Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Heist Society Review

Book talk:  Some people are born into families of grocers, or carpenters, or restauranteurs.  They can be proud to inherit the family business and keep family traditions alive.  But Katarina was born into a family of thieves.  They are the best of the best and they taught her well, but she's not sure she wants to follow in their footsteps.  So she pulls one last con: to create an alternate identity for herself and get into one of the top boarding schools so she can lead a normal life.  At least, she thought it would be her last.  Leaving the family business turns out to be harder than she thought.  With her father's life on the line she has to use everything she's learned and then some to pull a heist so bold that only the desperate or the insane would attempt it.

Rocks my socks:  I've always had a soft spot for criminals with hearts of gold from Johnny Hooker to Remington Steele.  There's something about entering the subculture of people who live outside of the law that is inherently thrilling.  Heist Society nails the genre from the witty banter to the twist that assuages the audience's guilty conscience (she's only doing it to save her father.)  It even has someone who is already rich and doing it for the thrill of the chase who can provide funds for the elaborate set-ups.  What sets this book apart is that most novels, movies, etc in this genre are heavily male-focused, which makes Katarina a refreshing addition to the golden-hearted thief line-up.

Rocks in my socks:  As much as I love Katarina I am a bit sick of the whole "I'm not a pretty girly girl unlike that other gorgeous character *sigh* oh no wait! With a new outfit and some make up suddenly guys can no longer form complete sentences around me. If only I had thought to spend the money and time to conform to society's beauty ideals sooner!"  trope.

Every book its reader:  I'd give this to fans of Ocean's Eleven and other crime capers.  The novel is about crime, but there's not much violence or romance.  I'd say it's fine for 5th grade and up.


Ally Carter has a website with a page for the book including deleted scenes and the inspiration for the novel.  There's also a trailer for the book:

Source: public library

Heist Society by Ally Carter: buy it or check it out today!

Read for the YALSA Hub Reading Challenge