Jesse said, settling back next to me and putting his arm around my shoulders. “Let’s start with the A’s!”
“You aren’t seriously going to—”
“Ambitious!” he said. “Beautiful. Caring. Determined. Eager to learn.”
“That’s cheating,” I said, but I couldn’t hide my smile.
“Shh, I’m trying to romance you on a rooftop in Paris. Be quiet. Where was I? Oh, yes. Fearless. Generous. Happy.”
“I’m not happy all the time!”
“You have a happy spirit. Work with me, Mags, okay? This isn’t easy. Ignominious!”
“I don’t think that’s a compliment.”
“Did you just compare me to Santa Claus?”
“He’s beloved by millions. You should be so lucky.”

Maggie’s friendship with the ever excited and overtly boisterous Roux is so much fun. I love that Roux was the ‘Mean Girl’ who is sorta crazy used to sleep around a bit and drink but Maggie totally accepted her for who she was and Roux is such a good friend to her. She has changed a bit in this book, no sleeping around and less drinking but she is still a hoot and a half and I really love her character so much. The banter the two share is really funny.
Are you okay?”
“I think so,” I said. “Just needed to have a psychotic breakdown, that’s all.”
“I highly recommend them.” She grinned at me. “Next time, though, definitely break something. Otherwise you just look like an amateur.”
“Noted,”I said. “Maybe smash a plate?”
“A plate, maybe a few glasses if someone else will clean up the mess.” Roux’s eyes gleamed wickedly in the dark room. “I’ll show you a few things when we get back to New York.”

Your best friends stick by you even when you have a psychotic break. Plus they meet new friends and I learned what a horologist is.
“Your local horologist, at your service,” Ames said, bowing a little.
“Your local what?” Roux said.
“What did you just say?”
“H, not wh, darlin’,” Ames said, but there was a twinkle in his eye.
“And it’s a fancy word for clock maker. I fix gears, get things going again.” He wiggled his eyebrows at Roux, and she burst out laughing
“That’s what they call clock repair people?”
She giggled. “That’s the worst name ever! That sounds like the scientific name for a pimp!”

The only reason the first book was better was because of flow. Maggie had a few growing pains in this one as she tries to juggle having friends in the real world with her spy life. It is really hard on the people who care about you to not know what is really going on in your life and there are a few communication issues that arise because of it.

Overall I liked the spy plot line and these are really fun easy to read super light mysteries. I enjoyed the majority of the story and will continue on with this series as it is one of the few YA genre that doesn’t bug me with all the usually tropes.
Profile Image for Muse-ic ♬.
384 reviews111 followers
January 12, 2016

4.5 only because the beginning was a tiny tiny tiny bit slow ... like you can't even really count it.
But all the action and excitement during the second half made up for it a hundred fold! And the humor, of course ;)

“Cherubs are so creepy, don’t you think? Like, why are naked babies shooting poisonous arrows at innocent people a symbol of love? Why aren’t they a symbol of toddler anarchy instead?”
“Roux,” I started to say, but then I paused, thinking about her comment. “That is an excellent point,” I admitted.
“I blame Hallmark,” she said. “Damn them and their anarchist baby uprising.”

Overall, Also Known As, was better, but this one was more exciting.

If you have read the first one, then I definitely recommend continuing with this one. If you haven't read the first one, then you really should get on with that (basically, you're gonna end up reading this book either way)! You won't regret it!

Why you should read both of these:
-Maggie the fabulous and not-boring protagonist
-Jesse Oliver
-Roux and every other character (ANGELO)
-You'll never get enough of the absolutely hilarious dialogue!
-They're not really short but you'll fly through them because they're so awesome
-Hello!? Espionage!

I love Maggie and Jesse's relationship! The romance is not overdone or cheesy. It's sweet and enjoyable.
But you know what I loved even more?

I ship Roux and Ames so hard! Amazing, funny, and badass Roux with sweet, sexy, smart, and Scottish Ames. YES PLEASE!!
Even though their relationship was fairly short because it was introduced in the end, I loved loved loved it!!

Ryo and Elodie are pretty cool too!

Surprise surprise! The Collective is corrupt! Too many members began using its perks for their own personal gain. The main villain stole seven solid gold coins with a worth of about 70 million dollars and the blame fell on Maggie's parents. And although her parents asked her not to get involved, stubborn Maggie did anyways.

