Thursday, September 10, 2015

Book Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter



Title: Heist Society

Author: Ally Carter

Publication date: February 2010

Pages: 287



Katarina Bishop wants to be a normal girl. Well, as normal as anyone who has been raised by a family of thieves can be. When she leaves the life of crime behind her and cons her way into an upscale boarding school in the country, she thinks she’s finally out. That is, until she gets kicked out for a crime she didn’t commit and whisked back to her Uncle’s house in New York, where she finds out her father is on the hook for stealing paintings from a very, very dangerous man. Kat is determined to find the paintings and steal them back in order to save her father, but she’s going to need help. With a ragtag group of friends and family, Kat is about to take on the biggest job of her life.

I had a great time with this book, but be aware: these are pretty shallow waters. That’s not to say that it’s not well thought out, because it is. But there aren’t a lot of hidden depths to the story or the characters. In this case, though, that’s okay. It’s got a serious Ocean’s Eleven vibe, if the Ocean’s Eleven crew was about half that size and comprised entirely of teenagers and led by a girl. Kat is way more interesting to me than Danny Ocean, though, because she’s not perfect. She’s not infallible. She messes up sometimes, despite being incredibly skilled, and she tries to compartmentalize her feelings in order to finish a job and can’t always manage. I genuinely like her, and I want to see her succeed.

The other members of the cast are enjoyable, too. Ally Carter manages to paint a decent picture of these people in a very small amount of time, which means I was invested in every part of the heist. Hale, Kat’s best friend-slash-possible future love interest is delightful. He’s smooth and very cool, right up until he makes you remember that he’s also very young and awkward, just like Kat. They have a slow-burn kind of inevitable chemistry that doesn’t feel forced. Kat’s cousin, Gabrielle, is delightful. I love their opposing dynamic. Kat is pretty and very intelligent, but very low-key, and she doesn’t have a lot of time to explore feelings or figure herself out right now, even when those feelings come back to bite her in the butt. Gabrielle is stunningly beautiful and uses that to her full advantage, which makes her a serious asset. She’s also smart and funny, and I basically want them to become best friends and steal all the things together.

All in all, this one is really fun. I love heisty movies, and I’ve watched every season of Leverage at least twice, so this book was right up my alley. The action is fast-paced and smart, the characters are entertaining, and I love going step-by-step through the process of high-end thievery. If you’re into that, you’re going to like this, too. Also, it’s part of a series, so if you DO like it, then there’s another one waiting for you!

Happy reading!

--Kayla


Want to read Heist Society? Find it on the CMRLS catalog and put it on hold!
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