My Review: I'm reviewing this series, because I feel like it's greatly under-appreciated. Normally, I hate mystery books, but Sammy Keyes isn't like a normal mystery series. The mysteries are modern and more action-y than Nancy Drew-esq. And the mysteries are only part of the books; the other parts involve Sammy's family, her friends, her personal life, and her school life---all of which are pretty dramatic. She goes through lots of things that most normal kids go through---like crushes and enemies (even though her enemy is a bit more insane than normal enemies are)---and then she goes through things that most normal kids DON'T go through, like a mother who abandoned her to go become a Hollywood movie star; a tricky and illegal living situation; an absent and mysterious dad; an enemy who makes Draco Malfoy look like a bunny; and many more things. Sammy's a tough, independent and gutsy (a.k.a snarky and sassy) heroine who is very much alike Max Ride (from the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson; also a very good series). Yet, she also goes through the normal pains of adolescence and teenagerdom---and she keeps a witty, hilarious perspective through it all. Although sometimes she can get on your nerves, this series is a winning, kitschy read, and it's not to be missed by anyone who likes strong female characters. (The supporting cast of characters---including Grams, Hudson, Marissa, and Casey---is wonderful as well.) Oh, and a word to the wise? The series gets WAY better as it goes on.
Covers: Quite honestly, the covers are pretty ugly. They're boring and dull; they don't do the series much justice. Nicer covers would probably have gotten this series more readers, but anyway...even though the series is good, the covers are not.
Overall Grade: A-