Speaking of stubborn Maggies,

Anyways, solid book :D I enjoyed it!
Profile Image for Zyra .
203 reviews79 followers
February 5, 2017
i did enjoy this as much as the first one. though i thought making all of them go abroad was a little unnecessary cause nothing happened much apart from museum chase. "Phoenix" looked liked a clue in the end for more books to come? but a different agency?.
Profile Image for Keertana.
1,126 reviews2,165 followers
January 18, 2015
I honestly didn't expect to fall in love with this series as much as I did. I tend to gravitate towards darker contemporary fiction featuring teens on the cusp of adulthood and yet, Benway's entertaining spy thrillers have managed to establish their own niche in my heart. In Going Rogue, Maggie, a safecracker whose life has been spent working for a spy agency known as the Collective, has finally settled down for the first time in her life. She's been in New York City for nearly a year now, spending her days alongside her best friend, Roux, and boyfriend, Jesse. Though Maggie longed for the chance to be just another normal teenage girl, now that the highlight of her days are SAT prep classes, she is forced to admit that she's bored. As much as she thought she could suppress being a spy, the fact of the matter remains that deep down, being a spy is more than just a profession; it's who she is.

When the Collective turns against Maggie's parents, however--a retaliation after Maggie exposed the chink in their armor in Also Known As,--Maggie takes it upon herself to find the evidence that will prove her parents' innocence. With the help of Angelo, the man who is practically an uncle to her, Maggie swears to save her family, all while maintaining the new relationships she's formed since arriving to NYC. While Also Known As charmed me with its down-to-earth narration and genuine honesty, Going Rogue stole my heart with its all-too-believable hurdles and heart-warming difficulties. As easy as it may be, physically, for Maggie to return to former skills in order to save her parents, it's a mental strain as it means she must distance herself from her best friend and boyfriend. After getting Roux and Jesse involved in her life a year ago, Maggie has no desire to put them in harm's way again and though she has their best interests at heart, it isn't easy to navigate those relationships.

Both Roux and Jesse understand and support Maggie, but they also want her time and presence in their lives. For Roux, who is used to being left behind by her absentee parents, the thought of Maggie going undercover instantly equates to Maggie leaving. I love the friendship between Maggie and Roux but it undergoes its rough patches in this novel, though it certainly emerges stronger for it. Similarly, Jesse and Maggie face their own struggles in their relationship but, what I love about these two is how perfectly they balance one another out, especially in times of turmoil. Despite any hurdles in their path, they face them down together and Benway writes their romance with plenty of swoon, despite the lack of steam. In fact, that's what makes their love story all the more adorable and swoon-worthy; the little things.

Going Rogue introduces a handful of new characters, all of whom I loved, and it continues to feature a stellar example of faithfully realistic parent-child conversations. Angelo, who I grew to like very much in Also Known As, has swiftly become one of my favorite characters and his wisdom, intelligence, and presence in the lives of all these teens, not just Maggie, is reassuring. It adds a touch of realism to what would have otherwise been a wildly unbelievable novel, I think, as Maggie isn't solely responsible or wise enough to take on international spy tasks without Angelo's intel and guidance. Benway's prose, as always, is compulsively readable and the narration, full of easy sarcasm, clever wit, and laugh-out-loud humor only adds to the pleasure of the reading experience. These novels prove to be the perfect light-hearted contemporary read, all with the much-needed character-depth I constantly crave. Quick, fun, and with no shortage of swoon, Benway's novels are a must-read.
Profile Image for Jeff Raymond.
3,092 reviews180 followers
January 12, 2014
I don't know what it is about teen spy novels that grab me, but I think I'll probably give anything in the genre a shot.

Going Rogue is the sequel to Also Known As, a book I liked a lot but didn't outright love. In the first book, our heroine is on her first spy adventure, and it ends up being a better Heist Society even though the true espionage-style story was lacking to a point. Going Rogue definitely turns up the energy a bit, with a broader conspiracy and an actual need to use spy skills for self-preservation as opposed to whatever motives might be ascribed to our characters the first time.

The book ultimately works because it works hard to be relevant to the subject matter and doesn't make the same mistakes a number of sequels in this genre do. It's a spectacularly quick read, with few pacing issues, and the romances are believable and not shoehorned in like with so many books in the genre.

