web site hit counter A Spy in the Struggle - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

A Spy in the Struggle

Availability: Ready to download

Since childhood, Yolanda Vance has forged her desire to escape poverty into a laser-like focus that took her through prep school and Harvard Law. So when her prestigious New York law firm is raided by the FBI, Yolanda turns in her corrupt bosses to save her career—and goes to work for the Bureau. Soon she's sent undercover at Red, Black, and Green—an African-American “extr Since childhood, Yolanda Vance has forged her desire to escape poverty into a laser-like focus that took her through prep school and Harvard Law. So when her prestigious New York law firm is raided by the FBI, Yolanda turns in her corrupt bosses to save her career—and goes to work for the Bureau. Soon she's sent undercover at Red, Black, and Green—an African-American “extremist” activist group back in her California college town. They claim a biotech corporation fueled by Pentagon funding is exploiting the neighborhood. But Yolanda is determined to put this assignment in her win column, head back to corporate law, and regain her comfortable life... Until an unexpected romance opens her heart—and a suspicious death opens her eyes. Menacing dark money forces will do anything to bury Yolanda and the movement. Fueled by memories of who she once was—and what once really mattered most—how can she tell those who’ve come to trust her that she’s been spying? As the stakes escalate, and one misstep could cost her life, Yolanda will have to choose between betraying the cause of her people or invoking the wrath of the country’s most powerful law enforcement agency.


Compare

Since childhood, Yolanda Vance has forged her desire to escape poverty into a laser-like focus that took her through prep school and Harvard Law. So when her prestigious New York law firm is raided by the FBI, Yolanda turns in her corrupt bosses to save her career—and goes to work for the Bureau. Soon she's sent undercover at Red, Black, and Green—an African-American “extr Since childhood, Yolanda Vance has forged her desire to escape poverty into a laser-like focus that took her through prep school and Harvard Law. So when her prestigious New York law firm is raided by the FBI, Yolanda turns in her corrupt bosses to save her career—and goes to work for the Bureau. Soon she's sent undercover at Red, Black, and Green—an African-American “extremist” activist group back in her California college town. They claim a biotech corporation fueled by Pentagon funding is exploiting the neighborhood. But Yolanda is determined to put this assignment in her win column, head back to corporate law, and regain her comfortable life... Until an unexpected romance opens her heart—and a suspicious death opens her eyes. Menacing dark money forces will do anything to bury Yolanda and the movement. Fueled by memories of who she once was—and what once really mattered most—how can she tell those who’ve come to trust her that she’s been spying? As the stakes escalate, and one misstep could cost her life, Yolanda will have to choose between betraying the cause of her people or invoking the wrath of the country’s most powerful law enforcement agency.

30 review for A Spy in the Struggle

  1. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    A new to me author, Aya de Leon, has written a delightful story of a tightly wound, young, African American woman, Yolanda Vance. She has worked her entire life to be the best she can be when suddenly, as a brand new attorney at a prestigious New York law firm, she is embroiled in the middle of a raid by the FBI. Yolanda quickly turns whistleblower and ends up working for the FBI. She only wants to be an attorney, but she has to learn all things FBI, including how to shoot a gun. She soon is sen A new to me author, Aya de Leon, has written a delightful story of a tightly wound, young, African American woman, Yolanda Vance. She has worked her entire life to be the best she can be when suddenly, as a brand new attorney at a prestigious New York law firm, she is embroiled in the middle of a raid by the FBI. Yolanda quickly turns whistleblower and ends up working for the FBI. She only wants to be an attorney, but she has to learn all things FBI, including how to shoot a gun. She soon is sent on an undercover mission in California to infiltrate an African American extreme eco-activist group, “Red, Black and Green which recruits young teens. Yolanda soon discovers that things aren’t as they seem, drops her defenses, and becomes attached to her teen subjects and the “RBG” group. She begins to question the difference between the good guys and the bad guys. To make matters worse, she has formed a strong attraction to a local professor, also a member of the “RBG” Group, and cannot confide in him of her deception. Forces conspire to silence Yolanda, and she must decide to fight for what she knows in her heart is right. Will good overcome evil? The conclusion is explosive. I loved this book! I thank NetGalley and the publisher, Kensington Books, for the opportunity to read and review this book. I gave it four stars. #netgalley #ASpyintheStruggle

