Book Review: Catwalk Criminal (Sarah Sky)

Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 320
Release Date: June 4th 2015
Summary (From Goodreads):Models, spies and lipstick gadgets in this fast-paced teen series. Jessica Cole has been recruited to Westwood, MI6’s secret division of supermodel spies. Her first official mission seems simple at first, until it turns into the biggest cyber-attack ever known, threatening the security of the whole country. Then it emerges there is a traitor in the midst at MI6 – and suddenly Jessica herself is being accused. With no one believing her innocence, and the country on the verge of chaos, Jessica has no choice but to take matters of national security into her own hands and catch the culprit – fresh from the catwalk.

Review:
I was lucky enough to win a set of the Jessica Cole books in a competition, so big thanks to Scholastic and Faye Rogers for my set.This is the third book in the Model Spy series. As usual, it plunges straight into the action, this time in the middle of a mission, as Jessica has finally joined Westwood, a secret MI6 division of supermodel spies. It was great to see Jessica on the official team, rather than off on her own one-off kind of mission.

Unfortunately for Jessica this doesn’t last long. My favourite thing about this book was that she didn’t have a lot going for her this time: no Nathan to fall back on, her gadgets mostly confiscated, and limited access to technology. I loved the idea of the cyber attack and being unable to access Oyster cards and money and having to avoid security cameras and such. It really highlighted how much we depend on digital technology, and how stuck we are when that’s suddenly taken away from us.

The mystery was even better this time: I feel like each book is getting more intriguing, which is brilliant. The technology aspect felt very relevant for today’s world, and the way the odds were so stacked against Jessica made it hard to see a way out.

Once again, I wasn’t really a fan of the Jamie parts: he just doesn’t interest me very much, and as such I didn’t feel much sympathy when they hit difficulties. I feel this romance might be better off for the teen audiences, which is obviously great as that’s who the books are aimed at (instead of old/jaded people like me!).

I was, however, a big fan of new guy Zak, and the way he and Jessica interacted with each other was brilliant. You can really see the tension spark there, and I’ll be interested to see him in future books (fingers crossed!). Similarly, I’d love to see Kat make another appearance soon as I did miss her in this book. She’s a great kind of frenemy for Jessica and I’m really interested to see where her character will go.

This is another awesome installment in the Model Spy series. It’s great to see a UKYA spy book with a female lead, and I look forward to joining Jessica on her next mission.

My Verdict:
 
 

Ahaha I love this book, you should totally read it!

Book Review: Fashion Assassin (Sarah Sky)

 

Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 320
Release Date: January 1st 2015
Summary (From Goodreads):

Models, spies and lipstick gadgets in this fast-paced teen series. Supermodel Jessica Cole has no intention of ever spying again after she was nearly killed by an embittered ex-model and a rogue MI6 agent. That is until she’s blackmailed into posing undercover as bodyguard to a very rich fellow model. What seems like a simple job aboard a luxurious yacht in Monaco soon turns into a deadly mission to stop the most dangerous weapon in the world falling into the wrong hands. Jessica will need every gadget in her make-up bag if she wants to get out of this one alive.
Review:
I was lucky enough to win a set of the Jessica Cole books in a competition, so big thanks to Scholastic and Faye Rogers for my set.This is the second book in the Model Spy series. I found it easier to get into than the first one, as the premise already there: unbelievable as it sounds, Jessica Cole is a school girl and a model and spy, all in one.

The beginning was really captivating, with an expensive necklace being stolen right off someone’s neck in the middle of an awards ceremony, with no sign at all of the culprit. It’s a genuinely intriguing mystery that keeps you guessing the whole way through the novel.

This book Jessica has Kat to contend with, a spoilt brat of a Russian model who is incredibly annoying but does have a softer side (and also a surprisingly conniving one!) There’s also a return of some old favourites, both friendly faces and some old enemies who rear their ugly heads again.

I had some difficulty with some of Jessica’s personal struggles: I didn’t feel like we saw enough of her relationship with Jamie to really understand how she was feeling. I just didn’t feel the connection between them, and found I was more interested in all the awesome spy stuff rather than a boyfriend we don’t get to see much.

This was a great follow up to Code Red Lipstick and I really enjoyed puzzling out the mystery on this one.

My Verdict:
 
 

Ahaha I love this book, you should totally read it!

Book Review: Code Red Lipstick (Sarah Sky)

 

Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 336
Release Date: June 5th 2014
Summary (From Goodreads):

Models, spies and lipstick gadgets… When Jessica’s father, a former spy, vanishes mysteriously, Jessica takes matters into her own hands. She’s not just a daddy’s girl who’s good at striking a pose; she’s a trained spook who knows how to take on MI6 and beat them at their own game.
Review:
I was lucky enough to win a set of the Jessica Cole books in a competition, so big thanks to Scholastic and Faye Rogers for my set.I’ve heard great things about these books, but I was a little wary: as an older Young Adult reader, I was worried I’d be a little too old for this series. I’m also not really very interested in fashion and modelling and such so I wasn’t sure it would be my cup of tea.

I am, however, a fan of spies and mysteries and kick ass female characters, so there was definitely something there for me to enjoy.

When I was the age this book is targeted at, I read the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz and really enjoyed the mystery and gadgets and quick wit in the books. These books reminded me a lot of those, only slightly more modern and with a fashion twist. Jessica could give Alex a run for his money – she could be his awesome, distant cousin or something.

The premise of the book required some suspension of disbelief: a fourteen year old schoolgirl/super model/spy does seem a little far-fetched, but once you’ve suspended your disbelief and got your head around that you soon get lost in the action.

The mystery was a good one to ease you into the story and characters, but I found some things a little obvious (but I won’t mention – no spoilers here!). The villain of the story had some really twisted ideas and I found their evil plan really disturbing – it was pretty twisted!

Overall, this is a really fun and easy read that will have you racing through to then end. While the mystery is solved, there’s still plenty left open for the sequel, which I’m looking forward to getting stuck into.

My Verdict:
 
 

Ahaha I love this book, you should totally read it!