Authors: Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date: May 6th, 2014
“Expelled from yet another boarding school for hacking, sixteen-year-old Rebecca "Bec" Jackson is shipped off to Rome to intern for Parker Phillips, the editor-in-chief of one of the world’s top fashion magazines. But when a mysterious accident lands Parker in a coma, former supermodel and notorious drama queen Candace Worthington takes the reins of the magazine. The First Lady is in Rome for a cover shoot, and all hands are on deck to make sure her visit goes smoothly.
Bec quickly realizes that Parker's "accident" may not have been quite so accidental, and when the First Lady's life is threatened, Bec is determined to uncover the truth. On top of that, Bec must contend with bitchy models, her new boss, Candace, who is just as difficult as the tabloids say, and two guys, a hunky Italian bike messenger with a thousand-watt smile and a fashion blogger with a razor-sharp wit, who are both vying for her heart.
Can Bec catch the person who's after the First Lady, solve the mystery of Parker's accident, and juggle two cute boys at the same time? Blonde Ops is a fun, action-packed romp through the hallways of a fashion magazine and the cobblestone streets of Rome.”
Blonde Ops by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman is a cute adventure centered in Rome, about hackers, spies, the secret service, hot boys, and some truly eccentric fashion lovers. Unfortunately, it just wasn't for me.
I feel overly disappointed with Blonde Ops. It wasn't that the story was bad, it wasn't. It was an adventurous romp through Rome to save the First Lady. And it wasn't that the characters were terrible. I liked almost all of the characters. The problem was that I did not like Bec. At all.
Bec, at first, seems like a cool main character. She's a hacker who's just been kicked out of her umpteenth boarding school and is sent to stay with her mother's best friend in Rome, where she'll be interning for her fashion magazine for the summer. Promising start. Except that once Bec gets to Rome, her level of obnoxious (and stupid) increases tenfold. Seriously, on your second day as an intern you complain because you have to do, dare I say it?, menial intern work! The horror! And when the woman you're staying with, your mother's friend, is in a serious car accident, the message you leave your mom is a chipper, "call me when you have a sec"? I'm sorry, that's just ridiculous. I felt like the situation was a complete joke to Bec. She's one of those characters that, even though they're only 15 or 16, they think they're smarter than every adult they meet. She just rubbed me the wrong way, which caused me to think everything she did was annoying. By the time she eventually grew and developed—a little—as a character, it was too late for me to change my opinion.
The love interests—there's two, but... well, I'm not sure how truly interested Bec was in either. They were more like casual high school boyfriends then epic soul mates. Which was actually something I really appreciated about the story. Bec doesn't fall madly in love with two boys and have to decide which one to be with. She's sixteen and meets two cute boys and goes out with them both a couple of times, but she's not basing any life decisions around them. They're just boys, and she's not even sure she trusts either of them completely. I wasn't a huge fan of the way she handles both boys, but I just didn't like Bec's judgment in general so I'm not sure I should really comment on her taste in guys.
Unfortunately, for me, Blonde Ops is another case of a gorgeous cover being wasted on a weak story. Or, more like, an irritating main character. But if you like cute spy stories you might want to give this one a try. Maybe you'll like Bec more than I did.
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