Contemporary Young Adult
Bought/Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (Heist Society, book #1, from Goodreads)
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.
Fun and flirty, the Heist Society novels are quick and entertaining reads, jetting us all around the world as we follow a teenage crew of thieves–characters in the truest sense of the word–who keep us laughing even as we wonder how they’re possibly going to pull off their next job. A certain level of disbelief must be suspended before picking these books up, as Kat and her team get in and out of terribly difficult situations with relative ease, making it clear that these books are meant simply to be enjoyed rather than read critically for their criminal believability. Reading any book in this series brings a smile to our faces, and we open the first page prepared to settle in for a little travel, a little moral ambiguity, and a whole lot of mischief.
Kat Bishop, teenage thief and leader of a crew that features a billionaire inside man, a pair of brothers with a penchant for explosives, a stunningly attractive young woman who excels at distraction, and a computer genius, isn’t someone we necessarily get to know all that well during the course of her exploits, but someone we look forward to reading about just the same. She does have a tendency to be completely and frustratingly self-reliant in the first two books, pushing best friend and love interest W.W. Hale the Fifth away again and again despite his blatantly obvious desire to be whatever she needs him to be, but by the time we reach Perfect Scoundrels, Kat’s hands no longer exert force to push him away and instead thankfully try to pull him closer.
Those looking for an epic romance will likely be left wanting with these books given the focus is always on the heist itself, leaving the various character relationships to simmer warmly in the background. The more subtle nature of Kat’s relationship with Hale fits these stories beautifully though, their friendship and occasional flirtation a refreshing departure from grand gestures and too-soon declarations of love, and we can’t help but revel in the levity of their interactions. Perfect Scoundrels is perhaps the most emotional of the three, the difference between Hale’s world and Kat’s world brought into sharp focus and stark contrast as their two separate upbringings collide in a very personal way, making our hearts beat a little faster as the depth of certain feelings tangle irreparably with the con itself.
Overall the Heist Society novels are perfect for a sunny afternoon in between dark dystopian or gut-wrenching contemporary reads, guaranteed to charm and delight readers with a myriad of playful and memorable characters.
ALLY CARTER SIGNING
For those of you in the southern Ohio/Northern Kentucky area, Ally Carter will be signing books tonight at 7pm ET at the Joseph Beth Booksellers at Rookwood Pavilion. I'm hugely excited to be able to attend and will be making the trip from Columbus to do so. I plan to take lots of pictures and generally be an Ally fangirl, complete with moments of awkward social behavior because it's well known that I'm unable to be cool in the face of authors whose books I enjoy. *pats self on back for being awesome* Hope some of you who are nearby can make it!