Seventeen-year-old Reagan has a very complicated life. Her parents are members of a secret government agency, called the Black Angels. She is forced to constantly train to become a Black Angel in the future and move around the country with different fake identities a lot.
But everything changes when they move to a new city and Reagan starts making real friends, so when things start to go wrong Reagan is desperate not to easily lose her life there.
I give this book four stars (out of five), this is an amazing book. It’s the first in a series and I have good expectations for the next book. In a very basic summary this book is about a teenage girl who’s parents are top government spies and she’s been training to be one of them for most of her life. Seventeen year old Reagan has been having to switch from secret identity to secret identity and moving all around the USA for her entire life. After a while in each place her parents’ cover is blown or their location found and they have to move again, she also has to live a very complicated life and train constantly to become a Black Angel like her parents.
The Black Angels are like the next level up from the FBI, they’re a secret government organization of highly trained and professional spies, ever since she was very young she’d had a reversed place to become a Black Angel when she’s older. She’s seventeen and already been training for her entire life, she tells people that her parents are journalists who travel a lot in the spur of the moment and move often. This explains why her parents have to leave suddenly and why she could just move without any warning, goodbye, or explanation.
Everything changes when she moves onto London Lane, here she finds real genuine friends for the first time and that’s what makes this place different. In most places she doesn’t fit in, is kind of a loner and pushes people away when they get too close, but here she finds a best friend Harper. Harper is the perfect best friend for Reagan, a completely normal quirky teenage girl.
But it’s someone else that really makes the difference in Reagan’s life, the boy next door, Luke. They start off as friends but there’s a real connection between them, Luke helps her find real happiness and feel more like a normal teenager, taking risks and having fun. Despite still having to train and hide who she really is, she makes real friends and is happy there.
But things don’t stay that way forever, Reagan’s parents have to go on a mission but this time they seem kind of tense, they assign Reagan a bodyguard and won’t tell her what’s going on and only to be careful. When the mission goes wrong Reagan only finds out from reading articles online. It was a rescue mission for hostages of a brazzilian mob boss, who’d taken a senator’s daughter captive as well as a group of other americans.
When the rescue mission goes wrong the boss’s son, a four year old boy, was killed by the Black Angels and in vengeance the boss named Torres killed the Senator’s daughter. As soon as Reagan sees this she knows that her parents were involved and they’re going to have to leave and switch identities soon. She doesn’t want to leave, she has friends and Luke here and she really doesn’t want to leave them wondering where she went.
Because she doesn’t want to leave Luke confused and sad when she inevitably leaves, she decides to go to the party that night and break Luke’s heart. She makes sure he sees her kissing a different guy, but despite how strategic her actions and plan were it didn’t stop it from hurting her too. She was falling in love with him and letting him fall in love with her. Her parents are extremely mad at her when she gets home, since they’re already in a bad position and when they got back home they had no idea where she was.
They end up having a big fight and getting mad at each other, Reagan finally tells her mom what she’s been thinking about, how she doesn’t want to be a Black Angel and she doesn’t want to have to lie to everyone for the rest of her life. The fight ends with them all going to their separate rooms and continuing their lives as if nothing is wrong and they won’t have to leave soon, but they didn’t resolve anything.
The next day at school Reagan is skipping class to avoid Luke when suddenly she sees a van. People working for Torres came to the school to kidnap Reagan but they accidentally grabbed a different girl who looks very similar to Reagan and happened to be wearing similar clothes. Reagan runs to her and makes sure she’s okay before she rushes home, knowing that the people will be going to her house and her parents are in danger. But when Reagan finally gets home she finds her house a mess and her parents gone. She meets up with other Black Angel agents there including her aunt Sa). But now Luke is with her and knows something is going on, he’s also in danger because he’s been seen with Reagan multiple times. So they have to explain everything to him.
[Spoiler warning, there are spoilers throughout the rest of this review. To stay completely safe stop reading but if you are okay with more minor spoilers skip to the My Comments section to avoid spoilers.]
The Black Angels have tracked the kidnappers and followed them to the airport, Reagan and Luke are in the truck by the airport watching the assist. The Black Angels are waiting for backup and planning on springing on the guys a few seconds before they get on a private plane, but Reagan knows better. They should ambush them right as they get out of the car, which is nearly their only chance of getting her parents out and stopping them from being taken to Columbia is to take advantage of them when they’re distracted even if we’re outnumbered. But because she’s seventeen and not even a Black Angel they don’t listen to her and insist on needing to wait for the backup. But Reagan’s parents were stuck on the plane and the Black Angels were unsuccessful. After the failed attempt at saving them Sam and the other agents send Reagan and Luke home (Luke to his actual home and Reagan to a safe house) and dismiss them.
