by Ally Carter
Basic Summary: Katarina (Kat, for those in the know) made a choice. She wanted OUT of the family business. A normal life, high school, college – the whole bit. Emphasis on normal. So she made it happen (but she won’t tell you how, so don’t ask). Three months in, though, she’s quickly and irrevocably removed from normal. The family business has landed the family into trouble and Kat seems to be the only one crazy enough to fix it. You see, when the family business is cons, things get sticky when something goes wrong. And an uber-evil man is under the impression Kat’s dad has stolen his precious paintings. And he wants them back. (And, as mentioned, he’s evil, so you can assume the consequences). Kat has 14 days and a ragtag group of teenage thieves to return the paintings. Then, she can get back to normal. Whatever that is.
Kell’s Chatty Review: So, I’m not sure I’ve metioned this here yet, but I adore Ally Carter’s books. Her Gallagher Girls series is one of my favorite. But, to be honest, I was slightly concerned that Heist Society was going to be too similar to GG.
But it wasn’t. And I was thrilled by it.
Sure there are similarities. The fun, fast-paced action. The witty banter. The super-secret lifestyle. The kick-butt strong female leads (more on that later). Heist Society, however, brought a few different things to the table. First and foremost, the setting. HS, quite literally, takes place around the globe and Carter did a fantastic job keeping each setting unique, so they didn’t blend together and get confusing. Kat is also much less sure and out-of-practice that GG’s Cammie, which made Kat extremely personable. (not that Cammie isn’t. but Kat is just more so. I digress…) Also, the ending. Which, obviously, we can’t talk about until after you’ve read it. But, let’s just say I didn’t see it coming. Finally, the story of the paintings brings a touch of truth and seriousness to this otherwise lighthearted book.
But we can talk about Hale: Who I adored. Any boy shrouded in mystery is always a draw, but Hale is more shrouded than most. (Although, if I’m being honest, my personal faves of the story were the Bagshaw brothers. I would read this and many more books for them alone.)
To Put it in Movie Terms: It’s like Ocean’s 11 for the teenage set. Just as much intrigue as humor. Action and romance. Cons and honor. All around awesome.
Although I have to add: I think this book is the start of a new series? If so, it would be squee-worthy to see a glimpse of the GGs in a later book. A little cross-over would be amazing. I’m just saying.
Strong Heroines: One of the reasons I adore GG and now HS is that the females in it have flaws and issues, but they still manage to be strong and self-sufficient. Which, in a world where females still tend to fall in the “need a boy to help me” category, it is positively refreshing to read books that don’t cave to the stereotype. No matter how hot and helpful the boys in the book are. (And they are. Hot. and Helpful.)
I am concerned: With how much people will want to start a thieving family after reading this, because let’s be honest. Between the gadgets, the clothes and the lingo, Kat and Crew just make it cool 🙂
What this book taught me about life: How about what this book taught me about art?
What I most wanted to do after reading this book: Well, since starting a con was out of the question, visiting all of the museums mentioned in the book. Sigh.
Re-Readability Rating: 4.5. I can guarantee that I will reread it the minute it comes out in February. I can also assure you, I will read it many times after.
Where this book came from: From ALA annual. (for free.) I think I might have squealed when it was handed to me. Also, it is an ARC. So, you know, things may change.