I do not know where this can realistically go next, but I know I'll be on board when the next book comes out. If you enjoyed the first book, you should absolutely give the second a shot as well.
Profile Image for Jaime Arkin.
1,422 reviews1,326 followers
January 4, 2015
This review will encompass book 1 & 2 so some spoilers ahead!

So basically the Also Known As Series is now one of my favorites. I don’t even know why I waited so long to read these, but I’m glad I finally found the time.

At the ripe old age of 16 Maggie Silver is a seasoned International spy…. Yes, I said spy. She and her parents are part of a group called The Collective and they do what they need to do to keep the world safe. Her mom is a master hacker, her father a connoisseur of languages and Maggie herself has a talent… she can crack just about any safe or lock around.

When Maggie and her family are moved to New York for her first solo job, she finds herself in a world she never could have imagined. High school. She knows better than to make friends… the life of a spy just doesn’t make that possible… but once she meets Roux and Jesse she knows that plan is going to be harder than she ever could have imagined.

I have to say that the best thing about these books are the characters. Maggie is snarky, funny, sarcastic and smart… and one of the best heroines I’ve read in a while. Roux, her outcast best friend, is probably one of the best things about these books. She’s fun and funny and while she may now be an outcast, she was once at the top of the social ladder and knows all the gossip and drama… and who better to be Maggie’s first best friend?

But let’s talk Jesse Oliver! Oh the swoons from this boy. He starts out as just an assignment for Maggie, as it’s his father who they fear is going to spill all the information on the organization, but he becomes so much more! I loved the build of their friendship and eventual relationship and can we just talk about their first date for a minute? But of course there are secrets being kept and feelings of betrayal to be had. BUT I have to commend Benway for not keeping our hearts in a sling for too long!

Ultimately book one deals less with the mystery and suspense of a spy story, instead the focus falls on Maggie’s growth and coming to terms with the things her parents decided for her future before she could even consider anything else, and I thought it was really well done. Her focus has always been on being a spy, but she also hasn’t known anything else either. Seeing her make connections and relationships is such a great part of this story.

Book two is the same kind of fun. Only this time Jesse and Roux know exactly what it is that Maggie does, and try as she might to keep them uninvolved in what is going on, it’s just not possible. This time around though, someone is trying to frame Maggie’s parents.

We get a bit more sleuthing and some definite capers but we also get a lot more relationship growth… especially between Maggie and Jesse… who I love. Have I mentioned that yet?

I’m kind of hoping that there might be some more of these books down the road for Benway, they were absolutely that much fun. I wasn’t expecting to love them as much as I did, but I’m so happy to have found them.

If you haven’t read these two books yet, definitely put them on your list for when you’re looking for something with less drama and more laughs!
Profile Image for Jessica (Goldenfurpro).
883 reviews252 followers
April 24, 2019
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

It has been a while since I read Also Known As and I remember enjoying that book. While I liked this book, I did not enjoy this one as much as the previous book and I'm not sure if it's just not as great as the first book or if my taste for books has changed since I read the first book.

Maggie is now staying in New York City, hopefully for good. She's a safecracker and undercover operative for the Collective, with her parents, and since the events of the last book, her best friend, Roux, and boyfriend, Jesse, also know about her spy status. Things seem to be normal, at least for a spy, but when Maggie's parents are accused of stealing coins from the Collective, Maggie aims to prove their innocence. But can she keep secrets from her friends and family to keep them safe? Or is everyone in danger? What if the Collective isn't safe anymore?

One of the reasons why I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought is that, looking back, I realized that not much happened, especially for a book with spies in it. There is definitely some action in the book, but it's closer to the end and happens very quickly. I'm not really sure what was happening throughout the rest of the book, because until that scene, the book is mostly character interactions and one stakeout. One of the strange things about this book is it is a thriller/contemporary romance hybrid. For most of the book, it is closer to contemporary than thriller, which isn't a bad thing because this brings up the humor in the book, but sometimes it feels odd with the intensity in other parts of the book.

