When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.
Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.
For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history–and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way. (Goodreads summary)
First of all, isn’t the cover gorgeous? I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover however we all do. 😉 I absolutely adored this book. Think Ocean’s Eleven meets To Catch a Thief with teenagers…oh come on To Catch a Thief!? Cary Grant/Grace Kelly circa 1960??? Really people, I’m not that old! I just like an old movie from time to time… The thing I loved most about this was the clever, witty banter and the absolute teenage George Cloonishness/Cary Grantishness of Hale…ahh Hale. 😉 This is a super easy read, not something you need to devote a week to reading, more like a lazy Saturday. If you’re looking for something that’s deeply philosophical read Across the Universe or something that’s going to change your life read The Hunger Games, but if you’re looking for a completely entertaining and simply fun read then read Heist Society.
As you know from reading my other guest reviews, whether I’m reading a short story or the epic novel, there must, must, must be great character development for Dani or I to like a book. The more we love your characters, the better! =) For me, and Dani would probably agree with me here, there has to be that something more though to really cinch a 5 star review. The plot has to be tightly developed…there has to be that moment, where short of taking a kid to the ER, I am NOT putting this book down until I’m done! So what did I love about Carter’s delightful book? Every single bit.
First of all, as I said, the cover, gorgeous. Then I love that you jump right into the story, no boring back story, no “Hi, I’m Kat Bishop and I used to be a burglar…blah blah blah.” Even the formatting of the book won me over. I love the pages in between chapters that count down to the heist. Carter also does an excellent job writing in her own distinct voice and doesn’t fall into the trap of cliche YA devices. I hate those. She also does an amazing job of building this incredible crime family/history that is absolutely hilarious and believable. She makes it easy to sink into the world of this novel and walk around a bit. The Heist itself is well thought out and has a touch of humor to it as well. The whole book hinges on whether the actual heist is believable or not…it totally could have fallen flat had that been unbelievable or poorly planned, yet that is the opposite of what happens. The book is this super fun, beautiful package that left me wanted the next book immediately.
Now my favorite part, the characters:
Kat is a super, smart very fun leading lady. As the synopsis suggest, Kat has left her life of crime in search of a normal life until the dreamy Hale comes to snatch her back in order to save her Dad (the ultimate George Clooney/Cary Grantish thief ;)) from being framed for a heist he didn’t commit. She is confident and quick with a witty line yet vulnerable and desperate to lead a noble life.
Hale. Ah, Hale…oh Sorry, writing a review. Hale is a rich boy, cutie who has been drafted into “the family” and is Kat’s love interest…or is he? =) He is confident, smart and ummm hot…? What? I’m just quoting Carter! Hale is the ultimate “inside man.” He and Kat provide some really fun, flirty, witty banter that just leaves you grinning as you read. Love it!
The rest of the crew is made up of Gabrielle, Kat’s terribly girly cousin and opposite in just about every way; the Bagshaws, let’s just say that Angus and Hamish are in charge of smokey decoys hehe; Simon, the technical genius. There are also the secondary characters that you get to know as well (no cardboard cutouts here! YAY!): Marcus, Hale’s absolutely amazing butler/chauffeur (he’s probably my favorite secondary character in the book) and Uncle Eddie the head of Kat’s “family.”
In conclusion, Heist Society could definitely stand alone but I’m really glad that it didn’t. =) Don’t worry, I’ll review book 2 Uncommon Criminals as well. 😉 I will also be looking into some of Ally Carter’s other books as well. She is a writer that I can definitely see myself reading again and again when I need a fun, light read. =)
Title: Heist Society
Series: Heist Society (Book #1)
Published: February 9th 2010 by Hyperion Book CH
Format: Hardcover, 287 pages; Kindle; Nook
Source: Borrowed from library