Author: Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #1
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Release Date: 07/06/10
Reviewed by: Sara
But the Book:
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.
Plot: 4 Stars
Normally, I'm not a fan of Contemporary Young Adult, but this novel stood out against the rest of the genre and intrigued me. The idea of a group of teenagers pulling off a heist that even seasoned adults think is impossible sounded like it would be a roller coaster ride. The author definitely didn't disappoint. The twists and turns in this novel were on a much grander scale than many novels because they brought the characters all across the globe in search of answers. The progression of Kat's re-entry into the world of heists was accomplished in a great way. As she runs into more and more characters from her former life, we get to see glimpses of the past and learn more about Kat and her world. The reader is left guessing until the very end, unsure of whether or not Kat and her cohorts are going to make it out scott-free or in handcuffs.
Pace: 4 Stars
I really liked how the novel was split up between each day, counting down until time was out. It also gave the reader a better feel of how much time was elapsing and where the characters were travelling to over the course of the two weeks. It helped keep the timeline in perspective. The author also did a great job making sure the amount of travel and action in each day wasn't excessive and unrealistic for a twenty-four hour period. Due to the time constraints of the heist, there was never a dull moment throughout this novel. Whether Kat and her friends were travelling to another country on a lead, or plotting their next move, there was never a point in which the plot slowed down or became boring.
Characters: 4.5 Stars
My favorite part of this novel was the progression in which the reader gets to learn about Kat's past. Many questions are answered, and we learn a lot about her and her family. But there are also some things that are only hinted at, which will hopefully be addressed further in the next novel. Her cousin was her complete opposite, which made for a bit of humor. Hale was a very interesting character, and I hope he continues to have a large role in the next novel. I also hope that Kat isn't as oblivious to the signals Hale sends her way in the next novel. I also hope that we learn more about the rest of Kat's crew because they were very interesting characters.
Cover: 3.5 Stars
This cover was a bit straightforward and simple. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I just think it needed something added to help grab the attention of someone browsing since it kind of blends in to the novels around it on the shelves. The image could've been zoomed out a little bit and possibly included some details of the background. I do like that Kat is wearing large sunglasses, because it gives off a secretive vibe that fits the novel very well. My favorite detail of this novel is the painting reflected in the sunglasses, which I didn't notice at first. It was a great hint as to what the plot of the novel involved without being too blatant. The bold red chosen for the title definitely stands out against the cover model, and the font was a great choice.
Overall: 4 Stars
Disclosure: I bought this novel for my own reading pleasure.