Sunday, 29 August 2010

Heist Society by Ally Carter

Feb 2010, Disney Hyperion
304, Hardcover
Personal copy

Occasional mild violence, hints of romance in places

Summary from Disney Hyperion:

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled 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’s art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. 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 (very crooked) history—and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

Amy's Thoughts:

Why is it so many of my favourite YA books begin in school? *shakes head* Clearly, I was destined to become a teacher and go back to school forever. But anyway, the review.

When Kat finds herself being blamed for putting the teacher's car in the school fountain, she's knows something's up. She doesn't expect it to be Hale, though - the really cute guy who has worked with her family for years, and whose first name still remains a mystery. Despite the cute factor, she's not exactly thrilled: after all, she had to pull one of the most elaborate cons in her life to get into this school, and she intends to go through with it. She's put her old life firmly behind her.

Only, no matter how far you run, you can't escape the fact that family is family, and when family needs you - well, you have to be there.

One of my absolutely favourite things about all of Ally Carter's work is how clean it is. I know that's kind of an odd comment to make; most people love a story for the plot, or the characters, or the worldbuilding, not for its cleanliness, after all :D But still. I have a baby sister who's 13, and I recommend books I love to her. So it's really nice to know that there are books I can recommend to her that really are clean.

That said, Heist Society is full of Ally's usual deft plot twists and well-developed characters, all with just a touch of romance. I especially loved the fact that the main job in the story involves breaking into the Louvre, and I've actually been there! My husband and I traveled to Europe for the first time last year, and it's so exciting to read a story and be able to visualise the places it describes :o)

Final Conclusion:

A squeetastic book! I still think Carter's Gallagher Girls series tops it, but Heist is a lot of fun. I hope the movie option becomes a reality :)

Find out more about Heist Society on the Australian Heist Society website, or find out more about the author at

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