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    What I liked about the book - I liked how Aya de Leon incorporated Yolanda's back story and showed how she got to be the person she was as a woman and as a lawyer. This gave us insight into why she would later make the decisions that she did. I liked the social/ecological justice angle with Red, Black and GREEN! Although the Flint water crisis has gained much press, most of these instances are underreported and go unnoticed by the nation at large. Most novels that depict corporate takeovers of l What I liked about the book - I liked how Aya de Leon incorporated Yolanda's back story and showed how she got to be the person she was as a woman and as a lawyer. This gave us insight into why she would later make the decisions that she did. I liked the social/ecological justice angle with Red, Black and GREEN! Although the Flint water crisis has gained much press, most of these instances are underreported and go unnoticed by the nation at large. Most novels that depict corporate takeovers of low income areas focus on gentrification. Usually the aspect of community health and environmental impact on predominantly Black areas is not captured in books. I think that de Leon did a great job of expressing this conflict and making us want to fight alongside the teens. What I did not like - A problem for me was the romance. I'm not really a romance reader If you look at my TBR shelves you will see a lot of mystery, thriller suspense. Historical fiction is another big section as is poetry. What you will not see is a shelf dedicated to romance. If you find a romance on my shelf it was either a gift or a fluke. Of course, I think the book would have went quite well without having the romance in it. But I know for most people that is not a deal breaker. And since I do not read romance novels I cannot even compare it to say where it stacks up as a romance. My thoughts on the book - There was a part of me that just did not like Yolanda Vance in the beginning. At first I found her very short-sighted and judgmental. She really had a hard time relating to the teenagers. We know from her background that Yolanda has always struggled to fit in. That she has always felt "other" when in all Black or all White environments. Yet she approaches the teens with her own preconceived notions. Her character arc however shows growth and maturity. She becomes more empathetic towards others, learns more about herself and gains perspective on her relationships. Personally, I feel that part of her story is yet to be told and am especially intrigued in regards to Yolanda and her father. I am wondering if Aya de Leon is planning to build a series off of this character. My Rating - As a mystery I can tell you that A Spy in the Struggle has all of the right components Intrigue - A woman is found dead in the alley with a needle in her arm but all signs point to foul play. Conflict - Yolanda has been sent to spy on a community activist group. But is she working for the right side. Suspense - Not all is what it first appears. Who can Yolanda trust? As the clock winds down on this mystery we know her life is in danger but we don't know who is coming for her.

  3. 5 out of 5

    M. [storme reads a lot]

    I liked some of the book and then it went downhill for me. All of the spy stuff in the book was great. The emails and all of the mystery. The book just was so bad when the romance was the focus. It just detracted from the book and it made me annoyed. I do not think it needs to be in the book. This could have been a 5 star read, but it just did not meet this criteria because of the romance and how the book ended. I did love. the Black characters and would read more from this author because I do l I liked some of the book and then it went downhill for me. All of the spy stuff in the book was great. The emails and all of the mystery. The book just was so bad when the romance was the focus. It just detracted from the book and it made me annoyed. I do not think it needs to be in the book. This could have been a 5 star read, but it just did not meet this criteria because of the romance and how the book ended. I did love. the Black characters and would read more from this author because I do like the writing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    A new to me author, Aya deLeon, has written a delightful story of a tightly wound, young, African American woman, Yolanda Vance. She has worked her entire life to be the best she can be when suddenly, as a brand new attorney at a prestigious New York law firm, she is embroiled in the middle of a raid by the FBI. Yolanda quickly turns whistleblower and ends up working for the FBI. She only wants to be an attorney, but she has to learn all things FBI, including how to shoot a gun. She soon is sent A new to me author, Aya deLeon, has written a delightful story of a tightly wound, young, African American woman, Yolanda Vance. She has worked her entire life to be the best she can be when suddenly, as a brand new attorney at a prestigious New York law firm, she is embroiled in the middle of a raid by the FBI. Yolanda quickly turns whistleblower and ends up working for the FBI. She only wants to be an attorney, but she has to learn all things FBI, including how to shoot a gun. She soon is sent on an undercover mission in California to infiltrate an African American extreme eco-activist group, “Red, Black and Green which recruits young teens. Yolanda soon discovers that things aren’t as they seem, drops her defenses, and becomes attached to her teen subjects and the “RBG” group. She begins to question the difference between the good guys and the bad guys. To make matters worse, she has formed a strong attraction to a local professor, also a member of the “RBG” Group, and cannot confide in him of her deception. Forces conspire to silence Yolanda, and she must decide to fight for what she knows in her heart is right. Will good overcome evil? The conclusion is explosive. I loved this book! I thank NetGalley and the publisher, Kensington Books, for the opportunity to read and review this book. #netgalley #ASpyintheStruggle

