by Ally Carter
pub: Feb 2010/Hyperion
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 first Ally Carter read and what a treat! Heist Society delivers a fun romp. A great caper with a little bit of mystery and romance thrown in.
Not a paranormal aspect in sight and I still loved this one. Fun characters, fast pace, danger, intrigue, humor – Heist Society was a blast!
It hooked me right in with the fact that in the first few pages, our protagonist is getting kicked out of a boarding school, instead of going into one. That was refreshing! Thank you Ms. Carter!
It starts with Kat being accused of putting the headmaster’s vintage car on the school fountain. Great prank right? And it’s something she could have pulled off without getting caught because she is a master thief. But she gets kicked out because of the mountain of evidence against her.
How you ask? She’s been brilliantly framed by her friends and family because they think a “normal” life will be the death of her…and they need her expertise. So she must delve back into the life of a thief to save her father from a really bad dude who thinks he stole his paintings.
Yes, it’s Ocean 11-ish, and what’s wrong with that? I love that movie. Part of Kat’s crew – the two brothers – even reminded me of the two wacky brothers in Ocean’s 11. You also get that great camaraderie between a group who loves each other but can have that hate-you-sometimes-too thing going on. They are like a zany family that you can’t help but love. And they all pull together in the end.
I liked Kat. She's smart, funny, sassy, loyal, tough, brave and trying to change her life for the better. Hale – her love interest who is from a billionaire family with the (little cliche but I didn't mind) absentee parents. Almost a young Thomas Crowne who was bored and got involved with of Kat’s exciting family of thieves.
Her cousin is the female eye candy/distraction. Then you have the computer geek and the wacky brothers I mentioned earlier. Later you get a wild card but I don’t want to give too much away.
The heist and the mystery of the real thief creates the center of the storyline The romance between Kat and adorable Hale doesn’t fully develop but they show a genuine caring and you believe their relationship will evolve.
One of the funniest parts was when Kat gets dressed up for the job and the other boys (not Hale) gawk and say, "When did you get boobs?" And later when they are thinking about aborting the plan Kat says something like, "Oh, no. I even wore boobs for this."
Another aspect I enjoyed was that while there is resolution to the story, the real mystery behind the stolen artwork is left unresolved in an interesting, kind of sweet way. Leaves a few questions and an opening for a sequel without a huge cliffhanger.
A couple of negatives would be that the actual heist gets a bit convoluted and at times Kat can seem a bit boring compared to the rest of the characters. But she's supposed to be the level-headed leader, so it worked for the story.
No sex, violence or language so it's fine for younger and older teens, and I think both would enjoy it.
The Cover: I really like it, especially the painting reflected in the sunglasses.
First Lines: No one knew for certain when the trouble started at the Colgan School. Some members of the alumni association blamed the decision to admit girls.
Good. I'm interested to find out about the trouble being caused.
Heist Society isn't a deep, emotional read. It isn't even that original. But what it does have is amusing characters and loads of fun. For an entertaining caper adventure Heist Society delivers the goods. Let it steal some of your reading time, you won't be sorry.