Book Review: Heist Society (Heist Society#1) by Ally Carter

6574102Title: Heist Society (Heist Society #1)
Author: Ally Carter
Genre: Young Adult, Action Adventure, Contemporary
How I got it: I bought it

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.

Thieving is not supposed to be a desirable job but after reading Heist Society, I definitely wanted to be an A class thief like Katarina Bishop. There is just something about Ally Carter’s way of writing that engages you from the very beginning. Some people might not like her style, but I am not one of them. The story is well thought out and the plot is intricately detailed without being confusing, as are the characters that are colorfully woven into the very heart of the story.

I like that this book isn’t just about a girl, a girl and a boy, or a girl and a boy and their friends. This book is about family and the lengths that a young girl would go just to make sure that no harm would come to the people she cares for. This book is about cons and heists, failures and successes. This book is so much more than what it appears to be at first.

Kat’s story is full of twist and turns and of puzzles that doesn’t seem to have any solution at all, at least not to the innocent mind of a non-thief reader. Ally Carter keeps us all at the edge of our seats, anxious and excited about the turn out of the cons that our protagonists would pull on seemingly unconnable antagonists and of the techniques with quirky names (i.e. Benjamin Franklin) that they would use to rob a never-been-robbed-before museum.

There is also the matter of the not-yet-romance between the characters of Kat and Hale, and of the (sort of) love triangle-ish fiasco when Nick, another fellow thief who is not who he says he is, comes into the picture. Carter doesn’t hurry the romance factor of the story but instead, she shows us the depth of Kat and Hale’s friendship and lets the events unfold gradually from there. That there is an actual solid foundation is a good thing too, especially in YA, where authors plot insta-love between characters that doesn’t even seem to have any level of chemistry at all. In her own way, Ally Carter prepares us for the inevitable take off of a soon-to-be epic love story, and she did a very good job in this first installment so far.

All in all, a very fun, exciting, and unputdownable read. This is a really great way to start a series, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book. Kat is a very relatable character despite the fact that she is a thief because other than that unusual job description, she is actually very normal. All the other supporting characters are very likable, too: Simon and his geekness, Angus and Hamish who reminds me of Fred and George from Harry Potter because of their playful ingenuity, Gabrielle for her lethal badassery, Hale for his charm and even Nick, for his charm, too, I guess. But most of all I admire Katarina Bishop’s unwavering determination to conquer the impossible just to save her father’s life. Another addition to girls-in-YA-that-we-should-all-look-up-to. And I’m not talking about the being a thief part.

The ending was probably the best part of this book. It is always the conclusion that can make or break a work of fiction. In this case, the conclusion made it all the more awesome, so I guess what I’m trying to say is the Heist Society is now officially part of my favorite books shelf.

Why only 4 out of 5 coconuts, you say? I guess it’s because of the antagonist, Mr. Tarconne. Although he seemed like a total psychopath that couldn’t be conned, he still didn’t scare me enough. His bad guy mojo needs some work, but other than that, this book is really great.



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