I received this book for free from Publicist in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Model Spy #1
Published by Scholastic UK on June 5th 2014
Genres: General, Young Adult
Note: This review is part of the blog tour for Jessica Cole: Fashion Assassin. It was meant to go live yesterday (Saturday) but due to unforeseen circumstances I was unable to post this until today.
Review: I heard a lot about the Model Spy series through twitter and the UKYA community so when Faye (A Daydreamer’s Thoughts) asked me if I’d like to review the first book for Sarah Sky’s upcoming blog tour I leapt at the chance.
I really enjoyed Code Red Lipstick and read it at just the right time, when I needed something fun and funny to read. While the concept isn’t entirely new, Jessica’s realistic and relatable voice carried this book really well and Sky raised several themes and ideas that made it stand out in the crowd, plus the gadgets and Bond-like feel worked well.
The balance between modelling content and spying worked well and as in Holly Smale’s successful YA series Geek Girl, Model Spy also shows the unglamorous side to modelling as well as the glitz with label-dropping and the beautiful city of Paris as the backdrop. While the way some of the plot develops is implausible, Sky makes it feel convincing for the novel and the main villain of the book had some interesting twists and developments I won’t spoil.
I did guess quite a few of the twists, however I love mysteries and puzzles and this is the case for a lot of the books I read and review, so I don’t feel this is particularly negative
What I really liked about this bug was Jessica and her family. Her dad is a really interesting character and the stakes behind his disappearance are very high for Jessica due to him needing his medication. At the same time, he’s a former spy and successful in his current career and not letting illness or disability destroy him. The father-daughter bond works well in Code Red Lipstick and it’s nice to see parents have more importance in YA.
I read this book very quickly and it was an addictive read. While I would say this feels more like the younger end of YA, it has great appeal and I think fans of Geek Girl in particular would find a lot to enjoy in this series.
A fun, compelling and enjoyable read. I would continue reading the series and am intrigued to see what Jessica does next.