Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter



Title:  Heist Society
Author:  Ally Carter
Publisher:  Disney Hyperion 
Genre: YA
Hardcover: 287 pages
ISBN: 1423116399
Summary (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 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.
  • Overall rating: 8/10
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Ally Carter's Heist Society is a fun and fast-paced story about Kat Bishop, a girl who grew up in a family of master thieves and worked hard to leave that life behind her.  Just when Kat thinks she has pulled off the greatest con ever by landing herself in an exclusive boarding school and beginning to work toward a law-abiding future, she finds herself drawn back onto the wrong side of the law when her father is accused of stealing from a dangerous nemesis and she has to help prove his innocence.  

What I Liked:
-     Kat is very easy to like.  She is smart, observant, and quick-witted.  She is also an excellent leader and a girl who doesn't hesitate to make tough choices when faced with difficult situations.  
-     I adored Hale as Kat's devoted best friend.  Clever, sarcastic, and utterly charming, everyone should be fortunate enough to have someone like billionaire W.W. Hale the Fifth in their life.  I am excited to see how his relationship with Kat will develop in future books.
-     I enjoyed seeing Kat round up a talented assortment of players to help protect her dad.  That aspect of the story reminded me of fun caper movies like Ocean's Eleven, Sneakers, and The Italian Job.  The heist elements have a Mission Impossible feel and all the members of Kat's crew have unique and entertaining personalities.
-     There is a lot of humor in this book (which I thoroughly enjoyed), but I also liked that the story touched on a very serious issue regarding art theft during World War II.
-     This book has a satisfying conclusion with just the right touch of mystery, and it leaves you with the feeling that Kat's adventures are really just beginning.  I look forward to reading the next Kat Bishop book and jumping back into the high-stakes world of these fun characters.
-     As per my usual policy, this book receives bonus points for including a reference to The Princess Bride. * happy grin*  :-)

What I Wished:
-     I wanted more Hale.  I enjoyed the banter and romantic tension in this book, and I basically wanted all of Hale and Kat's scenes to be twice as long.  Hope to see much more of him in the next book.
-     This book is a very quick read, and I didn't want Kat's adventure to wrap up quite so quickly.  287 pages is just a bit too short for a hardcover.

Heist Society is a quick, entertaining read with a great heroine and an enjoyable cast of characters.  Fans of heist films or books with intelligent protagonists from crime families, like Holly Black's White Cat, should definitely pick up Heist Society.  I was very happy to hear that Warner Brothers purchased the film rights to Heist Society because I think it will make a terrifically fun movie. This is the first Ally Carter book I've read, so I look forward to checking out her Gallagher Girls series.  If you would like to learn more about Heist Society or Ally Carter's other books, visit her website, blog, or twitter.

6 comments:

Ladytink_534 said...

This sounds like such a neat book. I'm adding it to my wishlist right now.

Darlyn said...

This really sounds like a fun read ;p

Violet said...

Thanks for stopping by to comment, Ladytink and Darlyn! :)

Candace said...

I agree that it's a fun read but was too short! I think it'll make an excellent movie! Great review!

Violet said...

Thanks, Candace! :) I was glad to hear that Warner Brothers decided to bump the main characters' ages up from high school students to college students in the film, I think that will make the story a bit more believable & hopefully allow the romantic tension to be kicked up a notch. We'll see.

Adeeva Afsheen said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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