Review—Lies I Live By by Lauren Sabel

Callie Sinclair can bend spoons with her mind. No, this isn’t The Matrix. It’s San Francisco, and Callie has been recruited into working for a secret branch of the CIA. Her job? See crimes—and sometimes acts of terrorism—before they happen. But, just as Callie begins to feel settled in her new role as a psychic spy, things become more interesting, and she’s no longer sure if she can trust what she sees.

In this young adult urban fantasy, there is more to Callie Sinclair than meets the eye. She Lies I Live By may have been smart enough to graduate from high school early, or it may have been a “favor” done for her by the section of the CIA she works for, Branch 13.

Callie loves her boyfriend Charlie, but is wowed by Jasper, the new psychic (also a metal-bender) at Branch 13. He appeals to her in a way Charlie doesn’t, partly because Callie has kept her job as a psychic spy secret from those she loves. She fears that if the wrong kind of psychics find out what she does, they will use her relationships against her. That fear, though very specific to Callie and her profession, is one that many young people face: what will happen to the people I love if something goes wrong?

Callie also struggles with things that are part of the middle-class white teenage experience: the single mom who may have found love again; deciding whether to attend NYU or the local university in the fall; wondering whether or not Charlie is the one for her; testing the boundaries of trust, loyalty, and abilities.

Sabel presents Callie’s adventures in a context that is both suspenseful yet fun for readers, as we follow along with Callie’s “viewings,” and her attempts to find out the truth about both Branch 13 and troubling images she sees in her viewing sessions.

Jacket Copy:

These are the facts: My name is Callie Sinclair. I am seventeen years old. I live in San Francisco. I love my boyfriend, Charlie. I work for a secret governmental agency. I am a psychic spy. This romantic, action-packed twist on the classic spy novel is perfect for fans of Ally Carter’s Embassy Row series or for any reader who enjoys cinematic writing and stories of romance and intrigue.

At seventeen, Callie is the government’s youngest psychic spy, trained to track dangerous people and weapons in her visions. When another young—and handsome and witty—psychic joins the agency, Callie’s personal and professional lives get messy all at once. If she can’t find a way to change the events she’s seen in her visions, she could lose the people she loves most . . . and her mind. Literally.

Richly painted against the backdrop of San Francisco and Berkeley, Lauren Sabel’s enthralling novel captures the thrill of exploring a unique power in a dangerous world.

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