Sunday, September 25, 2011

Book Review: Heist Society

Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: February 9, 2010
Pages: 287
Read it in: 2 days
Source: The library

Summary: 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.

LC's Take:

OK, I know this is such an old-granny kind of word, but this book really was-- delightful. I'm such a dork, I know, but this was really just a fun, light read that was so easy to breeze through, and the story was unique and kept me wanting to turn the pages. Altogether, I definitely enjoyed this one!

Katerina Bishop is a thief. More specifically, she is the daughter of a master thief, and she has been trained since she was three years old to follow in his footsteps. So, when she finds out that her dad is in trouble because he has been framed in one of the greatest heist jobs in all history, Kat needs a plan to save her father from Arturo Taccone, a mobster who has lost his famous-- and pricey-- paintings.

I loved the characters in this book. Katerina was smart and witty, and it was so much fun following her to Italy, France and England. W.W. Hale the Fifth (Hale for short!) was Kat's love interest, and I loved being able to follow their relationship from being "just friends" to discovering that they have feelings for each other. Gabrielle, Kat's sexy cousin, got on my nerves, but she was also a colorful character who made the story that much more enjoyable to read.

The plot was awesome-- I mean, who doesn't love a fast-paced, high-stakes adventure with all the action and high-tech gadgets of a James Bond movie? Also, I adored the travel aspect of this book-- it was so cool to read about Paris, Poland, Italy and England. I've been to a few of these places, and just reading about them made me want to go back! Throw in some art history fiction, complete with old country estates, Parisian cobblestone streets, and stately museums, and you have the makings of one sweet story!

Even though the writing was a little choppy in places, I thought that for the most part the writing was really good. Here was my favorite line from the book-- it just made me smile when I read it!

"But when Mr. Stein sipped his hot coffee and watched Kat  drink hers, he smiled the way he might if he saw a replica of his favorite childhood toy in a shop window-- happy that something he loved wasn't entirely gone from the world."

The only issue I had with Heist Society was when I stopped and really thought about the premise of a 15-year old thief. I mean, yes, it's cool, and it's a fun twist to a story-- but when I started thinking about some big, bad crime boss making deals with some young girl, it just seemed slightly ridiculous and unbelievable. Now, of course, I read a lot of fantasy and paranormal books, so I think I can be a little lenient here and not carry on about just how far-fetched the actual story was-- because bottom line, it was still fun to read and there's no reason to take the actual story too seriously.

All in all, this was definitely a fun and light-hearted read. The characters, the travel, the story-- it was all put together really well, and made the pages fly by. Plus, the premise of a 15-year old master thief-- while unbelievable-- is still unique and creative and makes Heist Society stand out from all the other YA books out there. You will easily be able to read this book in a day or two, and I think you'll thoroughly enjoy it as much as I did!

LC's Rating:
A creative and well-thought out story, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Heist Society. If you're looking for a fun, around-the-world adventure, this would be a great book to pick up!


  1. I'm excited to read this one :) Your review definitely makes me want to read it even more! I bought it last week (the week before?) and I've been staring at it every time I walk by my bookshelf haha. Awesome review, I can't wait to read this one :)

    Anna @ Literary Exploration

  2. This book has been sitting on my shelf for a month now :P I really need to get to it! It sounds sooo good!

  3. Glad you liked it. I enjoy Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series and bought this one last week. Looking forward to reading it; sounds like it's as fun as her other books.

    I know what you mean about the premise, though, if you give it serious thought. It's the same thing with Gallagher Girls. If you actually stop and think about it, the idea that a school is training teen girls to be spies and killers is actually awful and immoral. But that's why it's best not to think about that! Just relax and enjoy the hijinks!

  4. I've heard a lot of positive things about these novels. I'm really interested in reading them. Great review! Delightful is a great word. :)

  5. This sounds like a really fun read - actually quite perfect for my reading list right now because I am in need of some simple and fun books. I agree, the idea of a 15 year old master thief sounds a little strange to me (I guess I'll just have to read it to see what I think).

    And by the way, I love your use of the word "delightful"!

    Bonnie @ HandsAndHome

  6. I used "delightful" in a review I wrote today. Sometimes it's just the BEST word.... Great review -- I loved this one too -- haven't read the second one yet, but looking forward to it.


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