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    Overall this book was really well done and kept my interest. There were a few points I felt the story lagged a little but the exciting bits were more than enough to keep me going. I really loved that it was a spy novel but also a contemporary look at racial tensions and racism that occurs every day. I loved the main character who kept getting dealt a poor hand and I loved that we also got glimpses into her past. Yolanda Vance is an overachiever and after graduating Harvard Law she gets picked up Overall this book was really well done and kept my interest. There were a few points I felt the story lagged a little but the exciting bits were more than enough to keep me going. I really loved that it was a spy novel but also a contemporary look at racial tensions and racism that occurs every day. I loved the main character who kept getting dealt a poor hand and I loved that we also got glimpses into her past. Yolanda Vance is an overachiever and after graduating Harvard Law she gets picked up by a corporate law office that promptly gets shut down for fraud. With no other options she goes to work for the FBI and being that she is young, African American, and went to college nearby to the mission she gets sent on an undercover mission into a radical black extremist group in California. Yolanda planned on being a white collar attorney with the FBI not a spy and her mission turns out to be more complicated than she could have ever imagined.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    Yolanda Vance takes a job with the FBI after she refuses to shred some compromising paperwork and the law firm she works for gets indicted. While newly working for the FBI, Yolanda is sent to infiltrate Red, Black, and Green! (RBG), a political organization in Holloway, California for Black and environmental justice. A major corporation has been exploiting the community however the FBI insists this group is the real problem. As she gets further involved she starts to see that the world isn't qui Yolanda Vance takes a job with the FBI after she refuses to shred some compromising paperwork and the law firm she works for gets indicted. While newly working for the FBI, Yolanda is sent to infiltrate Red, Black, and Green! (RBG), a political organization in Holloway, California for Black and environmental justice. A major corporation has been exploiting the community however the FBI insists this group is the real problem. As she gets further involved she starts to see that the world isn't quite as black and white as she thought. The first half was slower and there was a lot of set up for the plot. I felt the second half did a better job intertwining Yolanda's backstory with current events which made for a stronger and faster paced read. Yolanda is one of those Black people who believe that if you want better, you do better. She adopted that mantra after growing up with a mother who often dropped everything to chase after men which left them in worse situations then they started with. At a young age Yolanda learned time and time again that her mother was unreliable at best and damaging at worst. Even in present day when Yolanda reaches out to her mother during her time of need she only gets some hippie reply back instead of the assistance she needs. Her very narrow view of Black people based off her experiences in small town Georgia and her cheating preacher father and her experiences in a rough neighborhood in Detroit that she worked hard academically to get out of. Being with this group is the first time she's been part of a Black community since she was a child and initially she holds some preconceived notions about the people particularly the teens in the group. In her mind racism can't stop you from working hard and making a name for yourself. While a murder happens and there's a mystery surrounding how this member of the community was killed it's not a key focus. However it is the catalyst that causes Yolanda to open her eyes to the mysterious deaths and FBI coverups. She finally starts to question her superiors and if she's doing the right thing. There is a romance that develops in this story and I've noticed it's very easier for authors to get caught up in selling the passionate sex scenes which I just find out of place in these types of stories. I didn't quite buy the emotional connection fully but I appreciated when Yolanda and Jimmy were open with each other about how past experiences left them jilted. I felt this book shed a light on types like her who are educated about so many things but ignore the plight of their people and easily buy into propaganda. Yolanda may know the law but she is oblivious to how the law is actually applied to Black people until it starts to directly affect her. I received an arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. https://womenofcolorreadtoo.blogspot....

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Canaves

    Remember on Friday when I said I was looking forward to reading this over the weekend? Well, I ended up reading the first half in one sitting Friday night—until that pesky thing of needing sleep happened—and finishing it Saturday morning, hence why I’m starting my raving about a December book in August. It’s very good and worth the pre-buy and letting your library know you want them to have it. Aya de León never fails to create excellent characters while bringing communities, and their different Remember on Friday when I said I was looking forward to reading this over the weekend? Well, I ended up reading the first half in one sitting Friday night—until that pesky thing of needing sleep happened—and finishing it Saturday morning, hence why I’m starting my raving about a December book in August. It’s very good and worth the pre-buy and letting your library know you want them to have it. Aya de León never fails to create excellent characters while bringing communities, and their different voices and complexities, to life. Yolanda Vance is a Type A personality who has done nothing but focus on school and work until she finds herself handing in evidence during a raid of her law firm and becoming a pariah in the legal field. With that path blown up, she ends up hired by the FBI as a lawyer. Before she can settle in, she’s given an undercover assignment she has no training for—because she’s all they have in the form of a young Black agent who can relate to teens. She isn’t that confident about her ability to blend in seeing as she’s never felt she fit in anywhere; but she has a positive-thinking-book’s lessons always at the ready and never quits, so off she goes from NY to California. The assignment is to bug the center of Red, Black, and Green!, a teen activist group the FBI has labeled as extremist, while volunteering for the group and reporting back what she learns. While she struggles to keep her opinions to herself—that anyone who doesn’t like their situation can just work hard enough to change it—she also learns a few interesting things: that a recent overdose isn’t believed by the community to be an OD, that the informant who came before her was murdered, that she may not be as anti-love as she thought, and that many of her beliefs are about to be challenged. We get to know Yolanda as she gets to know the FBI team, her new Red, Black, and Green! team, a suitor, and through memories of her childhood with her widowed mother and her years at a prep school and then law school. We also get to know the community fighting against the government-tied corporation that RBG! is protesting and the hilarious, creative, and smart teens making their voices heard, along with the rookie cop who found the OD in question, and adult coordinators of RBG!. I absolutely loved the characters, story, and the bonus of a few shexy-time scenes. Add this to the list of fantastic mold-breaking spy novels like American Spy and the Vera Kelly series. I’m always here for more de León novels and would be thrilled for more Yolanda Vance—this could easily be a series, and I would totally be here for that! (TW drug overdose, talk of addiction/ brief past mention of child-on-child attempted sexual assault) --from Book Riot's Unusual Suspects newsletter: https://link.bookriot.com/view/56a820...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Marie

