Heist Society (Heist Society #1)
Author: Ally Carter
Publication: February 9th, 2010
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Format: Kindle Edition, 337 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Espionage, Thriller
Read: August 2016
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 her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has 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 history-or at least her family’s (very crooked) history.
Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This book promised everything I’ve come to know about Ally Carter’s writing and I was not disappointed. It was action packed, fun and entertaining. There was suspense, secrets, betrayals and some unanswered questions. Both the planning and the carrying out of the heist were really interesting and engaging. However, I felt like there wasn’t enough background information on the main character and her family though I really liked the connection between real life and this fictional history story.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Ally’s writing style is pretty simple but that really helps keep the reader’s focus on the fast paced story. It’s detailed and descriptive and manages to give you just enough information in each chapter to make your mind whirl and keep you guessing as how things are going to develop. It’s set up in third person perspective, mostly from the main character’s point of view but there are some random point of views mixed in as well. It has it’s funny and endearing moments even with such an intense plot which I appreciated.
Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is where things were kind of a let down for me. I love Ally’s characters, she writes amazing female leads, but I was left wanting more from the main character. Kat is a bit mysterious and I’m pretty sure that’s on purpose. She’s determined and headstrong as well as super smart and intuitive. But she also has issues with vulnerability and has had a pretty hard life. There are quite a few side characters which end up making the heist crew. They’re all complex and entertaining though sometimes they felt stereotypical since they all had specific parts to play. There’s one character in particular which gets a bit more of a spotlight. And that character is charming and funny and mischievous. That character is really protective of Kat and lends a more honest perspective to the story. However, since a lot of them are related to each other, I would’ve liked to have seen more of their history as a family, specially with their older family members as well. We’re told a lot of things about their family but it still felt like I didn’t really know them, which in turn made me feel like I didn’t really know Kat and her motivations with different things.
This book was really fun and suspenseful, though I didn’t like it as much as I was hoping and as much as I wanted to.
The plot is entertaining. We follow Katarina, better known as Kat, who grew up in a family of thieves but has spent the last few months away at a boarding school until she’s framed for vandalism by a family friend and gets kicked out, only to find out her father is in danger. I’m a huge fan of contemporary thrillers and this is a great one to add to my read list. It’s fun, entertaining with a dangerous edge that keeps you on your toes. There’s a lot of different elements and things going on that sort of force a ragtag group of teenagers into planning a heist at a museum. There’s a lot of traveling in this book and the high stakes of the job kept me intrigued, so much so that I managed to finish this book in two days. But compared to the author’s other works which I have loved, this one let me down a little bit. The story itself is good and there didn’t come a time when I was bored or not really engaged in what was happening. But what bothered me is that the reader doesn’t really get a lot of the background information about the characters, their relationships or their lives. You’re just kind of thrown into the story and expect to just believe all these crazy facts about this thieving family. You only get the bare minimum as you read which I felt is definitely not enough for me to connect to what the main character is feeling and why she’s doing what she’s doing. I don’t need their entire history or a record of all the stealing they’ve done but something to make me care more about the family and their current troubles would’ve been nice. I hope that is explained and expanded upon in the next books.
I liked Kat. She’s kind of tough to read, even for a main character. Mostly because of the way she thinks. She’s very calculating while still being emotional which was kind of jarring at times. I was getting her point of view throughout the whole story but even at the end, I didn’t feel like I knew her any better than a stranger might’ve. She’s tough and determined and headstrong. She loves her family but then that didn’t help me understand why she left them in the first place. She’s kind of an enigma though what I did feel like I learned about her I enjoyed. I hope I get to see more of what makes her tick as the series goes on.
Then there’s the side characters. The crew is pretty big and then there’s the adults that are running around, present but at the same time, not completely there. Hale is so charming and cocky. I loved his personality and the way he tended to antagonize Kat but while flirting with her. He’s really protective of her and his feelings are plain for everyone to see, except for you know Kat. But he also tries to protect himself which I liked. He didn’t just give into the relationship, he had standards for the way he wanted it to go and he wouldn’t settle for anything less and I found that commendable. Gabrielle is that cousin we all have that is way prettier than you and that the entire family likes better. The one you really want to hate but who loves you and has your back even when she’s driving you nuts. I loved her attitude and the way she carried herself. She’s incredibly feminine while still being a badass and that was awesome. Hamish and Angus are just freaking hilarious. I loved their antics and how much they love explosives. I kind of want to be their friend but at the same time, not really because I don’t want to go to jail with them haha. Simon is a freaking sweetheart and I just want to cuddle him and his big brain. And lastly, I want to mention Uncle Eddie. The gang regards him with such high esteem that I wish I could learn about him more. He’s the patriarch of the family and everyone looks up to him and I want to know more about his life.
Overall, I liked this book but not as much as I wanted to. The plot is entertaining and action packed. It kept me interested the whole time and I had a good time reading it. I liked the characters, all of them for different reasons, but I felt like the author didn’t give us enough information about their lives and their relationships with each other before jumping into the plot of the book. I hope that is improved upon in the next books.
So that’s it for this review! Let me know if you have read this series or any of Ally Carter’s other books. I’m a huge fan of her Gallagher Girls series so I’m really glad I read this book since I wanted to read more from her for a long time. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!