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Spies and Prejudice
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Spies and Prejudice

3.6 6
by Talia Vance
 

Pride & Prejudice meets Veronica Mars in this slick romantic spy-thriller where nothing’s as it seems.

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She's busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she's sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth

Overview

Pride & Prejudice meets Veronica Mars in this slick romantic spy-thriller where nothing’s as it seems.

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She's busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she's sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.

So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her "nothing amazing," it's no loss for Berry. She'll forget him in no time. She's more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother's death.
 
But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can't Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?
 
With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sixteen-year-old Berry Fields has been on stakeouts with her private investigator father since she was nine, and handling cases since she was 14. The one case she can’t crack is the car crash that killed her mother. When Berry happens upon information that suggests the crash may be linked to her best friend’s father, she starts to investigate, aided—or is it obstructed?—by a couple of handsome guys who’ve recently turned up in school. One seems nice, the other haughty, but both turn out to have ties to the case. Vance (Silver) sets the stakes high: Berry isn’t the only budding spy at work, and nearly every major character’s father comes under suspicion. But while she’s good when it comes to romance—it’s fun to watch Berry and Tanner move from dislike to attraction, à la Elizabeth and Darcy in the novel’s quasi-namesake—the plot feels manufactured and improbable. The big reveal, meanwhile, gives short shrift to Berry’s connection to her lost mother, which until then had been the driving force behind the story. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency. (June)
From the Publisher
"Berry is a likable, tough character whose acerbic wit is tempered by moments of vulnerability...Fun and tightly plotted...." -Kirkus Reviews

"...a first-rate mystery with some major twists." -Library Media Connection

"A charming sleuth story with a unforgettable heroine. Funny, fast-paced and utterly endearing." –Veronica Rossi, New York Times best-selling author of Under the Never Sky 
 
"The perfect combination of romance, gadgets, and a strong heroine. We especially loved the Pride and Prejudice connection." –Lisa and Laura Roecker, authors of Liar Society and Lies That Bind
 
“I loved this book! Full of humor, heart, and intrigue, this twisted mystery kept me turning pages deep into the night. A captivating read from beginning to end." – Megan Miranda, author of Fracture and Hysteria

Kirkus Reviews
A young woman who assists with her dad's private-investigation business is drawn to a stormy newcomer in this mystery that features glimmers of Austen's revered tale. Headstrong Berry is often charged with spying on the errant husbands of her father's clients, which has left her skeptical about relationships. She and her father have also endured years of grief over her mother's unexpected death, ruled a suicide by the police. So when Berry begins to suspect that her best friend Mary Chris' dad may have been somehow involved, she initiates a clandestine investigation that lands her between two guys new to her school: the seemingly friendly, helpful Drew and the gorgeous but complicated Tanner. It also opens a rift between her and Mary Chris, who is enraptured with Tanner's stepbrother, Ryan. Berry is a likable, tough character whose acerbic wit is tempered by moments of vulnerability layered in her internal dialogue. Many other characters are less well-developed, though romance fans will relish the smoldering between Berry and Tanner. Mary Chris and Berry's friend Jason is often very funny (at one point he's described as making a gesture "between jazz hands and some kind of seizure"), but at times, he feels a little stereotyped in the gay-best-friend role. Fun and tightly plotted, if a bit formulaic. (Mystery. 13 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—A fun, contemporary mystery thriller with some romance thrown in to spice it up. Strawberry Fields, the daughter of a private investigator, has been working with her father since her mother died years earlier. Her best friend, Mary Chris, is a whiz at technology. The story opens with the two girls on a stakeout at a restaurant where they meet Tanner and Ryan, who are new in town and are going to be attending their high school. When Berry leaves the restaurant, she spies her friend's father handing over files with her mother's name on them to a woman in the parking lot, and she is determined to solve the mystery of her mother's death. Was it suicide, like the police said? An accident? Or murder? In the end, she has to decide who to trust as no one seems to want her to find out the truth about the car accident that took her mom. The premise of this story may seem implausible: teenagers handling top-secret information, using high-tech surveillance equipment, and spying on corporations, but it works here. Vance has written a humorous, fast-paced story in which the teens seem to know more than the adults. Recommend it to those who want a quick read about smart high-school characters who spend more time solving mysteries than algebraic equations.—Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Jefferson, LA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606842607
Publisher:
EgmontUSA
Publication date:
06/11/2013
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.88(w) x 8.46(h) x 1.08(d)
Lexile:
620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Talia Vance lives in Northern California with her family and a needy St. Bernard named Huckleberry. She is the author of one previous novel, Silver. You can visit her online at www.taliavance.com.

