Enjoyable Story

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"She could come back. She would come back. She just had to spy on some black extremist teenagers."
~Agent Yolanda Vance

The word "just" is putting it very lightly. In A Spy in the Struggle, Yolanda Vance, wet behind the ears FBI agent fresh from a job in corporate law, is assigned an undercover detail that she assumes will be an easy gig. But this assignment isn't all that it seems to be on the surface and ultimately she is forced to question her employers, herself and her values.

The FBI wants to protect a tech company, Randell, because they are working on some big, important, secret project for the government. So essentially, Yolanda is undercover to help make sure the "extremist" group, Red, Black and Green! (RBG), doesn't disrupt Randell's work for them by feeding the FBI info about RBGs plans ad movements. I put the word extremist in quotation marks though because this group is not an extremist group at all and as Yolanda begins to realize this, her job becomes harder for her to do.

Honestly, although Yolanda is a brilliant, strong, independent Black woman, she is very unlikeable at first because she is disillusioned about struggles faced in the Black community especially when it comes to accountability. She came into the job with some horrible assumptions about the organization she would be infiltrating and even though a lot of those assumptions is due to half-truths the FBI told her, the rest is all her and her upbringing. She grew on me once she began to realize that simplest things could have made her life like the homeless Black kids she comes across and learns that everyone's circumstances are different so we can't judge everyone based on our experiences alone. This growth occurs with her reflecting on her past a lot.

Throw in a super sketchy, mysterious death and a hard to ignore romance, this was one of those undercover op stories where you're just waiting for everything to blow up in the UC's face. Overall I enjoyed the story and had fun reading it but some of the transitions between past and present didn't flow right with me and also I wasn't really surprised with the way the story developed and ended.