Review: They Call Me Alexandra Gastone by T.A. Maclagan

Posted August 6th, 2015 in book review / 16 comments

Review: They Call Me Alexandra Gastone by T.A. MaclaganThey Call Me Alexandra Gastone by T.A. Maclagan
Publisher: Full Fathom Five Digital on May 20, 2015
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 226
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Purchase: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

When your life is a lie, how do you know what’s real?

Alexandra Gastone has a simple plan: graduate high school, get into Princeton, work for the CIA, and serve her great nation.

She was told the plan back when her name was Milena Rokva, back before the real Alexandra and her family were killed in a car crash.

Milena was trained to be a sleeper agent by Perun, a clandestine organization from her true homeland of Olissa. There, Milena learned everything she needed to infiltrate the life of CIA analyst Albert Gastone, Alexandra’s grandfather, and the ranks of America’s top intelligence agency.

For seven years, “Alexandra” has been on standby and life’s been good. Grandpa Albert loves her, and her strategically chosen boyfriend, Grant, is amazing.

But things are about to change. Perun no longer needs her at the CIA in five years’ time. They need her active now.

Between her cover as a high school girl—juggling a homecoming dance, history reports, and an increasingly suspicious boyfriend—and her mission in this high-stakes spy game, the boundaries of her two lives are beginning to blur.

Will she stay true to the country she barely remembers, or has her loyalty shattered along with her identity?

At A Glance

No too much spying but lots of deep emotion.

The Good

They Call Me Alexandra Gastone was all about Alexandra Gastone aka Melina. Who would have thunk with that title, right? hehe. Don’t go into this one expecting a major spy thriller. This is very much an emotional read about a spy who doesn’t want to be a spy.

I got caught up in this story really fast. It seems slow, but Alexandra was so interesting it was hard to be bored. She struggles through the book in choosing between her allegiance to her country, Olissa, and doing bad deeds for the radical group that trained her or admitting her growing love for her new life, family, and for the US. Hard choice for a girl who became a sleeper agent at age 11 and was trained to hate America earlier than that.

Alex was the star of the show. The person she became was really beautiful. Despite her upbringing, her capacity for love and sincerity was amazing. Albert was a great grandpa to her. So supportive and thoughtful. I would have loved to have had a relationship like that with my grandpa. Grant, Alex’s boyfriend, was the BEST. He was the perfect boyfriend in every way. I felt really bad for him because he got the raw end of the deal in this story.

The action and spying picked up near the end. I never saw the twist coming. So shocked! I am assuming this will be a series and I would continue it if so.

The Bad

I expected something different. There isn’t much action, spying, or espionage. There is some, it just wasn’t enough for my expectations.

Alex’s inner monologues were a bit much. I both loved and hated them.

The Snuggly

Grant and Alex don’t get too sexual (very YA), but they are adorable together. I wish they had more real time together.

Final Thoughts

I felt very satisfied with They Call Me Alexandra Gastone. I wanted a little more spy stuff but I like how everything ended. Very recommended.


“Family is what could motivate a man to knowingly house a spy. it could give him the fortitude to look her in the eye and pretend he cared.”  

“I’d played a part for so long, who was I? A spy? A granddaughter? A high school student? A friend? A liar? A traitor? I was all of these people, and the contradictions where starting to rip me apart.”  

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16 Responses to “Review: They Call Me Alexandra Gastone by T.A. Maclagan”

  1. kimbacaffeinate

    This sounds good, but yes I have found that most YA’s don’t focus enough on the spying, espionage etc. I love that you were able to slip right into this.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      It sucks that YA’s don’t have a better focus on spying but whatcha gonna do.

  2. Jaclyn Canada

    I’m not sure I would enjoy this one since it’s more of an emotionally charged book instead of more about spying. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Her boyfriend sounds fantastic, and it’s great that it surprised you. Wonderful review 😀

  3. sherry fundin

    I love mystery and the cover jumps out at me. It’s great when a book hooks you from the very beginning. Happy reading, Jennifer, and have a great weekend.

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