You Don’t Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles #1)
by Kristen Orlando
Publication Date: January 10th, 2017
Source: Own Copy
Fighter. Faker. Student. Spy.
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 must 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?
I have had my eye on this book ever since it was published last year. I mean who doesn’t love a good spy thriller? And, with a cover like that I knew I had to read it. It has taken me almost an entire year to make that happen, but I am so glad I finally got around to it.
Reagan Hillis’s life has always been different from those her own age ever since her parents informed her what their jobs really were when she was 10 years old. Since then, her last name has never been Hillis, just another elaborate cover story as she tries to grow up and live her life. Though, training to be a spy for one of the most elite spy agencies in the world is probably not what one would think of in regards to extracurricular activities. Reagan’s destiny is to become a Black Angel just like her parents and carry on the legacy. The only thing that might deter that is a glimpse of what life would be like just being a normal teenager who who has control over how their future will look.
Reagan and her family’s latest placement in New Albany, Ohio is different that the other placements. For one, the friends that Reagan has made, that she specifically targeted so that she could maintain a low profile while surviving high school, have become the closest friends she has ever had. She knows her cover story back to front of course, that she is Reagan Macmillan, but for the first time she feels like she can let herself, Reagan Hillis, shine through a little bit. This is mostly due to a certain someone, who made ME swoon, who happens to be her next door neighbor. As they say there is always a boy (lol), but Luke Weixel is THE boy next door. His relationship with Reagan, just as friends even though everyone around them knows they should be together (you know how it is lol), is so wonderful and adorable and probably one of my favorite things about this book.
Ok, aside from the swoony potential high school romance, I loved having Reagan as the narrator and getting inside her head. Being a teenage is hard enough especially when college is on the horizon but when you have been brought up training to be a spy which entails learning to shoot a gun and kill a man a number of different ways, life gets much more complicated. Reagan is SUCH a strong character, there is no denying that, but it was her vulnerabilities and the doubts she had about her life and whether or not she wanted to continue with the plan of her becoming a Black Angel that was not only relatable but also super interesting. This struggle between meeting the expectations set by her parents of becoming a Black Angel or going off the college and essentially starting a relationship with Luke were so palpable. The writing during these moments was so engaging that I honestly felt the magnitude and depth of what Reagan was feeling when I was reading.
While there was definitely action in this book, about two-thirds of the way through, there were also a lot of emotional moments too. I was always try to anticipatewhen the plot would turn more towards the spy thriller aspect even from the very beginning. But the fact that it doesn’t happen right away and that you really get a glimpse into Reagan’s life and how she juggles being a high school senior with her friends while also getting up early to train and doing target practice after school is what really allows you to connect with Reagan and the emotions and feelings she has throughout the book. Her feelings towards Luke continue to grow and she begins to imagine what life would be like if she chose him and the life that went with it, becoming a normal college student. But, the weight of what her future is meant to be starts to be too much, and her relationship with her parents starts to become strained as they fail to see her struggle and continue to push her towards her destiny. She is Reagan Hillis after all, the one every other Black Angel legacy is told about during their training, the example of what they should strive to be.
I have babbled on about this book so much but I can’t forget the action as it is what makes this book a spy thriller. While the unraveling of this part of the plot was a bit predictable to me, it more than made up for it in the last 50 pages of this book. Edge of your seat action that comes to such a precipice that when I finished this book I has a mini book hangover. The ending was a culmination of so many feelings for me leaving me wondering where things are going to go in the sequel.
Overall, if you couldn’t already guess, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the sequel. (More Reagan and Luke time please!) If you like spy thrillers, you should definitely pick this up. I would describe it as the more adult but still YA version of the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter (if that makes sense lol).