The characters in this book are fantastic. I love Maggie and Roux's relationship and I love Roux as a character, even though I don't know what she went through in the previous book. There is also Angelo and the folks Maggie meets in Paris. Benway really does a great job creating relationships and dialogue between the characters. Maggie's parents are a lot more involved than other YA parents which is fantastic. One of the main struggles in this book was there was a lot of arguing about secrets. Maggie did not want to tell her parents things to keep them safe, but when her parents did the same, she got upset. There was also conflict with her friends because Maggie also did not want to tell them anything. I could understand why Maggie wanted to keep things secret, but it also frustrated me because her friends and family were already involved and were willing to help. All of this secret-keeping took up a bigger chunk of the book than the actual conflict with the stolen coins, which was disappointing.

As for romance, there was some because Maggie does have a boyfriend, who she met in the last book. I don't have any strong feelings, positive or negative about the romance in this book. It did not distract from the plot and it felt more like an average teenage relationship which is more than I can say for some books

Overall, I did like this book, mainly because of the characters. The plot didn't do as much as I hoped it would, but it was a quick read and it has some fun moments. This is the last book in this series. I will be reading more from Benway in the future, but her other books are a little different from this one.
Profile Image for Jen Ryland.
1,478 reviews900 followers
September 10, 2016
Beware: spoilers for book one, most of which are in the book description anyway. But just warning you….

I was thinking back to those things I loved about Also Known As, which was the first book in this series. Here goes: 1) watching Maggie attend high school for the first time. 2) watching Maggie fall for Jesse but not be able to tell him that she's a spy AND spying on his family. 3) Maggie having to hide the spy thing from everyone, including her new BFF, Roux. 4) Her new BFF, Roux

Going Rogue only retains one of these elements, Roux. Maggie doesn't spend much (any?) time at school in this book. She and Jesse are now together and (mostly) all lovey-dovey. Both Jesse and Roux know that she's a spy.

I'm a fan of this series, and liked Going Rogue, even though it felt a bit less thrilling than Also Known As. It seemed to me that many of the elements that worked to create suspense and tension in book one had evaporated in book two, but there was nothing new to take their place. (But thank you, Robin Benway, for not manufacturing some stupid lovers' quarrel between Jesse and Maggie, which often happens in second books.)

The plot of Going Rogue is pretty straightforward and can be gleaned from the synopsis above: Maggie's parents are accused of stealing priceless gold coins and Maggie has to prove their innocence by locating and stealing gold coins back from the bad guy. That about sums it up. There's a also trip to Paris, which is never a bad thing, but which was also mostly a "fleeing the bad guy" kind of thing.

The good news is that Maggie and Jesse are pretty cute together, Roux is still pretty funny, and Angelo is as cool and mysterious a mentor as ever. There are also some last-minute new characters, but I felt pretty lukewarm-ish about them. I hope that the next book a) gets Maggie back into school, or into some other undercover "fish out of water" scenario, b) lets Roux be more outrageously Roux, and c) lets Jesse shine a little. That's all I ask!

One last thing. In my e-ARC, Maggie and Roux are doing a SAT prep class arranged for them by Roux's parents. I was pretty excited about this, because sometimes as I am reading YA, I wonder when these crazy kids study. How do they get into college? In their class, Maggie and Roux study analogies, which have not been part of the SAT since 2005. This SAT prep class is clearly a huge fraud, and I hope that Maggie has time to get to the bottom of it...
Profile Image for Maggie ☘.
534 reviews651 followers
February 26, 2020
*1.5/5 stars*

This book was just so silly. I was bored more often than not and the pretty great humor from book one was completely lacking here. The main heroine - and unfortunately my namesake - was acting like a whiny child. And then there were all the freaking clichés.. Every one of the characters were annoyingly immature, the way they acted sometimes reminded me of kindergarteners. This duology definitely felt more like a middle grade read than YA. Light, silly and immature. Overall, disappointing conclusion.
Profile Image for Girl and Books.
283 reviews
September 17, 2021
Still ridiculously funny and slightly better than the first book. But I just don't care about the characters.
Profile Image for Danielle (Love at First Page).
726 reviews621 followers
December 11, 2014
Last year Also Known As took me completely by surprise with its adorable cast of characters, laugh out loud charm, and all around fluffy goodness. We watched as Maggie stumbled her way through school and relationships for the first time, trying to learn how a spy can also be a normal teenage girl. In Going Rouge, she finds herself in the opposite situation: how a teenager can still be a successful spy. The gang (including Jesse, Roux, her parents, and her esteemed mentor Angelo) are of course back and better than ever, ready to keep Maggie on her feet (and toes).

