by Ally Carter
My first Carter book! Which also means that I can use this for my "Take Another Chance" challenge, Round 1 my Doppleganger (initials AC). Yay! And I was also really looking forward to this, cheers for libraries!
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 her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has 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 history-or at least her family's (very crooked) history.
My Expectations: Say the word Oceans 11 and I’m in. I thought it would be a really good book, especially after tons of positive reviews.
Delivery: like I expected, a really good book!
Put-down-ability: with a blog break, read this in 2 sittings. Lots of fun and excitement means hard to put down, 4/10
Heist Society was in one word, fun. It a light, fast-paced smart read about a teen girl’s… ahem, extracurricular activities (get your mind out of the gutter!) also known as stealing. Stealing expensive things to be exact. I really needed a book like this that puts me in a better mood and helps erase the disappointment of Bloom.
So what did I like about this one? Let’s start with the very charming, very endearing heroine Kat. She’s funny, resourceful and has her priorities straight, she has a backbone and does stuff. Her friendship with Hale was complex and very enjoyable to read about, I absolutely adored them both. I wish the other crew members, like the hilarious Bagshaw boys, Gabrielle, and Simon got more screen time and character development. They had their own funny quirks and awesome personalities, but I definitely wouldn’t have minded more.
Oh, and I actually really liked Arturo Taccone (awesome name btw). He was just the ideal villain who I could still like, despite his shortcomings. I thought the way he ‘toyed’ with Kat made the plot so much more interesting.
The writing flows very smoothly, and I thought at the beginning I would have preferred to read things from Kat’s POV (I still kinda think that) but her way worked as well. Writing didn’t get distracting, and I thought dialogue was handled very well.
Despite how much I liked the characters, I think the plot is the real standout. It carries the story, from when Kat is being framed at the beginning to the 14 day coundown to the deadline Kat has to return the paintings. Each day was full of action and mystery, I never got bored or overwhelmed; I mean, they traveled all around Europe and even to North America in two weeks!
I thought the incorporation of art (albeit fictional art) and museums was a clever input to make the story feel more realistic. The heist itself was genius and my heart was pumping during the plan execution, along with the lead-up to it; definitely reminiscent with the awesome movie Oceans 11. I am a fan, Ms Carter!
I noticed in the acknowledgments, Carter mentioned how this a story deeply rooted in family, and I couldn’t agree more. The bonds that Kat has with her family, despite trying to walk away, is complex, strong and admirable. Kat’s relationship with her father, Uncle Eddie and even Gabrielle was handled impeccably. Plus,I liked the whole crime-family debacle, it was lots of fun, not to mention unique.
Parting thoughts: I feel better after reading it :) that’s always a good sign. I want a sequel (this time with a bit more romance)!
Book in HP terms: Exceeds Expectations
8.5/10 – I really liked it! It was a clever, charming and witty read that was full of both an action-pact plot and unique characters. It will leave you smiling, and impressed by the sneaky abilities of teens. Yes, a bit of suspension of disbelief is needed, but that’s okay, just go along with it and it won’t disappoint. 8.5/10 is a B+.
Recommended for those who like smart, action-y contemporary novels!