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Spies and Prejudice 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
Berry Fields is smart, snarky and clever, everything you'd want in a heroine that's channeling Nancy Drew, Veronica Mars and Elizabeth Bennet. Just a high schooler, she's gradually been working more and more for her father's detective agency, in particular stakeouts, because as they have both learned, people don't always notice teens. There's a lot of great secondary characters, including best friend Mary Chris and newcomers to the high school, Drew, Tanner and Ryan. But just when you're trying to figure out who would be Mr. Darcy, an industrial espionage angle comes into play, and I felt the story lost a bit of its' focus. Definitely a fun, fast quirky read and I can't decide if the ending is deliberately obtuse or not. Sequel in the works? Guess we'll see.
Samantha_Jo More than 1 year ago
**Posted at YA Enthusiast :: Romance Lover Anonymous** In a story of Spy vs. Spy we have Pride and Prejudice meets Veronica Mars. Strawberry “Berry” Fields, has been raised by her private detective dad since the death of her mom eight years ago.  Her dad has taught the finer points of spying and getting the proof that she needs for her clients.  But when she spies her best friend’s dad with a letter on her mother’s letter head she has to know what her mother was working on for him and whether or not it got her killed. Berry needs the help of the new boy at school, (HIS NAME), who is kind of a loner since she can’t ask her best friend to spy on her own father.  But why is (HIS NAME) so willing to break into the offices of (COMPANY NAME) with a girl he really just met? Next enter in two new boys Tanner and Ryan who seem to keep appearing everywhere Berry goes with Mary Chris.  What is it they are after and why is Tanner so interested in what Berry is up too? Overall this book is a good quick read.  Not the best book out there but with light quick references to Pride and Prejudice and slight reminders to Veronica Mars this is still a completely separate story and great in its own way.  
BuriedUnderBooks More than 1 year ago
Talia Vance just may be a genius of sorts. There were all kinds of things in Spies and Prejudice that niggled at me but, when it came down to it, I had a blast reading this and that’s why I think the author might qualify as a genius. So, let me get the negatives out of the way first and then I’ll tell you why I still loved this book. I couldn’t figure out why Mr. Moss would get so upset just because he catches Berry and Tanner kissing. It’s unbelievable that Mary Chris and Jason set Berry up on a date with Tanner when they know she’s not comfortable with him. I don’t get why toppling stacks of soft drink crates would stop anyone from selling them since the bottles are plastic and unbroken. Berry is driven by the need to find out the truth about her mother’s death but, when she does find out, she sort of dusts off her hands and moves on. The resolution to the mystery is pretty lame. There, that’s it. On the surface, one or more of my objections would seem to be pretty significant but—and here’s where Ms. Vance’s ability to write comes in—none of them matter a whit because I fell in love with Berry and her friends and their approach to solving her mom’s death. Even the romance didn’t get under my skin as it usually does because it was entertaining and nobody was unduly obsessed. I like that Berry works for her dad as a private investigator and is quite successful at it. Berry Fields is smart and pretty (but the pretty part never takes precedence) and has a silly name and the adorable Mary Chris is a wonderful best friend, the kind every girl should have. They hang out with a pretty cool collection of guys, too, Jason being my favorite even though he’s not the heartthrob. The mystery and how the teens go about investigating is fun if entirely improbable and the spy tactics and gizmos are amusing. That said, this is not all happy endings. Berry learns some harsh lessons, primarily that you what you wish for is not always what you really want. Still, this mashup of Veronica Mars and Pride and Prejudice is perfect for any reader looking for an entertaining mystery, niggles or not.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Spies and Prejudice by Talia Vance Publisher: Egmont Publication Date: June 11, 2013 Rating: 3 stars Source: eARC from NetGalley Summary (from Goodreads): Fields’ Rule #1: Don’t fall for the enemy. Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.  So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.  But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?  With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide. What I Liked: I really thought I would enjoy this book more! I loved Talia Vance's other book, Silver, and I had high hopes for Spies and Prejudice! The synopsis drew me in, and the beginning of this book was AWESOME. Vance introduces us to most of the main characters in the very beginning of the story, and she sets the tone of the story quickly.  