One of my favorite things about spy plotlines is they can be mashed up with basically any genre, from romcoms to epic fantasies. If you like your books with a side helping of secret identity, be sure to add these novels to your reading list—starting with a classic boarding school/secret agent combo straight out of #AlexFromTarget-land.
Prettyboy Must Die, by Kimberly Reid
Reid’s latest is the perfect fluffy blend of action and comedy. After botching his first mission, teen CIA operative Jake Morrow is sent to boarding school in the states. Posing as Peter Smith, Jake is lying low and secretly monitoring his classmates for signs of villainy when the unthinkable happens: he goes viral. A classmate posts a photo of him with the hashtag #Prettyboy…and suddenly Jake’s cover is blown, most of the school is being held hostage by Ukrainian terrorists, and yet another mission seems to be falling apart.
The Love Interest, by Cale Dietrich
Caden is a spy, cultivated by an organization that grooms teenagers into two groups: the Nice (clean cut, cute, awkward) and the Bad (moody, brooding, and dark). Pegged as a Nice, Caden has finally been given an assignment: he and Dylan (a Bad) are vying for the affections of Juliet, who has been predicted as having one of the world’s great scientific minds. The winner will share her secrets with the Love Interest Compound for the rest of their life by Juliet’s side; the loser will die. There’s just one problem—Caden keeps kissing Dylan. Fun, gripping, and full of opportunities for betrayal, The Love Interest will have you hooked from the very beginning.
La Belle Sauvage, by Philip Pullman
The first installment in Philip Pullman’s new Book of Dust series, La Belle Sauvage returns to the world of The Golden Compass with slow-burning intrigue. Mysterious visitors to his parents’ inn are asking about a baby named Lyra, and Malcolm Polstead can’t help but be curious. And things get curiouser: when he find a secret message, the spy it was intended for tracks Malcolm down and enlists his help gathering information. Before long, it seems the whole world is after Lyra, and as the floodwaters of a great storm rise, Malcolm will do anything he can to save her.
Rosemarked, by Livia Blackburne
Zivah has just become the youngest high healer in her people’s history, only to fall prey to the rose plague herself while healing the Amparan soldiers who’ve conquered her homeland. She resigns herself to spending the rest of her days in isolation, but life hands her an unexpected opportunity—and Dineas. After surviving both torture and the plague, Dineas is determined to save his people from Amparan rule, even if it kills him. Together, Zivah and Dineas will go undercover, spy on the Amparan capital, and do their best to bring down the Amparan Empire. If you’ve been eagerly awaiting A Reaper at the Gates (and who isn’t?), Rosemarked is an absolute must-read.
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The Renegades, by Marissa Meyer
The Renegades may have saved the world from chaos with their superhuman abilities, but they failed to save Nova’s family, and she’ll never forgive them. Now, she’s out for revenge. Armed with the ability to put people to sleep with a single touch, Nova will infiltrate their ranks under the alias Insomnia and take down their leaders from the inside. Enter Adrian, a Renegade boy who might be able to win Nova over…as long as he doesn’t find out about her past. Superheroes plus spies make Renegades a nonstop adventure that’ll have you eager for book two.
You Don’t Know My Name, by Kristen Orlando
The daughter of two operatives, Reagan has spent her entire life preparing to be a Black Angel like her parents. But shifting identities and practicing martial arts gets old, and Reagan secretly dreams of living a normal life and becoming a doctor. Falling in love with the boy next door feels like the push she needs to turn that dream into a reality. But when her parents are abducted, Reagan will need every ounce of her training to rescue them. Bonus: Once you finish speed-reading this fast-paced thriller, you can pick up its recently released sequel, You Won’t Know I’m Gone.
Orphan Monster Spy, by Matt Killeen
When Sarah’s mother is shot at a Nazi checkpoint as they attempt to escape Germany, Sarah is rescued by British spy Jeremy Floyd. Realizing petite blonde Sarah looks more Aryan than Jewish, Floyd takes her under his wing and gives her the opportunity to infiltrate a Nazi boarding school. Her mission seems simple: befriend the daughter of an important German scientist and steal his secrets. If only it were that easy. Haunting and dark, Orphan Monster Spy is a must-read hitting shelves next month.