    When the law firm Yolanda works at attempts to make her complicit in covering up their fraudulence, she decides instead to become a whistleblower and take a job with the FBI. Although she wants to be an attorney, she is sent to California to act as a spy on a Black "extremist" group that is actually trying to help the local marginalized community suffering from unemployment and pollution side effects from a nearby corporation. This experience ultimately pushes Yolanda to confront her blinded vie When the law firm Yolanda works at attempts to make her complicit in covering up their fraudulence, she decides instead to become a whistleblower and take a job with the FBI. Although she wants to be an attorney, she is sent to California to act as a spy on a Black "extremist" group that is actually trying to help the local marginalized community suffering from unemployment and pollution side effects from a nearby corporation. This experience ultimately pushes Yolanda to confront her blinded views about the struggles of those within her race and the ways the FBI has actively worked against progressive initiatives. A SPY IN THE STRUGGLE was a fairly enjoyable read! I found the topics of race, climate change, and corporate practices to all be very interesting and valuable to the overall plot. Unfortunately, however, I would have liked more articulation of the emotional stakes and changes Yolanda experienced, especially in monumental moments. The focus seemed to be primarily on the plot, but I think it would have allowed me to sympathize with and root for Yolanda more throughout. There were also several slow portions in the book that dragged while the ending and associated conflicts were resolved far too quickly. Although I had some issues with A SPY IN THE STRUGGLE, I still found it to be an intriguing story about a some admirable Black characters grappling with current issues, an engaging mystery, and a bit of romance. Thank you to BookishFirst and the publisher for sending me a copy to read and review!

  9. 5 out of 5

    SuperWendy

    A compelling stand-alone suspense / domestic espionage story about a heroine who learns it's really hard to go home again. After turning whistleblower when the SEC raids her corporate law firm, she takes her law degree to the FBI - who soon farm her out to infiltrate a environmental/BLM group in her former college town that's making too much noise for the local biotech firm with a juicy government contract. But once she's back in northern California, there's a lot that isn't adding up - includin A compelling stand-alone suspense / domestic espionage story about a heroine who learns it's really hard to go home again. After turning whistleblower when the SEC raids her corporate law firm, she takes her law degree to the FBI - who soon farm her out to infiltrate a environmental/BLM group in her former college town that's making too much noise for the local biotech firm with a juicy government contract. But once she's back in northern California, there's a lot that isn't adding up - including the dead body found in a back alley that the cops are trying (and failing) to pass off as "just another junkie OD." Mixed in with the suspense is a pretty steamy romance thread between the heroine and a college professor. It leaps around a bit in timeline, but I was soon hooked on the heroine. A good solid read by a new-to-me author that I'll happily read again.

  10. 5 out of 5

    laura likes lit ⁷

    i need more Latina MC's and espionage so I'm desperately praying that this book is good- i need more Latina MC's and espionage so I'm desperately praying that this book is good-

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lorel Holt

    I was really looking forward to this book. It had a really interesting concept a woman’s law firm is raiding by the FBI and she turns in her corrupt bosses. Then she finds herself a job in the FBI and goes undercover to spy on an African American “extremist” activist group. Only to find that the FBI might not be telling the full truth. Yolanda Vance is our main character she is a lawyer who went to Harvard Law and has never been an undercover agent before. She has a great story arc in this, it’s I was really looking forward to this book. It had a really interesting concept a woman’s law firm is raiding by the FBI and she turns in her corrupt bosses. Then she finds herself a job in the FBI and goes undercover to spy on an African American “extremist” activist group. Only to find that the FBI might not be telling the full truth. Yolanda Vance is our main character she is a lawyer who went to Harvard Law and has never been an undercover agent before. She has a great story arc in this, it’s awesome to see the way she thinks change and her slowly change her allegiance to what is right. What really pained me was the romance, I do not like romance in books and this had a decent amount of it. It was real cringe romance too and made it hard to get through the book. It was also boring at times and o lay really picked up the last 30 pages of the book. Overall, I don’t think this was a book for me. It had a very good message but other than that it was just slow and hard to get through.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tanya Patrice

    Probably 3.5 but I'm rounding it up because after this book I'd love to read more from the author. Interesting plot about a whistleblower turned FBI agent, who's sent back to her old neighbourhood because a black militant group of teenagers has been causing some trouble with a big biotech corp ... but all might not be what it seems. Being a rookie agent, not only is she still figuring her job out, but she still has a lot of baggage and trauma from her past that bleeds into her life and relations Probably 3.5 but I'm rounding it up because after this book I'd love to read more from the author. Interesting plot about a whistleblower turned FBI agent, who's sent back to her old neighbourhood because a black militant group of teenagers has been causing some trouble with a big biotech corp ... but all might not be what it seems. Being a rookie agent, not only is she still figuring her job out, but she still has a lot of baggage and trauma from her past that bleeds into her life and relationships. The author does a great job of developing a complex character, and an interesting story line. The plot is relatively fast paced, but without sacrificing the story. The secondary characters were also intriguing - but some of their story's felt half-formed - like I wanted to know more about them. Also - I did get a bit of inst-love vibe, but 'imma forgive it this time because they were grown and hella curte. This is a quick and easy story to get into - read it!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Tsipouras

