I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on April 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 320 •Format: E-ARC •Source: NetGalley
Kaia has been on the run her whole life. The daughter of professional assassins, she knows true danger—and she’ll do anything to survive. After her parents vanished during a job gone bad, Kaia’s spent the last year in hiding, trying to blend in as an ordinary teenager, and there’s no one who makes her feel more normal or more special than her boyfriend, Oliver.
But when she’s jumped by a hit man, and Oliver catches her fighting back, Kaia’s secret is exposed. In a split-second decision, she flees the small town, taking Oliver with her. With professional killers stalking their every move, can Oliver and Kaia protect each other long enough to uncover the mysteries of her past?
Thanks so much to NetGalley and SourceBooks Fire for this review copy!
Pretty Fierce is a book with an undeniably intriguing premise, focusing on a daughter of assassins who’s now trying to fit into civilian life after her parents’ mysterious disappearance. I am pretty much always on board for a good spy story, so the second I read the synopsis and saw the juxtaposition of the blurb with the unabashedly pink cover, I knew this was a book that I had to read.
As the book’s synopsis states, a majority of this book features Kaia and her boyfriend Oliver on the run, after being ambushed by a hit man who is no doubt after information from her past with her parents. This set the stage for an extremely action filled story with a quickly paced plot, that involved many wonderful action sequences, from car chases to fight scenes to exploring safe houses (I love safe houses, they fascinate me). Though the novel’s premise and fast pace lent itself to story that often read like an action movie, it kept itself firmly rooted in YA thanks to the realistic portrayal of its two POV characters, Kaia and Oliver. I enjoyed their true-to-life actions and interactions while being on the run, from the tension and frustration they felt at times toward each other (because really, what could be a more stressful situation than running for your life?) to Oliver’s stress eating mini donuts (as much as we all would like to think we’d be a hardened hero in dire situations, most of us would probably be breaking down over a bag of mini donuts, too). While I didn’t always feel the bonds of romance come through throughout the course of the story, I definitely saw the strong and sweet friendship and close regard for each others well being that Oliver and Kaia had, and it’s so refreshing to see strong and respectful relationships being portrayed in YA.
Without revealing any spoilers, I will say that about 2/3 of the way through the book some revelations are made regarding Kaia’s parents past that I found to be super interesting, and that’s the point in the story where I had to keep reading until the end. In fact, I wish this book had focused a bit more on Kaia’s parents past aside from the few glimpses we received to set the stage for the final story climax, as the backstory as to why they became assassin’s, especially that of Kaia’s mother, and how it led to the events in the present plot of the book were so intense and therefore engaging to read about. If the author were to write a prequel novel just about Kaia’s parents I would definitely read it! As a personal note, I also loved that Kaia was half Latina, as it’s always refreshing to see a diversity in protagonists, and being half Latina myself I’m always intrigued to see how the interplay of a protagonist who has grown up in a household with a mix of cultures is portrayed.
Overall: Pretty Fierce was a story with an engaging and action-packed premise that reads quickly. Though I saw Oliver and Kaia as having a stronger friendship than romance, I loved their interactions and respect for each other. The book never has a lull or dull moment, and while I wish Kaia’s parents past had been more explored, it was still a super interesting read. Recommended for anyone who likes spy stories and a fast paced plot!