At the end of Also Known As, Maggie and her family decide to take a break from spying so they can focus on living a normal life for a while. Naturally, this all goes up in flames. These are spy books after all, so of course a little spying is to be had. Maggie learns that her parents are being framed for a crime they didn't commit, and she takes it upon herself to absolve them. It turns out there's a much bigger conspiracy, one that threatens to dismantle the Collective (the spy agency her family works for) entirely. The action definitely kicks up a notch in this one, with a much more thrilling spy subplot. We even get to travel to Paris! Whereas in Also Known As Maggie was like a fish out of water, in Going Rogue she's very much back in her element. It's fun seeing her take charge and become the leader we all knew she was capable of in the last book.

However, my favorite aspect still remains the relationships. Now that Maggie has a best friend and a boyfriend, she finally has the company she's always craved. Outside of her parents, they are the perfect support system for her, keeping her grounded. The obstacle she faces now, though, is how to maintain those relationships while still being a spy. Learning how to balance and mesh her two very different lives is an ongoing struggle for her. When she starts her new mission, she hides things from Jesse and Roux thinking that she's protecting them. Although she wants to keep them out of harm's way, it becomes clear that they are at their best when they stick together and work as team.

Roux is the same girl who won me over in the first book - hilarious, dramatic, and a force of nature. It broke my heart when Maggie started pushing her away, because that's the most important (really, the only) relationship in her life. I was all out of sorts until these two made up. It's wonderful to see such a tight knit friendship between girls, one where they lean on each other equally for support. Roux also gets a little romance of her own, which I adored! (The guy's name is Ames, and he's from Australia, and he's charming and flirtatious while at the same time quick to blush. So cute!) Then there's Jesse. *Happy sigh.* Maggie's relationship with him is seriously awesome. I swooned a lot during this book because he says the best things. They have great banter and chemistry, and they're also really mature about things. Even when they hit a bump in the road, it's obvious how much they love one another and there's never any doubt they'll make it work. (No love triangle here, folks!)

I haven't heard any news on whether there will be a third book, but I sure hope so! It's such a fun series, I would hate not to have more page time with Maggie, Jesse, and Roux.

This review can also be found at Love at First Page.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,001 reviews368 followers
December 19, 2013
I fell in love with Benway's writing after reading Also Known As, it was such a fun read. When I saw Going Rogue I snatched it up because I knew it was going to be another great read and I was really looking forward to jumping right back into Maggie's world full of espionage, adventure and even a little danger.

This was exactly what I needed when I needed it. Something fun and exciting with great characters, a little romance, a whole lot of spy action, and laugh out loud moments. I wasn't prepared to love this as much as the first and in fact, was shocked to learn that I loved it even more.

Maggie has grown quite a bit, not only as a spy but as a friend and daughter as well. She has finally gotten everything that she wanted and never even knew she needed and she wasn't about to let any of it go. She was going to stand and fight for it and fight for it she did.

I was so very happy to see all of the same lovable characters in the first book also in this one. It just wouldn't be the same if Angelo, Roux and Jesse weren't by Maggie's side helping and supporting her. I even love her parents. Unlike most YA books out there they are very much present, very much supportive and very much a part of her life. They have a great loving relationship and it is so nice to see that in a young adult book these days.

I can not even begin to express just how much fun this read was. Maggie as well as all the secondary characters really make this story what it is. The introduction of new characters, Ames, Elodie, and Ryo was brilliantly done and I found myself falling in love with them just as much as I loved Angelo, Jesse and Roux.

There is never a dull moment to be had and so much is happening that you just can't get enough. And even with the nonstop action and fun, it is never overwhelming or just too much, in fact, I was super sad when I finally got to the last page, I wasn't quite ready for this one to end and I am keeping my fingers crossed that this was only the beginning of more adventures to come.

Benway has created a lovable cast of characters, a fast paced plot and one heck of a fun ride that will leave you smiling and craving more.
Profile Image for Samantha Shamim.
39 reviews1 follower
September 13, 2015
I started out with liking this book to ABSOLUTELY loving it. The characters were awesome, and there a mix of comedy, action, suspense, and other elements of good, creative writing to make a great story.

I liked the first book,but I LOVED this sequel to it. Also Known As, the first book, earned an applause from me, but Going Rogue received a standing ovation. I found it more interesting due to the increased involvement of Maggie's friends in her life spy-wise, as well as more frequent suspense and mystery occurring throughout the story.

