The Innocent Assassins by Pema Donyo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Current Rating on Goodreads: 3.80 of 5 stars
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
There are three rules to staying an assassin at the corporation of Covert Operatives: (1) your parents must be deceased, (2) your contracts must remain confidential, and (3) you must be under the age of eighteen.
After a murder mission goes awry a month before her eighteenth birthday, Covert Operatives assassin Jane Lu finds herself caught by the federal government and forced to spy for the CIA while remaining in Covert Operatives. Once her spying mission is over she will be allowed to live a civilian life without facing criminal consequences, a life she's only dreamed of having.
As Jane leaks information to the CIA, she uncovers secrets with enough power to both destroy Covert Operatives and her own boyfriend, Adrian King, who's next in line to be CEO of the company. When her identity as a double agent for the CIA is discovered within Covert Operatives, she must decide where her allegiance, and her heart, truly lies.
*****I recieved a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.*****
There are three rules to staying an assassin at Covert Operatives: one, your parents must be deceased, two, your murder contracts must remain confidential, and three, you must be under the age of eighteen.
Jane Lu and her best friend Adrian King were taken in by Covert Operatives aka CO from the foster care system when they were just 5 years old.
CO provided Jane, Adrian, and many other kids with food, clothes, shelter and education, and taught them how to 'defeat bad people'.
Now almost 18, Jane and Adrian have become more than just best friends.....if you get me *cough*boyfriend and girlfriend*cough*.....and they have been assassins at Covert Operatives for many years, but while most of her fellow class want to stay with CO after they cease their assassin contract, including Adrian, Jane just wants a normal life, where she can live in peace without all the killing.
Then on one of her last missions, she gets caught by the CIA, and instead of locking her up, they give her a proposition. Spy on CO for a year and report back to the CIA, and then she'll be free to have the life she always wanted (I kinda doubt the CIA would be so nice, but still.....no offence CIA peeps XD).
Only problem, the CIA want her to spy on Adrian King for rumours that he'll be the next CEO of Covert Operatives.
And so begins the harrowing last year of Jane's connection to CO, but with the lies twisting around her like a noose, and other deadly secrets starting to come out revolving around CO and Adrian, can she get out alive? And where does that leave her and Adrian? Her best friend, the boy she loves, and the boy who'd have to kill her if he found out that she's a spy. (Pretty crazy right?)
I found this story really intriguing! It was pretty complex and it kind of reminded me of the movie Wanted in some ways.
Adrian is such a unique and conflicted character, I just wanted to know what's going on in his head! So yeahh, I would've liked to read his POV, except that it probably would've ruined the plot and how the climax unfolded *pouts*
He also likes having power and control. And yet, the more power he gained, the more he seemed to lose himself. But Adrian's redeeming quality is that in the end he loves Jane Lu more than anything else, and she helps balance him and stop him from losing control. He literally needs her, as his best friend and as the girl/woman he loves. Overall, yesssss he has his many issues, but as long as Jane's there, everythang will be alright ;)
I love that Jane is asian :) Diverse books anyone? *beams* She's pretty and smart, and I'm happy that she stands up to Adrian when he tries to tell her what to do. She's a no nonsense character with a lot of heart who has to deal with situations none of us ever have to, and considering all that I think she handles it pretty well.
Adrian and Jane's love for each other is consuming, and borderline unhealthy at times in the book. Adrian was really possessive and quick to jump to conclusions. They broke up several times, and yet they couldn't help getting back together even tho they were both lying to the other, and in some cases, knew about each other's lies. And I don't mean petty little lies, I mean if-the-wrong-person-finds-out-I'm-gonna-get-murdered lies *cringes*
"ʺI need you to know now—whatever happens in the future, I love you.ʺ I murmured the words into his ear, my voice barely above a whisper. Visions of a future without him flashed before my eyes. The feel of him against me was hypnotizing, and I clung to his hair tighter in order to shoo away the daunting thoughts of what lay before us. ʺWhatever I do, whatever you think I've done – I love you.ʺ"
It was a pretty twisted and broken relationship for much of the book, with their constant betrayals and conflicts, and yet their love withstood it all in the end.....aaaandddd I waanaaa fangirl 'cause they got to be togetherr without all the lies and away from CO yaayyyayyyyayyyyy!!! *bounces up and down*
There wasn't much humor in Innocent Assassins; rather it was quite a mature read.......especially for a YA book......the whole scarf setup was admittedly pretty hilarious tho XD And the shirt ordeal ;P *whispers* You'll know what I'm talking about when you read it *winks*
Also it was kinda weird to have 18 year olds walking around in boardrooms and sitting behind desks in suits and skirts and formal work wear, and drinking wine.......in other words, acting like middle aged adults XD But then again, these same 18 year olds were assassinating people at 12....soooo I guess they had to grow up faster than most kids ^^
The biggest problem for me is I feel that the side characters should've been more developed. I think Tristan's character was done well, but I couldn't really connect to Lucy other than the fact that she seemed like a pretty nice and loyal friend, and don't get me started on Emma. Urghh.
First she's all supportive and BFFs with Jane, even doing the whole eat-icecream-and-watch-sad-movies-together thang and telling her to sort things out with Adrian, and then she goes all jealous and snarky because she decides that she's going to try make a grab for Adrian.....and wait a sec......what kind of best friend does that?? *raises eyebrows and shoots glare* I mean come ooonnn, Emma was jealous enough of Jane and Adrian's relationship to be bitter when Jane got back to CO alive! As in, like, she'd prefer her dead and out of the picture? o.O And yet in the end she didn't betray Jane when she found out about Jane spying for the CIA!
Emma's character was just all over the place, and I couldn't understand her at all.
But overall I was really fascinated by The Innocent Assassins! Great debut Pema Donyo thanks so much for letting me review your book :)
—MissBloodsucker™ All Sucked Out!
View this review on Goodreads