Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen
Genres/Themes: Middle grade, Spies, Mystery, Adventure
*I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
I’m a huge fan of fun spy media, such as ALIAS, Veronica Mars (she kinda counts, right?), and I remember liking Gallagher Girls when I was younger. So, when I saw this book pop up on Netgalley, I knew I would have to try it!Synopsis from Goodreads:
After a botched escape plan from her boarding school, Abigail is stunned to discover the school is actually a cover for an elite spy ring called The Center, along with being training grounds for future spies. Even more shocking? Abigail’s mother is a top agent for The Center and she has gone MIA, with valuable information that many people would like to have—at any cost. Along with a former nemesis and charming boy from her grade, Abigail goes through a crash course in Spy Training 101, often with hilarious—and sometimes painful—results. But Abigail realizes she might be a better spy-in-training than she thought—and the answers to her mother’s whereabouts are a lot closer than she thinks…
It is a fun and quick (for an adult) read. I enjoyed reading this book and the story was fun to follow along with. The relationships with friends and family were sweet and in the midst of becoming more. The spy materials were fun and sneaky, which I always find fun to read.
As much as I really wanted to love this book, because it had so many good elements to love, but the book itself distracted me from truly loving it. I thought it went so fast–which I think is okay in a middle grade novel, but it was abrupt as well in the chapter changes or moving from one scene to the next. There were times when I was confused if I had missed something or if it wasn’t mentioned. I was also confused by the timeline.
The book starts “8 months ago” but then mentions that she came to the school 6 months ago– also it took me a while to understand how she was a 7th grader when she mentioned in the first chapter “8 months ago” that next year she would be an 8th grader. So, I assumed it was summer and she was going into 8th grade…
I really would have preferred more clarification– more details on these things *gasp!* Me??? Want more details?! I know….
I do think this is a good start to the series, confusion aside, and I can see there is room for growth as the author continues the series, so we can only hope for the best! I will recommend this book to middle schoolers who like adventure and spy novels.