I really, really, REALLY hope that there is a third book (or even more books; the more, the better)to this series. I definitely recommend it to readers with a thing for books with realistic fiction including extraordinary events and humor.
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,430 reviews234 followers
January 25, 2021
Rating: 4.5 Stars

I enjoyed this duet so much! I wonder if Benway intended to write more books, because the ending to this one felt like a door to more stories. I am happy I had two books with Maggie and the gang. I loved seeing her friendship with Roux evolve and her relationship with Jesse grow. It was fun branching out and meeting more spies too.

Profile Image for Larisa.
26 reviews2 followers
September 20, 2017
Вторая книга как-то меньше зацепила, чем первая. Повествование то провисало, то начинало лететь стремглав, то опять тормозилось. Отдельные моменты прекрасны: прятки в доме с кукушками, нападение на родительский дом, развитие отношений у Ру с новым знакомым и, конечно, перечисление Джесси качеств Мэгги на каждую букву алфавита с шутками-прибаутками, - но вот захватить и удержать мое внимание целиком книга не смогла. Может, потому что в середине книги пришлось прерваться на время отпуска, и интерес поостыл. А может, потому что шпионская часть истории стала ну совсем неправдоподобной :)
Profile Image for Cyndi.
2,338 reviews97 followers
May 31, 2017
I love the teen-spy books. This series is especially fun! Good plot, characters and locations.
Profile Image for Maggie.
730 reviews65 followers
January 6, 2014
4.25 stars

Robin Benway is the master of writing smart, thoughtful books that you don’t even realize are smart or thoughtful because you’re having so much fun reading them. It’s been well established that I loved Also Known As, 50% because it’s a great book and 50% because the main character’s name is Maggie and I’m happy to say that I loved Going Rogue just as much, if not more, then I loved Also Known As.

Because I didn’t think Also Known As needed a sequel I was slightly worried going into this, but I should have just trusted Robin. In this second book in the series The Collective has gone off script and Maggie, her parents, and Angelo must go rogue. Maggie must also break out from under her parents’ careful watch and start to take on missions of her own and unfortunately Roux and Jesse get dragged into all of the craziness that ensues.

In my review of Also Known As I wrote: “Do I think a 16-year-old could really be a safecracker working with some of the top spies in the world? No. Do I think this book had a lot of absurd things happen? Absolutely. Did it matter? No.” And I still feel the exact same way. Reading about a 17-year-old breaking into a criminal mastermind’s home just doesn’t seem real to me, but the story is so fun and the characters are so great that it just doesn’t matter.

Let’s get to where I think Robin Benway really excels and that’s at blending the serious with the fun. Everything about this book is fun. Even when Maggie is in tough situations she’s still her smart, sarcastic self and that makes reading these books such a joy. But there’s also a lot of seriousness and relatable situations hidden among all the good times. When this book starts Maggie and Jesse have been dating for a little over a year and while things seemed to mostly have been good, as Maggie gets drawn back into the spy world things get tough for them. Maggie must keep secrets from Jesse and Jesse, even though he doesn’t know exactly what’s going on, is worried for Maggie’s safety and wants to protect her (in the least misogynistic way possible). Essentially these problems are variations of problems lots of people face in relationships; sometimes you have to keep secrets from those you love and sometimes you have to let people take risks and live their lives even when you want to protect them.

The same can be said for Maggie’s relationship with her parents. I absolutely love the parent-kid dynamic that they have in both books, but in this book Maggie needs to strike out on her own and put some space between herself and her parents. Not only because she’s entering her senior year of high school and getting ready to leave for college, but also because she’s working with Angelo as part of their “going rogue” on things her parents can’t know about. Even though the mission with Angelo is such a crazy thing it really struck me how Maggie’s need to assert her own independence and live her own life is just like what so many other teenagers go through.

After the perfect blend of fun and serious my favorite part of this book was obviously Angelo and Roux. So often I can’t stand supporting characters and best friends, but Angelo and Roux are something special. I loved that we got to see more of Angelo in this book and more of Angelo at work. And Roux is just amazing, I don’t think she was quite as wacky in this book, but she has some amazing moments. I mean, who else would have a Faberge egg hidden in their sock drawer?

