Contemporary Young Adult
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Macey McHenry—Glamorous society girl or spy-in-training?
W.W. Hale V—Heir to an American dynasty or master thief?
There are two sides to every coin. Whether these two can work together is a tossup.
Born into privilege, Macey and Hale are experts at mingling with the upper class. But even if they’ve never raised an eyebrow at the glitz, neither teenager has ever felt at home with the glamour.
When Macey and Hale meet at a society gala, the party takes a dangerous turn. Suddenly they’re at the center of a hostage situation, and it’s up to them to stop the thugs from becoming hostile. Will Macey’s spy skills and Hale’s con-man ways be enough to outsmart a ruthless gang? Or will they have to seek out the ultimate inside girl to help?
The worlds of Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls collide in Ally Carter’s fast-paced, high-stakes and tantalizing new story. Get a behind the scenes glimpse as Ally delivers an irresistible thriller that is full of her signature style and savvy twists.
Double Crossed is a quick jaunt into the combined world of Ally Carter's two young adult series, giving us a brief and pleasurable reminder of how much fun her books can be. Even those (like me) who haven't read both series will easily be able to immerse themselves in this novella, and will likely come out of it with a strong desire to pick up whichever of the two series they have yet to experience. Lovers of The Heist Society novels will thrill at the presence of both Kat and Hale in this story, their relationship delightfully addressed even though the focus is as always on the current law-breaking situation, and will close the back cover with a smile and a hope that future books will only continue to bring them closer together.
(I'm not assigning a rating to this one because it's just a fun and free little novella, you can download it here)
• • • • • • • • • •
ALLY CARTER SIGNING
It was my understanding from the email that this would be a small, informal get together with Ally and a few other people, and I was really thankful for the group setting because it meant said other people would likely handle the question asking portion and I could then just sit back, smile, and not have to open my mouth and risk exposing everyone to my social ineptitude. A win-win for all parties involved.
Cincinnati is about a two hour drive from Columbus, and Cathy, my mother-in-law and ever-patient bookish event companion, graciously agreed to drive down with me so I wouldn't have to go it alone. A little after we arrived at Joseph Beth Booksellers, we were approached by none other than Ally herself and her media escort for the event. Cue Jenny grinning like an idiot. After the introductions were made, the media escort suggested we find a quiet corner away from the crowd so I could talk to Ally. I looked at Ally. Ally looked at me. I looked to both sides and behind me. Aside from Cathy, there was no one else there. No other bloggers. No other people joining us. Realization that I was going to be speaking with Ally one on one as opposed to in a group dawned, and I'm pretty sure my face did this:
I tried to smile even as I was inwardly panicking due to the fact that I came with exactly zero questions prepared. Not one. I didn't think I'd need them when my plan was to sit quietly and observe like a boss of an introvert. I tried not to let the fear show on my face and have no idea whether or not I was successful in this endeavor, but Ally kindly didn't make mention of it if I wasn't.
I feel like at this point in the post I really just need to profess my love for Ally Carter. She was incredibly genuine and friendly, and, once my nerves settled a bit, I had an absolute blast taking advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity to spend a half hour with a New York Times best-selling author all to myself. We chatted about anything and everything, from her experiences flying from place to place on tour, to book cover design, to what I did for a living and finally to her books, and I honestly can't thank her enough for carving out a not-insignificant chunk of time to speak with me. She actually made a point of asking me questions as opposed to waiting for me to simply grill her, and as a result she immediately put me at ease. I would have hugged her if I thought my leaping at her like a crazy person wouldn't have scarred her for life, so I opted to play it cool instead ;-)
After my time with Ally was up, I went and joined the very large crowd waiting for her and jotted down a few notes as she answered everyone's questions:
• She has always seen the Heist Society series as being open-ended; meaning she entered into it without a set number of books in mind and continues to approach the series that way. There will definitely be more books, she just can't say how many exactly.
• She says one of the challenges with the Heist Society series is that it's what she calls “unrealistic realistic fiction”. She has to continually come up with heists/cons/settings that are believable as part of the real world, but at the same time she has to create the places (museums, casinos, galleries, etc.) herself in order for her to be able to successfully write the cons. If she used real places, she said the heists would never work given she's not a criminal mastermind ;-) and she wouldn't have the first clue about how Kat and her team could bypass existing security. By creating fictional places, she has control over all the individual pieces and can have the cons unfold as she needs them to.
• She writes chronologically, always starting with the first chapter and ending with the last.
• Uncle Eddie is her favorite character. She called him her Dumbledore and wishes someone would show up at a signing with a Team Uncle Eddie t-shirt ;-)
• She knows what the W.W. stands for in Hale's name, but she's not telling. She said she's been hugely surprised at how readers have latched on to that tiny aspect of the books and continue to obsess over it. She said it was something she just sort of threw in initially and she seemed delighted that it turned out to be something fans ask her about again and again. We will find out what his full name is before the series ends, and Kat has not yet been correct in any of her guesses.
• She likes to torture her readers. I haven't read the Gallagher Girls series, so I wasn't familiar with any of the characters she mentioned when she was asked questions about the books, but I was able to gather that the Hale of that series, so to speak, is a young man named Zach. A girl in the audience asked her something (the exact question eludes me) about the final book in the series to which Ally replied “Well, after I wrote Zach's funeral scene...” and literally 5 girls around me burst into tears. It took Ally a few minutes to get everyone calmed down and comforted with reassurances that she was not in fact killing Zach off in the final book. The whole situation endeared her to me a little more, as I love an author who isn't afraid to tease and have a little fun at her readers' expense.
• She said her goal not to provide happy endings with her books, but rather satisfying ones. Some of the girls in the audience looked a little concerned at this pronouncement after the previous mention of Zach's funeral :)
A few pictures from the event:
(Me and Ally)