by Kristin Orlando
To be published on
January 10, 2017
by Swoon Reads
Source: ARC from publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan. Now Reagan has to decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she's always wanted? And does she even have a choice at all?My take: On the plus side, You Don't Know My Name was a fast-paced read that kept my attention. On the negative side, it felt a little flat to me as well, with not a lot of nuance in plot and character development.
Reagan's parents are a members of some super-secret organization called the Black Angels that swoops in and handles stuff like kidnappings and hostage situations. I wasn't sure if they were mercenaries or more like black ops. In any case the story starts with a bang, making it clear that Reagan and her parents are in danger and have to move and resume new identities yet again. The book tries hard to make Reagan relatable. Yes, she's trained in martial arts and target practice, but she's also a "normal" teen who hates the fact that she has to move and change her name constantly. She both worries about and resents her parents, which seems fair.
Though there's suspense, the plot is pretty straightforward. They family is in danger, stuff happens, Reagan is told to stay safe but of course sneaks in to help out. And because her parents have been training her for years, she knows her stuff. It's tough to make a teenager with SWAT team skills seem realistic, but this book does a decent job. That said, I didn't have a great sense of exactly what the Black Angels were doing or why.
Overall, You Don't Know My Name was the book equivalent of a fast paced action movie for me: enjoyable in the moment, but didn't make a lasting impression.