Bottom Line: This book is so perfect for so many people. If you like fun, read this book. If you like contemporary YA novels, read this book. If you like spies, read this book. Robin Benway’s books are something truly special and if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading one of her books yet I encourage you go fix that mistake ASAP.

I received an electronic review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley (thank you!). All opinions are my own.

This review first appeared on my blog.
Profile Image for Alexa.
2,145 reviews11.3k followers
December 3, 2015
Going Rogue is, without a doubt, one of the most fun novels I've had the pleasure of reading. It made me laugh, kept me on the edge of my seat, gave me new characters to be friends with to like, and made me fall harder for the characters I already knew. It really surprises me how much I fell in love with this sequel!

Honestly, I found Going Rogue a lot more thrilling and entertaining to read than Also Known As. While I liked Also Known As, it didn't quite inspire the affection and adoration I possess for its sequel. From start to finish, I was taken with this story!

I loved the fact that readers are tossed right into the action this time, and that the stakes are definitely higher for Maggie, her family and her friends. The angle taken when it comes to spies and a case is a bit different in this one, but still connected to the plot of the first book in a minuscule way. I liked the fact that we see more spy skills come out to play, as well as resources that I could never have imagined being utilised too.

The best part of this novel, honestly, are all the characters in it. Maggie, for instance, is a great main character! Her thoughts were still fun to read, and I like how I felt a certain level of maturity had settled on her. It was also interesting to watch her deal with the reality of her double life, as Benway managed to make that feel so true to Maggie's character. Nevertheless, in spite of her worries and doubts, she's still a pretty kick-ass spy too, and I'm still jealous of her lock-picking, safe-cracking skills.

As for the others, well, it's hard not to just keep gushing about everyone else. I'm going to list down my thoughts on the others, just to keep it all organized:

* Maggie's parents are still pretty bad-ass, both as authority figures and as spies. It was cool to get to learn a little bit about their history before they had Maggie. The parental concern they showed was touching! My only complaint? I wish there had been more of them!
* Angelo, on the other hand, was still the coolest adult ever. He's as clever and subtle as ever, though it comes into play a lot more in this novel. It was also neat to see how intuitive he was about people, and how deeply he cared for Maggie and the others. I still want him to be my mentor in life.
* Jesse is such a sweet boyfriend! Even though he does get frustrated by the whole spy business, it's only because he cares so much about Maggie and doesn't want her in danger. I loved seeing the two of them together, because he just gets Maggie and usually knows just what she needs at any given time. They share a lot more swoony moments in this one, which is definitely great.
* Roux is sincerely awesome. I love that she gets more of a back story in this book! Benway manages to bring out her vulnerabilities, and find a way to make her situation better too. It was nice to see Roux was still rambunctious, eager and ready to do what was asked, but also nice to see her have more emotional moments too.
* Ryo, Elodie and Ames are three new characters we get introduced to, and man, I just want to be part of their tight-knit group! I'm not going to say what role they play, but I will say that I think they're awesome.

Bonus points must be given to Going Rogue for using two of my favourite places in the world as settings -- New York City and Paris. Anytime a book is set in New York, and mentions landmarks or places I'd know, it makes me all giddy inside. And Paris, City of Lights, City of Love? It's always been one of my dream destinations, so there's no question of how excited I got when I realized part of the case in this book was set there.

Based on all the gushing, it's clear that I loved Going Rogue. It's got many elements that I can appreciate, such as the settings and the story. But, in the end, it was truly these amazing characters that got to me. If my staying up till 4AM to finish it is any indication, Going Rogue is a book that readers will definitely enjoy!

{If you liked this review, check out Alexa Loves Books for more!}
Profile Image for Danielle.
396 reviews65 followers
July 29, 2016
Read This Review & More Like It At Ageless Pages Reviews

I’m really glad I gave this series a second chance.

I liked Also Known As, (really!) but my main issue with it was a lack of actual espionage. There was a botched job at the newspaper owner’s house and the big conclusion, but for the most part the first book is about interpersonal relationships. Friendship, romance, letting your teen leave the nest...typical high school stuff. And I thought it suffered for that.

Have no fear, Going Rogue never once sets foot inside a school. The relationships from book one are carried over: Maggie’s still dating Jesse, still bffs with Roux, still trying to find a kid/coworker balance with her parents, but the actual spy work has been ramped way up.

