Review: A Secret Service by Joy Jenkins


Carter Owens, daughter of a Secret Service agent, is trained to disassemble any weapon, any situation, and anyone.  Her biting sarcasm and razor-sharp mind make her impossible to beat in a word fight and when talking doesn’t work, she uses her fists. She attends Hamilton Prep, Washington D.C.’s most prestigious high school, where everyone is related to someone in power, except her. 

When Hamilton Prep receives a flood of new students, Carter’s role as social outcast changes when she makes two unexpected friends. Friends who are hiding a secret.  As Carter uncovers the truth, she confronts challenges she is unequipped to handle and finds herself in a dangerous situation.  

For a girl trained to see everything, Carter never saw this coming.

My Thoughts

“Is this your subtle way of telling me you raised me to be an assassin? Because I’m fine with that.”

“I was going for a girl able to protect herself but assassin works just as well.”

A Secret Service, Joy Jenkins

I received an e-copy of this book personally from the author in exchange for an honest review.

A Secret Service is a YA coming-of-age story about Carter Owens who is a daughter of a US Secret Service agent, and attends a prestigious prep school full of the country’s finest and famous’ sons and daughters. It’s a very fast-paced and action-packed novel that revolves around Carter’s journey in finding a place among her peers, fighting against prejudices, and her relationships with the people close to her. While it was definitely action-heavy, I think the relationship dynamics featured in this book sold it to me even more.

Carter is just one bad-ass and spunky heroine, and I really enjoyed her character. She is obviously a lot mature in her years, but there were also hints of vulnerability that I liked to see she had, especially with the hard exterior she always presents. What I absolutely loved was her relationship and her closeness with her father, because who wouldn’t want to see a great family dynamic in any story? Carter’s newfound friends in Link and Donovan was also a joy to watch unfold, especially since she never really had a set of friends from the start, and then later on seeing her trust them and putting all her training into use to help them. I also appreciated how the romance aspect wasn’t introduced until much later on towards the end, because I felt like the friendship building was more important.

The story itself was very predictable in a lot of ways, so I wasn’t really surprised with how things turned out. However, it was action-packed enough and also mixed with a lot of tender moments that it gave depth not to the story, but more on Carter’s journey as a person. This is definitely a character-driven book than a plot-driven one, but I still happily enjoyed it.

I would still recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading a fast-paced YA contemporary novel that isn’t full of fluff and cuteness.


My Rating

Goodreads | Amazon

About The Author

T.J. Klune (Author of The House in the Cerulean Sea)

Psalm 121. Lover of ice cream. Toy poodle enthusiast. Sarcastic insomniac. Gray day admirer. New England dweller. Story idea addict. Avid writer.

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