    I'm not an American, I'm not black and I don't belong to any kind of minority where I live - but I've always had a heart for minorities. As far as I can tell, this novel by Aya de Léon gives great insight into a community I don't know much about. The most interesting part of this novel was the character development, how insight will change your mind. The love story was a nice bonus, but the main focus was on Yolanda's inner struggle between her ambitions as a lawyer, now FBI agent undercover, and I'm not an American, I'm not black and I don't belong to any kind of minority where I live - but I've always had a heart for minorities. As far as I can tell, this novel by Aya de Léon gives great insight into a community I don't know much about. The most interesting part of this novel was the character development, how insight will change your mind. The love story was a nice bonus, but the main focus was on Yolanda's inner struggle between her ambitions as a lawyer, now FBI agent undercover, and her new found friends. With all this said, the main storyline about the FBI's meddling to support a criminal business corporation is a really suspenseful thriller. All in all a gripping combination of social criticism, milieu study, love story and spy thriller.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    This was such a nice read. The romance is secondary to the themes of social justice but I knew that that's how Aya de León writes. Here the plot was more contained than in other books. The characters were interesting and the chemistry was fantastic once the book shifted toward the romance. I do wish that the main character was not quite so judgmental. It is part of her story arc but it was hard to hear her internalized self hatred and anti-Blackness. I received an ARC on Netgally. All opinions ar This was such a nice read. The romance is secondary to the themes of social justice but I knew that that's how Aya de León writes. Here the plot was more contained than in other books. The characters were interesting and the chemistry was fantastic once the book shifted toward the romance. I do wish that the main character was not quite so judgmental. It is part of her story arc but it was hard to hear her internalized self hatred and anti-Blackness. I received an ARC on Netgally. All opinions are my own.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Holley Perry

    “My situation was unique . . . being an African-American woman working undercover is exceptionally stressful . . . When I wasn’t on assignment . . . I would stay in bed, isolated and along, for days. ” – From Clean Dirt: A Memoir of Johnnie Mae Gibson, FBI Special Agent Aya de Leon’s A Spy in the Struggle is not the typical spy novel but I’m here for it. Who says James Bond is the only spy that matters? We’ve heard his story already so let’s hear about the Johnnie Mae Gibsons and Yolanda Vances o “My situation was unique . . . being an African-American woman working undercover is exceptionally stressful . . . When I wasn’t on assignment . . . I would stay in bed, isolated and along, for days. ” – From Clean Dirt: A Memoir of Johnnie Mae Gibson, FBI Special Agent Aya de Leon’s A Spy in the Struggle is not the typical spy novel but I’m here for it. Who says James Bond is the only spy that matters? We’ve heard his story already so let’s hear about the Johnnie Mae Gibsons and Yolanda Vances of the world. Yolanda Vance had her heart set on working as a lawyer in Manhattan. As an African-American woman, Yolanda went against whatever stereotypes were in her way to become a lawyer. She seemed to run into the argument of whether she was too black or not black enough, depending on who was doing the questioning. She was still succeeding in her plan for a legal career until the law firm was investigated by the FBI. Then Yolanda turned over evidence that would end that law firm and also her career in corporate law. So she had to say goodbye to all of her fancy Manhattan dreams. She was a whistleblower and wasn’t exactly sorry about doing the right thing. Yolanda isn’t a quitter but she was blackballed by most law firms so she has to find a new path to success. To make ends meet, she became part of the legal team at the FBI. Yolanda’s first post is in New Jersey. It’s not fancy but it is a stepping stone. After a short time at the New Jersey post, Yolanda is given an undercover assignment in the San Francisco area. She went to college at Cartwright College, which is in the San Francisco Bay area in this book. Yolanda is given the assignment because she is African-American with ties to the area. They don’t want her to stick out like former agents have in the past. She is given the task of infiltrating a black extremist organization, Red, Black and GREEN!, who is supposedly harassing Randell Corporation, an industrial contractor with the U.S. Government. Yolanda quickly catches on that RBG is just trying to defend the people in the community. A local woman, Anitra Jenkins, has been killed. The cops say it’s a heroin overdose but Anitra’s grandmother is telling anyone who will listen that her granddaughter was murdered. Grandmother Jenkins believes that Anitra saw something while working at Randell Corporation and she was killed for it. Yolanda wants to do the right thing for the people in the community and the RBG group. She believes that the group has been helping the youth and also the homeless community. Her boss wants to protect the corporation and accuse RBG of doing terrible things. How can Yolanda do the right thing and stay alive? Will she be able to keep her relationships with the RBG group and her new boyfriend if they find out that she’s been spying on them? She is really walking a dangerously thin tightrope. If you are a grassroots activist that truly wants to make a positive difference or if you just want good to overcome evil, then you will probably enjoy A Spy in the Struggle. Here is a short list of people who will not enjoy this book: Corporate big whigs who have to win at all costs. People who choose money above everything. Proud Boys. Also, whoever enables racists and their groups. I received this ebook from NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Obviously. Amazon affiliate links included in this post.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ariel

    While this book wasn't my favorite, there was still much to love about it. With heart-pounding action, the discussion of poignant issues, and a dash of romance, this was one I knew I needed to keep my eye on. Honestly, the beginning started out pretty slow, but once things took off, the pacing stayed at a steady, high-speed pace. As well, once the pace did pick up, there was a good balance between 'too much happening right now' and 'now I get to relax for a second'. So while there were moments th While this book wasn't my favorite, there was still much to love about it. With heart-pounding action, the discussion of poignant issues, and a dash of romance, this was one I knew I needed to keep my eye on. Honestly, the beginning started out pretty slow, but once things took off, the pacing stayed at a steady, high-speed pace. As well, once the pace did pick up, there was a good balance between 'too much happening right now' and 'now I get to relax for a second'. So while there were moments that took off at neck-breaking speed, the book didn't stay that way for forever. I also appreciated the poignant topics of race and working with marginalized communities. Within these topics, it was also nice to see the growth of our main character, Yolanda, as she learned and grew in her knowledge of these and worked to figure out where she stood. While there were some hints of romance in this book, it was lacking, in my opinion. I'm a sucker for romance so I was excited to see where this took me, but it didn't end up being much. I know this wasn't the main plot or point of the book so I don't want to complain about it too much, but it could have been better in so many ways. Overall, while there was room for improvement in my eyes, I did enjoy the things I learned and the story I was able to experience. Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Blog • Instagram • Twitter