Maggie’s retired from spying to finish high school, but the whole family’s dragged back in when it turns out that the rogue spy from the last book may not have been the only agent to turn. The Collective accuses Maggie’s parents of using their hacker/linguistic, (that’s what dad does!,) skills to steal some ridiculously valuable gold coins. Rather than sit back and let the family be burned, Mags teams up with Angelo to clear the family name.

You can guess how that plan goes.

I really liked seeing Maggie do something this time around. Not just safecracking, but casing, researching, and lifting evidence. She still has too much of a tendency to talk about her job in public, but this time she notices shadowy figures, destroys SIM cards, and just generally acts like a spy with a decade plus of training. Very exciting.

Beyond the actual heist parts, the characters really make the novel. Roux and Jesse are officially part of the team, because we can’t just let civvies run around and tell all of our secrets. Roux remains delightfully exuberant and is thrilled to be included, though the new vulnerability she shows is special and very well written. Jesse, too, is struggling in this book, but never falls into the douchebag role that a lot of other YA boyfriends do.

Additionally, the relocation to Paris gives the book a chance to introduce three other teenage spies, Ryo, Élodie, and Ames. All three were fun additions, though Ryo and Élodie could have stood more characterization. I’m afraid I’m still not clear on their “clean up Paris” scheme. Their inclusion lets us see both how the Collective recruits spies and dumps them when they're done.

Going Rogue is a fun, fast paced adventure that was not only extremely enjoyable, but surprisingly tense. The new city and expanded backstories help flesh out the world building. The climax is very satisfying, showing both the full depth of the corruption and the heroes' strengths. It may end a little bittersweet, but the series is left open to grow in any number of ways, just like Angelo’s phoenix.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
1,143 reviews598 followers
June 14, 2016
While I can definitely see where Going Rogue improved upon its predecessor, it still feels like it was written for someone much younger. It is not a middle grade book, but I feel it is much more suited to that age group. While I can appreciate this series I find it hard to enjoy it.

A humorous novel about a teenage spy named Maggie, it’s quite an enjoyable and light read. Her relationships progress in this book, her adventures are more action packed and less high school centered, making it feel like a huge step up from Also Known As.

I could see that the writing had progressed from the first page. Where I had criticized the childish, almost amateur, writing in the first book, the style of this one feels overall more put together and the work of an experienced writing while retaining the young, light feeling of the first one.

These two books were honestly some of the quickest reads I’ve ever picked up, taking only about an hour and half each. At only around 300 pages and with its light nature if you need something fast paced and not overly complex this series would be a great option.

I enjoyed seeing Maggie’s relationships grow throughout this book. Her friendship with Roux is a fantastic representation of female friendship. The romance still feels flat and cheesy at times but has definitely grown on me. Maggie’s relationship with her parents is realistic and important considering how often parents are absent in YA books, though they were annoying at times.

The humor, for me, was sadly a big miss. The wit and banter felt much too childish and juvenile and made me more annoying than amused. For others it may be hilarious, but not me.

This series was obviously intended to be more than two books based on that end. If I’d known this was one of those series that was just never completed I would never have picked it up; I hate not getting a conclusive ending.

Overall I recommend this series to middle grade readers looking to branch off and fans of Ally Carter’s spy novels. If you need something fun and not super time consuming I would surely consider these!
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,157 reviews458 followers
July 15, 2016
*Source* Library
*Genre* Young Adult, Mystery
*Rating* 3.5

*My Thoughts*

Going Rogue is the second installment in author Robin Benway's Also Known As. 17-year old Maggie Silver and her parents work for an organization known as The Collective. The Collective is supposed to right wrongs, return money to retirement accounts, and expose bad guys. While Maggie is the best safe-cracker and lock picker in the business, her mother (hacker) and father (linguist & statistician) are just as valuable. But, this time out, the parents find themselves in a bit of a situation that will require Maggie (who has been on a "vacation" since the end of the previous novel and bored to tears), to jump in and help clear her parent's names.

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews 07/15/2016*


Published January 14th 2014 by Walker Children's
Profile Image for Stephanie A..
2,319 reviews64 followers
April 28, 2014
I was sure there was no way the sequel could be as exciting as the first book. NOPE. WRONG. Every bit as much action and adventure, if not more. It also continues its adorable G-rated romance with barely a blip, so there's that factor of awesome to consider too.
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