Book review: Love, espionage collide in 'Spies and Prejudice'

By Tara Creel

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, July 13 2013 2:00 p.m. MDT

"SPIES AND PREJUDICE," by Talia Vance, Egmont, $17.99, 304 pages (f) (ages 12 and up)

Berry Fields doesn't have the life of a normal teenager. Her mother died when she was 8, leaving her to be raised by her father, a private detective. While other girls were shopping and going on dates, she was spying and catching cheaters.

She doesn't feel she has any reasons to fall in love. Especially when she has found new reasons not to trust a lot of people in her life, and to believe her mother didn't just die, she was murdered.

Talia Vance got it right with this charming and smart spy story that has all the right connections to Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice."

This book is perfect for the teenager who wishes he or she were a private investigator, can make cool gadgets and get hired to do undercover crime busts.

In a refreshing look at life in high school, the characters are still believable without being dramatic, depressed or drunk. Berry, the main character, is a strong female lead who changes in all the right ways for all the right reasons.

Her best friend, Mary Chris, is loyal and lovable, and her other friend, Jason, is the comedic relief in a tale of intrigue and betrayal. The friendships are strong and the love stories are sweet.

Fans of "Pride and Prejudice" will enjoy making the connections and finding the parallels in their favorite Jane Austen characters.

It reads easily, but it difficult to know who to trust. The plot twists are surprising but realistic.

This story is light and witty, with a proper balance of love and mystery.

This can be recommended to any age teenager because it is clean enough for the tween, and exciting enough for the older ages.

The ending leaves it open for a sequel and keep the readers coming back for more Berry Fields.

Tara Creel is a Logan native and mother of three boys. Her email is taracreel@gmail.com.

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