Heist Society

16 Jul

I read this book not because it seemed like the kind of book that I would like, but simply because it was nominated for the 2010 YALSA Teen Top Ten. I wasn’t expecting much but was pleasantly surprised. The story and lead character grabbed me right from the start. Katarina Bishop, we soon learn, comes from a family of thieves and has recently decided to leave the family business behind, opting instead to steal a new life by conning her way into an elite boarding school. This is where we first meet her, but she is not there long for her family needs her and steals her right back by getting her kicked out of school for a classic prank (headmasters car, fountain) that she did not commit (as Hale says, “I’m an old fashioned guy. Besides, it’s a classic for a reason.”). Once back with her family she learns that some “different kind of bad” guy named Arturo Taccone is missing some paintings, believes her dad to be responsible, and wants her to get his paintings back or else (because there’s always an or else). So, Kat heads out to figure out who stole the paintings, where they are, and how to get them back.

The whole story reads like a movie (each time she goes to a new location, I pictured the title at the bottom of the screen reading “Paris, France” etc) and perhaps that is why I liked it so much – never a dull moment, extremely easy to visualize, great characters, interesting story line. I really don’t have any complaints. In fact, one of my most usual complaints about YA media (the unnecessary focusing on romance) is not a complaint that I have with this book. There is some crushing going on – a bit of a love triangle even – but the romance is not super developed. I love this about this book (what do you bet that the movie version will ruin this for me?). Katarina may be a teenage girl with raging hormones, but she has a job to do and she is always focused and on task. Well done Katarina and well done Ally Carter.

extra points for the subtle inclusion of information about how Nazi’s stole artwork before and during WWII and how people are still working to this day to right those wrongs.

Read This! Em’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Publication date: February 2010

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  1. YALSA announces Teens’ Top Ten 2010! | Love YA Lit - 18. Oct, 2010

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