Berry (whose full name is Strawberry Fields) and Mary Chris (whose full name is Mary Chris Moss) are best friends. In the first scene of this book, they are at a restaurant, and Berry is spying on two people, in hopes of proving that the guy is cheating on his girlfriend with the girl he is currently with in the restaurant. But then two cute boys walk into the restaurant, and Mary Chris can't help but notice. Berry is wearing a pair of glasses that take high resolution photos. She also has something that amplifies sound, and she overhears the two cute boys talking. One of them says that she, Berry, is "nothing amazing". Sounds like Pride and Prejudice, right? When Mr. Darcy says that he is not really impressed with Elizabeth? Anyway. The two boys come over, effectively ruining Berry's spying. Berry immediately dislikes the boy that called her "nothing amazing" - Tanner. But Mary Chris really like his brother, the other boy - Ryan. Berry gets away from the restaurant to follow the two people she was originally spying on - and hears something else. She sneaks up on a man and a woman talking. One of them has a file - with her mother's name on it. There's a catch: Berry's mother has been dead for quite some time. So that's how our story begins. Berry wants to know why her mother's name was on that file, and how her mother REALLY died. She enlists the help of Drew, a hot boy from school, and tries to bat away the attention of Tanner. But Ryan likes Mary Chris, and so Tanner and Berry see each other often. The story is kind of interesting, but for me, it tapers off pretty quickly. Or, at least, my interest did. Things just got too weird and not-interesting, and even the semi love triangle couldn't bring me back to the world of interested, especially when I knew which way the love triangle was going the whole time. I like how Ms. Vance twists the story, especially with Tanner and Ryan and Drew's roles, but I find it hard to believe that teenager had that much access to classified information. Most of this story was a bit unbelievable. And I know, fiction is usually beyond normal. But I feel like the author didn't do a good enough job of convincing me that the story is real. The story ends well, romance and everything. I'm still confused, but, well, yeah. What I Did Not Like: Like I said above, the author didn't do a good enough job of convincing me that this story could be a real story. I just didn't see how Berry and Mary Chris and Drew and Ryan and Tanner were that invested in serious top-secret information. Also, the love triangle was annoying. It's obvious which boy is the winner, but still. I felt bad for the other boy, even though he's spun as a bad guy by the end of the book. And I wasn't completely suckered by the "winning" love interest. There was one scene, where the boy and Berry are in Mary Chris's father's office, and they kiss - that was pretty convincing! But I feel like we as readers don't get a good enough read on one boy (the "winning" love interest). And like I said before, my interest went away pretty quickly. The first scene at the restaurant is AMAZING. I'm not really sure about the rest of the book. I can't even remember most of it, and I didn't read it too long ago! But I know that I was disinterested and slightly bored for the rest of the book. Good thing it wasn't too long! Would I Recommend It: Not really. If you're not dying to read this one, skip it! While I enjoyed it for the most part, I won't be reading it again. But I will be reading Gold (Silver's sequel), and I will read any other books Ms. Vance writes! Rating: 3 stars. Good, but not amazing. I wish I could have liked it more! I had such high hopes for this one.
shesaxsensation More than 1 year ago
Okay, so if I'm going to be honest here... I should tell you all that I've never read Pride and Prejudice (don't hate me!) I do own it... I've just never had to read it yet for college and I'm always more captivated by the lovely YA out there. But there's good news! You can still enjoy Spies and Prejudice without having any knowledge of Jane Austen's most popular novel. On page 4 of reading Spies and Prejudice, I knew I was going to love it. It already stole my attention and wasn't planning on giving it back. Every few pages I was finding the most hilarious and clever quotes. Talia Vance either took a really long time to come up with some of the jokes and cleverness that's entwined  in Spies and Prejudice, or she's just a natural comedian. Either way, I was giggling and smiling throughout most of the book. The friendships and romances throughout the book were fun and imperfectly perfect. Mary Chris Moss ([GET IT?!] Berry's best friend) was probably my favorite character of the whole book and sincerely wish I knew someone like her. Tanner was sometimes predictable but still adorable to read about. The romance was perfectly balanced and wasn't over the top, which is a huge plus! The only issue I had with Spies and Prejudice was the ending. Not even the whole ending! I was just easily distracted towards the end which usually means the book isn't catching my attention as much as I wish it would. It was dragging on and I had to force myself to keep reading. But I promise, this didn't last very long. Eventually I was flipping the pages at a steady pace and needing to know what was going to happen. Overall, besides the dragging towards the end, I really enjoyed Spies and Prejudice and look forward to reading more of Talia Vance's work. I love when a book can make me laugh out loud and physically smile, and Spies and Prejudice did that.