Author: Ally Carter
Series: This is the first book in the Heist Society trilogy.
Release Date: February 9, 2010
Source: Bought from Amazon.
Buy It: Amazon
Add It: 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.
I don't come across many YA mysteries or adventure stories that sound good very often, but after reading Heist Society's synopsis and so many wonderful reviews, I pretty much knew I would enjoy this one! As always, my main points are bolded. :)
1. I really like Kat. She tried so hard to leave the family business, but re-entered the crime world because of her family. I love her devotion to her dad. She is confident, but not to the point of cockiness. She understands her limits, but has no trouble pushing those limits as far as possible. She also has this constant battle going on in her head between her conscience and her mission. She's pretty awesome.
2. Kat's friends and family, Hale, Simon, Hamich, Angus, and Gabrielle are all amazing and fill the spots in Kat's heist society. Each of them has a special talent, and when put together, they form this amazing band of criminals. I absolutely love the strength of their relationships, and the lengths they will go to for one another. These people are willing to put everything on the line to protect Kat's father. I love that. Talk about pure devotion. I have never read a book with such strong familial relationships, and I loved it so much more than I thought I would.
3. I loved Hale so much. He's rich and classy, and is always looking out for Kat. His previous life goes to show how unlikely a candidate he is for Kat's crew, but he fits in so well because you can tell how much he cares for her.
4. In the midst of all the hard things they have to go through, these characters say some of the funniest things! Here are a few of my favorite quotes and excerpts from the story:
“Can I see you outside for a second?" Kat glared at Hale, then walked to the patio doors and out onto the veranda. As Hale closed the door behind him, Kat heard Angus say, "Ooh, Mom and Dad are going to fight now.”
“Thanks to you, Gabs, we just figured out a half dozen ways not to rob the Henley.”
“If you die of pneumonia, I'm pretty sure there are at least a dozen guys who'll try to kill me and make it look like an accident.”
“Do you understand any of this?" he said, pointing to the lines and symbols that covered the massive screens.
"Some people understand the value of an education."
Hale stretched and crossed his legs, the settled his arm around Kat's shoulders. "That's sweet, Kat. Maybe later I'll buy you a university. And an ice cream."
"I'd settle for the ice cream."
SO fun! I love their interactions and silliness. They are all so mature and worldly, but their dialogue helps remind us that they are just a bunch of extraordinary teenagers.
5. Heist Society travels to so many awesome places in the USA and Europe. We get to visit New York, Las Vegas, Sabina Valley, Naples, Vienna, Warsaw, London, Paris, and Rome. I loved all the jumping around the globe we got to do!
6. I read so many YA contemporaries, that it was rather refreshing to have so little romance this time. There's a little tension, and a little sweetness... but, for the most part there's no romance. I have a feeling there will be more in the next book, and I'm SO excited about that because I just love the characters so much.
7. The writing style was so perfect that I barely noticed it. Does that sound strange? It just fit the story so perfectly that I forgot I was reading. So often, I focus on a writing style because it is SO bad. And yes, there are other times when I focus on it because it's so beautiful. This time, though, not noticing it is the best compliment I can give.
This was my first Ally Carter book, and I absolutely loved it! I need to go check out her Gallagher Girls series now, because I love Ally's strong characters and her storytelling. I'd definitely recommend this to people who are looking for something outside of the normal romance, vampires and werewolves, heavy issues kind of YA books.