But Reagan refuses to sit back and let her parents be kidnapped, possibly tortured and killed without doing anything to help them. So she eavesdrops into the Black Angel’s plans and makes sure she can get there and help. She calls Luke and tells him to buy her plane tickets and convinces him to help her even though they both know how dangerous it will be, especially since she was the one they were after originally. But Luke is just as stubborn as Reagan, he won’t let her go alone and insists on going along with her. He doesn’t have as much training as her but he’s always wanted to go into the military and has been training for that for awhile, so he’s better suited for this than the average teenage boy. Anyway, after Reagan quickly says goodbye to Harper they rush to the airport and get on the plane, once they get there they have to pretend to be Black Angel agents to get past the border unnoticed.
When people found out what Reagan did they were unimpressed and really mad at her for ignoring all their orders and potentially putting herself and others in danger. But since they’re there they’re put to work and told to help out but won’t be in the direct line of danger. They’re going along on the rescue mission but only as extra help and not as an actual part of the team, they have to follow orders.
Reagan is at a high risk because if she gets caught she’s definitely going to be killed. Reagan has to explain that she understands the risk and wants to go anyway for her parents, even if it means she could die. On the way to the site while reading the information Reagan finds out that Torres used to be a foreign Black Angel and that he knew most of the current agents, which means that he knows how they operate and he has an advantage. And that’s how he knew about the safe room in Reagan’s house and was able to capture her parents.
The mission starts on the site where there was a barn and a main house, but a few things go wrong. A shot was missed and people were alerted to them being there. It isn’t looking good so Luke and Reagan go in and manage to find Reagan’s Dad in the barn, she tells Luke to help him back to the truck while she goes to look for her Mom. Going inside the house was probably the worst decision Reagan could have made and everyone from the team was telling her to come back to the truck, since Torres was clearly luring her in.
Reagan instead runs inside the house. Eventually she ends up running into Luke who followed her into the house. When they finally get to the lower floor they know Torres and Reagan’s mother are in one of the rooms, they bust down the door but inside Torres is using Reagan’s mom as a shield and knows they won’t risk taking an unclear shot. In a desperate attempt to save her mom’s life Reagan offers to take her place and sacrifice her life in place of her mom’s. But Torres doesn’t uphold his end of the deal and kills her mom in front of her and there’s a shootout between Torres and Luke. Neither Luke or Reagan are injured and Torres is shot twice but manages to escape, Luke knows they have to get out of there and back to the truck so he hurries Reagan back to safety.
What I’ll be talking about now are the things I liked and disliked about the story. First of all, the parenting in this book is just terrible. During the big fight between Reagan and her parents it’s clear that neither of them even realized that they weren’t doing what was best for Reagan. Especially her dad, who always acted like he did everything he possibly could for her and got really offended whenever Reagan questioned him. He wouldn’t even listen to what Reagan said and completely dismissed her without giving her a chance. Reagan’s mom is slightly better and more understanding but she also doesn’t understand why Reagan wouldn’t want to be a Black Angel. She even asked Reagan, “What could you possibly want that I haven’t given you?” referring to her life, house, car, and other things but Reagan responds, “Just you.”
This fight is so important because Reagan is finally saying what she really thinks and telling her parents the truth, even though they’ve given her an easy ticket into the Black Angels they never considered that might not be what she wants. I know that her parents thinking like this is an essential part of the story but I still dislike and am frustrated by it.
After Reagan’s parents are captured when she’s going through her room for the last time and grabs her stuff Reagan finds a letter that her mother left for her. Apologizing for the fight and not always putting her first, the letter really shows how her mom feels and what she really wants for Reagan and I think the letter is one of the best parts of the book. It’s just so sad that the acceptance comes right after her mom is captured and it only makes Reagan more upset and anxious to get her parents back.
Since I know this is the beginning of a series I want to make a prediction about the next book, feel free to skip this since it’s probably going to be inaccurate and includes spoilers. I think there will be a lot of conflict between Reagan and the Black Angels in the second book, because Reagan will probably want to become a Black Angel to avenge her mom, even though that’s not what she wanted before, and take down Torres. But because of all the rules she broke and her actions in the first book she won’t be able to. Torres is alive and out for Reagan, so she probably won’t be able to just live a normal life anyways. I don’t know what’ll happen for Luke because he’ll have to go home and Reagan probably can’t go but regardless of whether any of these things happen or not I’ll be reading the sequel “You Won’t Know I’m Gone” and posting a review of it soon.
I really enjoyed reading this book, it was very engaging and entertaining throughout the entire story. Another thing I really liked was how the title fit with the story, generally the title makes sense because Reagan moves around so much no one knows her real name. But this is also the type of title that is based on a line of dialogue from the book, “You don’t know my name,” is something Reagan says to Luke when he’s finding out the truth about her double life. But right after she says that she tells him her real name Reagan Elizabeth Hillis, which I really liked because having that line be the title implies that they won’t find out her name. I liked that and I thought the title was also pretty ominous, intriguing and interesting which helps the book stand out. Overall I really liked this book and I think you will too.