  17. 4 out of 5

    ahaana ☽

    Thanks to BookishFirst for giving me a chance to read an EXCERPT of this book!! This book had me drawn from the first sentence!! Just the way everything was illustrated, and how relatable, and likeable the main character was, made this book wonderful. I've never read any books by Aya De Leon before, so I didn't know what to expect in her writing style or voice, but 'A Spy in the Struggle' did NOT disappoint! If given the chance to read the complete book, I think it would be on my favourites of 2 Thanks to BookishFirst for giving me a chance to read an EXCERPT of this book!! This book had me drawn from the first sentence!! Just the way everything was illustrated, and how relatable, and likeable the main character was, made this book wonderful. I've never read any books by Aya De Leon before, so I didn't know what to expect in her writing style or voice, but 'A Spy in the Struggle' did NOT disappoint! If given the chance to read the complete book, I think it would be on my favourites of 2020 list, because just the way the beginning is written, and the way it's shaping up was fantastic!! I don't know how the rest of the book will be, and all I know is that I can't wait to get a copy, and learn more about Yolanda, and where her journey takes her! I'm also going to try out Aya de Leon's other books because she seems like an author whose writing style I will LOVE!! Here's to hoping I win this raffle (🤞🤞), because I know that I will DEVOUR this book!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    First time reading this author and it was enjoyable! I was not expecting it to reference current events, such as Covid, blm etc. Imagine she wrote this fast!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Fink

    2.5* Thank you to Kensington Books and Bookishfirst for a copy in exchange for an honest review. I am going to start off with what I liked. The story started off so promising. From the first sentence you were put right into the story. No waiting around to see when something would finally happen, no flipping through the pages trying to see how long until something good is going to happen. This book had the reader’s attention from the very beginning. I really liked that the author started off the wa 2.5* Thank you to Kensington Books and Bookishfirst for a copy in exchange for an honest review. I am going to start off with what I liked. The story started off so promising. From the first sentence you were put right into the story. No waiting around to see when something would finally happen, no flipping through the pages trying to see how long until something good is going to happen. This book had the reader’s attention from the very beginning. I really liked that the author started off the way she did. This allowed us as readers to get curious about the story and then she winded back a bit to explain how the character got there. I think that the books and the plot had so much potential, but it just didn't go in a way that would have been best. I still liked the characters and the way they interacted and the relationships that developed. I appreciate how the author tied in issues that are prevalent which could get us to get emotionally attached to the situations. I also liked that it took a new spin to being a spy and that the good guys aren’t always who you think they are. I think that the end was a real eye opener that went against the common conception. The main character also developed through the story as she gained more information and learned what was truly important. I just wish that more of it was on the mystery in the story. It seemed like the exciting parts were pushed to the end and were resolved quickly, when the author could have had the missing people aspect throughout the story, which would have made it more entertaining for me. My main problem with this story is that the climax made no sense to me. Like yeah it was very thrilling but there was no reason of why it happened and why the person did what they did. I also didn’t understand why she was spying on this group to begin with. Maybe that is what the author wanted, that this group had no reason to be on the FBI’s radar, but at least have a fake reason. I just think that it could have been executed better. Again, it had so much protentional and it still was a good read and I really liked the writing, but it just didn’t grab my attention as much as it could. I think that a lot of people could really like it because it did have a lot of good aspects.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    A suspense novel following Yolanda Vance, a rookie FBI agent sent undercover to infiltrate a group of teenagers focused on environmental and race issues in a San Francisco suburb. Yolanda is selected for this assignment not necessarily for her skills, but because of her race, age and background (as bluntly stated by her supervising officer). Yolanda succeeds in joining up with the group, but the further into the group and investigation she gets, the more she begins to question everything. Aya cra A suspense novel following Yolanda Vance, a rookie FBI agent sent undercover to infiltrate a group of teenagers focused on environmental and race issues in a San Francisco suburb. Yolanda is selected for this assignment not necessarily for her skills, but because of her race, age and background (as bluntly stated by her supervising officer). Yolanda succeeds in joining up with the group, but the further into the group and investigation she gets, the more she begins to question everything. Aya crafts a wonderful story that shows Yolanda growing and changing throughout the book, looking back on her tumultuous childhood and the way it impacted her up to this point in her life. The story was captivating and exciting and I really enjoyed reading it, even the hard parts where the ugliness of the relationship between law enforcement and race was called out. I thought the writing was excellent and Aya pulled in several topical issues, including even a mention of COVID in passing. This book relates well to a lot of the non-fiction reading I've been doing around race in America (I'm Still Here, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria, White Fragility) and ties those issues into a fiction story. I don't think I would have appreciated the struggles and changes Yolanda went through as much as I did without that prior reading done this year. I'll definitely call out my privilege that I've gained this perspective through reading and learning and not through every day life; I won't pretend to have an ounce of the understanding of these feelings as someone who lives it every day. All in all, I really enjoyed this read and give it ⭐⭐⭐⭐. Thank you to kensingtonbooks for the ARC of this one!

