Title: A Secret Service
Author: Joy Jenkins
Date Published: December 15th 2020
Publisher: Girl Power Galaxy
Carter Owens, daughter of a Secret Service agent, is trained to disassemble any weapon, any situation, and anyone. Her biting sarcasm and razor-sharp mind make her impossible to beat in a word fight and when talking doesn’t work, she uses her fists. She attends Hamilton Prep, Washington D.C.’s most prestigious high school, where everyone is related to someone in power, except her. When Hamilton Prep receives a flood of new students, Carter’s role as social outcast changes when she makes two unexpected friends. Friends who are hiding a secret. As Carter uncovers the truth, she confronts challenges she is unequipped to handle and finds herself in a dangerous situation. For a girl trained to see everything, Carter never saw this coming.
Thank you to the author for gifting me an ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.
The story follows Carter, who, as the daughter of a secret service agent, is fierce, independent, strong-willed, and brilliant. Carter is defiantly a prickly character, but I loved her fighting spirit and she secretly has a warm soft center. I really loved Carter and felt as though the author had written her wonderfully, making her layered and three-dimensional. I especially loved how great at observations Carter was, and how her blunt and honest nature pushed people away, meaning she had to learn to open up and to trust others. When our two other main characters were introduced – Link and Donovan – I loved seeing Carter’s interactions with them, and how they all helped each other grow.
Each character was expertly crafted, and each one had their own story, reasoning, and personalities, and every relationship introduced to us was well developed and multi-layered. I greatly appreciate that the author made the characters multi-dimensional characters, as some YA books have a tendency to add in some very flat characters.
Link and Donovan were great, I enjoyed reading about them as Carter became more deeply ingrained in their lives. Carter and Donovan’s banter and flirtations were hilarious and never failed to entertain me. Link was a lovely character that I could help but feel for – though I ended loving them all and wanting all of them to get their happy endings.
The story was interesting, and the plot consistently moved forward, each scene adding in details or developing relationships. Carter’s relationship with her father was beautiful and I felt the author explored their dynamic well. They faced struggles, fear, and some big choices, but I felt as though the author showed us Carter is a normal person with her own insecurities, fears, and hurts that she had to process through, as well as showing us that friendships make us stronger and help us through these things: you don’t have to do it all alone. This is an important message and the author really brought these themes of friendships and bonds to the forefront of the story.
Overall, it was a delightful, very easy read with great writing that flowed smoothly and an interesting and easy plot. It was a great YA read, with a focus on meaningful bonds, coping with odd hurts, and learning lessons from those around you. The story rounded out nicely, and the conclusion was very exciting. I especially enjoyed the snippet at the end giving us the first real interaction of two characters – this was so perfect and gave us a much better understanding of this other character as well as giving us hope for their relationship in the future.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy, enjoyable, fast-paced YA read.
Rating: 4.5 Stars