Saturday, November 26, 2011

Catch Her If You Can: Heist Society

Heist Society by Ally Carter
Hyperion, 2010

Ally Carter has created a 21st century pseudo-Robin Hood that kept me turning the pages in Heist Society. Kat Bishop has had anything but a normal life, and she's only 15 years old. But that's usually the case when you're born into a family of art thieves like the Bishops. She's been to the most impressive (and expensive) museums and art collections in the world, and her souvenirs don't come from the gift shop.

But three months ago, Kat walked away from the life, just wanting to be a normal kid for a change. Unfortunately, her friends, family, and fate all have other plans. Her father has been accused of stealing valuable paintings from a mobster, only he didn't do it. The only way Kat can prove her father's innocence (in this case, anyway) is to steal them back from the real thief. Sounds hard enough, but she's also been given a 2 week deadline. Luckily, Kat's not the only teenage thief around, so she assembles a heist society of her own, jumps back in the game, and they race the clock and security cameras as they attempt to pull off one of the riskiest jobs in history.

The primary and secondary characters are all colorful and it's fun seeing how they all fit together into the various aspects of the job. Kat is a perfect and impressive blend a girl who can figure out how to steal a painting from the Louvre, but can't tell when a guy is flirting with her (like her friend, the mysterious and fantastic Hale). I also liked the family dynamics at play - even though Kat's father is alive and well, it's Uncle Eddie who seems to be her primary father-figure. The crew is also extremely smart, which I enjoy. In this game, age doesn't matter if you have the skills.

If it were possible, I would be giving this book a 3.5 instead of a 3 on Goodreads, but I can't bring myself to justify a 4.  I really enjoyed Carter's exciting and action-packed story of teenage art thieves and con artists, but there were a few areas that still left me wanting more. The book is face paced, but in this case it made me feel like I was always missing something. In spite of all the good (and there are a lot of good things happening in this novel), I still had more questions than I'm comfortable with. What was it about the life that made Kat want to leave it so bad? What exactly happened to her mother? And for God's sake, what is Hale's first name?!

Perhaps these questions will be answered and these issues are resolved in the sequel, Uncommon Criminals, in bookstores and libraries now. I've liked what I've read so far, and I can't wait to see where the crew ends up next.

Comments welcome, and happy reading!

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