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The Winning Element by Shannon Greenland
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The Winning Element

by Shannon Greenland

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Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo.com

Gigi learns how her parents really died and it's not an accident like she was told. She flips out and demands to be allowed to go after the uber dangerous man who's responsible. TL agrees on the condition that Gigi run the mission and that Beaker goes along with her.

Gigi researches and discovers that Eduardo will be in Florida in a few weeks time. Unfortunately, the only way to get close to him is to go undercover as cheerleaders, as the hotel is hosting the tryouts for the America's Cheer Team.

Beaker, the Goth girl, despises cheerleaders and isn't too fond of Gigi, either. Even so, the girls must practice cheering daily to get ready. Can they become bubbly and perky enough to fool everyone, or will their covers be blown?

The third book in THE SPECIALISTS series is every bit as good as the first two with close calls, plans that go awry, and a dash of romance. For more cheerleading spies, check out THE SQUAD series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 13, 2009 |
Each of the "Specialist" books features one of the specialists on a mission with Gigi a.k.a. Genius Girl. Book one was Gigi with David, Book two was Gigi with Wirenut, the electronics genius, and now, book three features Gigi with Beaker, the chemistry expert. We find out that Sissy's mom didn't want anything to do with her, and when Sissy (Beaker) almost blew up her school, one of the teachers, Mrs Gabrier, who actually works for INPC (Information Protection National Concern) called in TL and convinced him to take Beaker as one of the specialists, which he does. In this episode, Gigi finds out that her parents were actually murdered. She and David found out in the end of book two that their fathers were friends and that the two children spent time together on the ranch. When Gigi finds out her parents were murdered she insists on tracking and apprehending the man responsible for their deaths. She lays down an ultimatum to T.L. which he accepts, and suddenly Gigi has to plan the entire mission. She doesn't play well as a team member, and T.L. takes her down a notch for this behaviour, but Beaker and Gigi, posing as cheerleaders who want to be on the American Cheer team, do manage to solve the case. We also find out, near the end of book three, that Beaker and David are half brother and sister. Gigi gets to know Beaker and even devleops a soft spot for her. Now if Beaker can just forgive her for pushing her into cheerleading, everyone will be happy.
Great novel for reluctant readers because it is easy to understand and moves along fairly quickly. ( )
  JRlibrary | Jul 23, 2008 |
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Sisisssy. Sisissy. Di-did yooouuu hear wh-what I aaassskkked yo-you?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142410527, Paperback)

With two successful missions behind her, GiGi is feeling confident and comfortable with the Specialists. Unfortunately, things are about to change. TL has informed her that a notorious chemical smuggler was personally responsible for the death of both her mother and father. The government has been trying to track him down for years, to no avail. Enter the Specialists, and this time, GiGi?s in charge of the mission. Only there?s a catch?the success of the mission depends on many things, including Beaker?s chemical expertise. And Beaker is the last person GiGi wants to deal with. When the mission deems it necessary to go to Florida, Beaker is ready. But when her cover has to be a cheerleader at the national cheerleading competition, Goth-girl Beaker is not too pleased. With personality conflicts, mission challenges, and the demanding schedule of the cheerleading competition, it?s difficult for Beaker and GiGi to focus on the task at hand. Can they put all things aside and find the smuggler, or will their window of opportunity be shut forever?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:49 -0400)

GiGi, the teenaged computer genius, gets to lead her first mission, trying to catch a notorious chemical smuggler who years ago was responsible for the deaths of her mother and father.

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