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#Prettyboy Must Die
by Kimberly Reid
Tor Teen, $17.99, 283pp
Published: February 2018

Peter is a seventeen-year-old highly trained CIA agent; part of a new experimental program to recruit young people in high school.  Baby agents.  Peter was part of an undercover operation in the Ukraine that went badly.  His boss put him on leave and sent him back to high school…to grow up.  And that’s been going pretty well.  Peter had an ulterior motive in selecting this particular school…before the Ukraine job went bad, Peter had been tracking an uber-hacker working for the terrorists but just missed catching him or her.  Since then, Peter found a trail that led to the very school he is now attending.  Trouble is…he hasn’t exactly told his boss that he’s still on the job.  His best friend has become convinced, however, that Peter is some kind of secret agent (which he is) and Bunk is determined to figure it out. So Peter has to keep his secret while trying to ferret out which of his classmates is actually a terrorist hacker.  All of his efforts blow up in his face the night a girl takes his picture – shirtless after a run – and posts it to the internet: #SeePrettyboyRun  Now it’s only a matter of time before his boss gets pissed because his picture is on the internet and Peter desperately hopes that there is nothing there to draw the attention of the hacker – who shouldn’t know what he looks like or that he’s even tracking them.

And then…the shit hits the fan.  The school is invaded by terrorists and Peter only narrowly misses being captured.  Now he’s skulking through the school gathering intelligence while trying to find a way out…until the girl that has captured his heart is in danger.  Young male hormones being what they are, there is no question that Peter will do whatever is necessary to save Katie.

But nothing and no one is what they seem and Peter is slapped with one revelation after another that causes him to change course until he isn’t sure he and his friends are going to make it out alive.

This was all kinds of fun.  It was definitely a wish-fulfilment type of story; what daydreaming teenager doesn’t imagine being all-powerful, clever and beautiful/handsome?  The plot was strong even though 99% of it occurred within a single building and a few hours.  The author didn’t give us a whole lot of inside-the-character’s psyche but there was enough to satisfy.  I had fun and strongly recommend it to both teens and even adults who wish it was them.   ~~  Catherine Book

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