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Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: Available Now

320 Pages

Synopsis: 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 secrets of her past?

I was excited to read Pretty Fierce because I love spies and espionage, and I haven’t come across a lot of YA books with those themes. It definitely has plenty of action, thrills, and twists, but a lot of it is just so over the top, that some of it lost credibility with me. 

Kaia is a kickass heroine right from the beginning, and there’s very little that sways her. I kept thinking if Jason Bourne ever got married and had a daughter, she’d be exactly like Kaia. She’s stubborn and determined and I liked her, but for some reason I never fully connected with her. I think perhaps it’s because she came across to me as being emotionally distant for much of the book. Oliver is sweet and charming, and displays all the expected reactions of a boyfriend who suddenly discovers that his girlfriend has a dangerous, secretive life he knew nothing about. Instead of running for the hills, he stays loyally by her side, which I found most commendable. The romance between them though, is completely lacking in chemistry and it felt staged throughout the entire story.

The plot itself is very exciting and fast-paced, and filled with plenty of surprises. As I previously said, there are some eye-rolling moments that strain credulity, but it’s still a lot fun. The ending wraps everything up satisfactorily leaving no loose ends.

Pretty Fierce is definitely more a plot driven novel than a character driven one. As they were written, I didn’t find Kaia or Oliver to be particularly memorable, yet watching them unravel all the tangled secrets and events leading up to the disappearance of  Kaia’s parents was enjoyable. I do think this will appeal to a lot of teens, simply for all the action that takes place. It’s a quick read, and one that I have no problem recommending.