  21. 5 out of 5

    anshu

    Yolanda Vance was initially a first-year associate at a law firm, but when the firm comes under investigation by the FBI, she becomes a whistleblower. She soon interviews and accepts a position at the FBI and immediately gets sent on her first mission: infiltrate the Red, Green, and Black (RBG) organization stationed in her college hometown. Aya de León crafted a well-developed plot. I enjoyed reading of Yolanda's background and understanding how she made the choices she made. She went through a Yolanda Vance was initially a first-year associate at a law firm, but when the firm comes under investigation by the FBI, she becomes a whistleblower. She soon interviews and accepts a position at the FBI and immediately gets sent on her first mission: infiltrate the Red, Green, and Black (RBG) organization stationed in her college hometown. Aya de León crafted a well-developed plot. I enjoyed reading of Yolanda's background and understanding how she made the choices she made. She went through a lot of growth over the course of the book — Yolanda used to be someone who made split-second judgements of people and became someone more empathetic. I also enjoyed reading of the RBG organization and the world-building that went into the novel. However, the beginning was slow and mostly focused on laying the groundwork, but quickly picked up about 25% into the book. The romance felt awkward and I felt it detracted from the overall plot in some areas. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a spy/thriller book! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC! content warnings: mentions of gun use/shootings, drug overdose

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Wise

    Yolanda Vance is a whistleblower-turned FBI agent. She wants to be an analyst and help bring down white collar criminals. Instead, she is tasked with infiltrating a young environmental group in Holloway, California, the home of her alma mater, Cartwright University. Yolanda accepts the assignment because she has no choice. Little does she know she'll risk her life and her heart. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a perfect combination of intrigue, suspense, and romance. The writing is good an Yolanda Vance is a whistleblower-turned FBI agent. She wants to be an analyst and help bring down white collar criminals. Instead, she is tasked with infiltrating a young environmental group in Holloway, California, the home of her alma mater, Cartwright University. Yolanda accepts the assignment because she has no choice. Little does she know she'll risk her life and her heart. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a perfect combination of intrigue, suspense, and romance. The writing is good and the plotting is twisty and turny. The only real criticism of the book I have is the ending leaves out information. Certain plot points are not revealed. But that could have been intentional. Particularly, I liked her portrayal of the teens in the movement. They are smart, sassy, and realize they are victims of their circumstances and are trying to make a difference. The characters are well-developed. I loved the references to music and the structure of the book. If you are looking for a good, fun read, this is your book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    In a time that's equivalent to that 30 Rock “Lemon, it’s Wednesday,” meme, A Spy in the Struggle is a warm breeze, a reset, a refresh, like opening your front door on a harsh winter day and finding you’re on a tropical island. Yolanda Vance is a tightly wound Harvard law graduate and, reluctantly, a new FBI recruit after her big money corporate job disappears under indictment. Through her, readers get a funny but extremely heartful fish-out-of-water story about institutionalized racism, corrupti In a time that's equivalent to that 30 Rock “Lemon, it’s Wednesday,” meme, A Spy in the Struggle is a warm breeze, a reset, a refresh, like opening your front door on a harsh winter day and finding you’re on a tropical island. Yolanda Vance is a tightly wound Harvard law graduate and, reluctantly, a new FBI recruit after her big money corporate job disappears under indictment. Through her, readers get a funny but extremely heartful fish-out-of-water story about institutionalized racism, corruption, community organizing, and surprisingly, love and vulnerability. Shipped out from the East Coast to the California town where she went to college, Yolanda is tasked with infiltrating a youth-focused eco-racial justice group that’s labeled “extremist” in big, red scary letters. The reality, she finds, is really an old gym full of ambitious, bright teenagers and their beleaguered leader, who are desperate to be heard and taken seriously by their community leadership. After a suspicious death that the local cops label an overdose, Yolanda’s mind starts to turn: is she fighting for the wrong side? Full review is available at Book & Film Globe: https://bookandfilmglobe.com/fiction/... Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the ARC.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Whew, this was suspenseful! I absolutely loved Yolanda's parallel past and present storylines, the way her background slowly filled in, the way they revealed how she grew into the beliefs the events of the book would tear down. The way the pieces of her back story get built up is really beautifully done. I agree with some of the other reviews here that the romance wasn't a real strong element of this - it felt like a that-escalated-quickly fantasy romance-genre love story, but one that didn't rea Whew, this was suspenseful! I absolutely loved Yolanda's parallel past and present storylines, the way her background slowly filled in, the way they revealed how she grew into the beliefs the events of the book would tear down. The way the pieces of her back story get built up is really beautifully done. I agree with some of the other reviews here that the romance wasn't a real strong element of this - it felt like a that-escalated-quickly fantasy romance-genre love story, but one that didn't really have enough space between the other events for the emotional depth such a story needs to feel real. It was ultimately a much stronger story about Yolanda finding community / family than romantic love. Still, I really enjoyed Yolanda's reluctant flirting with her love interest, and the steamy parts were fun.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aditya Lakshay

    4.5 Stars! A spy story that does spend the time to discuss issues of Racism, BLM and the upheaval going on in US. Very slightly predictable, the kind where you might know what is going to happen and heave a sigh of relief that is what happens. Yolanda Vance is a disgraced employee of a corporate law firm that goes under on fraud etc and she is disgraced because she refuses to bury evidence and go down along with. A Harvard law Alumnus joins the FBI as an attorney and is sent on a maiden mission to 4.5 Stars! A spy story that does spend the time to discuss issues of Racism, BLM and the upheaval going on in US. Very slightly predictable, the kind where you might know what is going to happen and heave a sigh of relief that is what happens. Yolanda Vance is a disgraced employee of a corporate law firm that goes under on fraud etc and she is disgraced because she refuses to bury evidence and go down along with. A Harvard law Alumnus joins the FBI as an attorney and is sent on a maiden mission to infiltrate a "radical" movement demanding justice and equality. The book is precise, doesn't run drone on longer than it should and a great joy to read!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stephani

    I would give this book 3.5 stars! The author added in COViD-19 and the pandemic in the beginning and I really wish she didn’t. I appreciate her attempt... but it didn’t follow though throughout the book and therefore was distracting to me with the inconsistencies and hence why I would give this book a 3.5 over 4 stars. I really enjoyed it and loved how she tied in the main characters past, with a romance, and the suspense of her being a spy. I would recommend just wish she didn’t try to add in c I would give this book 3.5 stars! The author added in COViD-19 and the pandemic in the beginning and I really wish she didn’t. I appreciate her attempt... but it didn’t follow though throughout the book and therefore was distracting to me with the inconsistencies and hence why I would give this book a 3.5 over 4 stars. I really enjoyed it and loved how she tied in the main characters past, with a romance, and the suspense of her being a spy. I would recommend just wish she didn’t try to add in current events in the beginning!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carlos

    It is my first book by Aya and I didn't know what to expect. The reviews were great and reading about a spy, female, black, empowered, seemed like a great idea in the midst of this pandemic, but... it was not excellent, just OK. A woman falling in love in the middle of an FBI operative is not sound exactly professional and the ending was so so. So 3 stars to this book who will woo readers of the romantic vein. It is my first book by Aya and I didn't know what to expect. The reviews were great and reading about a spy, female, black, empowered, seemed like a great idea in the midst of this pandemic, but... it was not excellent, just OK. A woman falling in love in the middle of an FBI operative is not sound exactly professional and the ending was so so. So 3 stars to this book who will woo readers of the romantic vein.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mopewa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Things I liked: - engaging plot - the kids were endearing - yolanda's growth (but she was still annoying in the beginning) - the big bad is a corporation doing corporate things - the climate justice angle Things that were meh: - Yolanda and Jimmy's romance seemed to turn Jimmy into a whole different (and more annoying) person? - the reveal of the big bad felt rushed and vague - the unnecessary + unexplained, zero exposition given, evil black FBI agent Things I liked: - engaging plot - the kids were endearing - yolanda's growth (but she was still annoying in the beginning) - the big bad is a corporation doing corporate things - the climate justice angle Things that were meh: - Yolanda and Jimmy's romance seemed to turn Jimmy into a whole different (and more annoying) person? - the reveal of the big bad felt rushed and vague - the unnecessary + unexplained, zero exposition given, evil black FBI agent

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    This was a very exciting read about an undercover FBI agent who tries to infiltrate a radical group that is getting to the bottom of recent nefarious goings on connected to a nearby chemical plant. The suspense builds throughout the novel, leading to an explosive conclusion!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Since childhood Yolanda Vance has forged her desire to escape poverty into a laser-like focus that took her through prep school and Harvard Law. When her prestigious New York law firm is raided by the FBI, Yoland turns on her corrupt bosses to save her career. Her determination has taken her to a new position at the FBI, where she is sent undercover to infiltrate Red, Black, and Green, a Black activist group in her California college town that has been dubbed “extremist”. Yolanda is determined t Since childhood Yolanda Vance has forged her desire to escape poverty into a laser-like focus that took her through prep school and Harvard Law. When her prestigious New York law firm is raided by the FBI, Yoland turns on her corrupt bosses to save her career. Her determination has taken her to a new position at the FBI, where she is sent undercover to infiltrate Red, Black, and Green, a Black activist group in her California college town that has been dubbed “extremist”. Yolanda is determined that this undercover assignment needs to be a success in order for her to get back to a life in corporate law. All of that is thrown into chaos when a suspicious death and a romantic connection open her eyes. A spy thriller with a social justice aspect? Sold! Aya de León has created a fun, engrossing, educational, and timely book that spans beyond the crime fiction genre. From the moment I met Yolanda Vance I felt an instant connection that continued to build as I learned more about her past. Watching Yolanda work with and bond with the members of Red, Black, and Green were some of my favorite moments of this story, as we saw walls coming down on all sides and truly got to bond with the characters in this book. In addition to an all-around delightful thriller, A SPY IN THE STRUGGLE has an intense romantic plotline that I normally wouldn’t be on board for, but found added so much more to this story. I really wasn’t expecting to read this book and find a whole lot of steam packed into the pages! A huge thank you to BookishFirst and Kensington Books for my gifted copy!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.