Sunday, April 14, 2013

Steal Your Heart: Perfect Scoundrels

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter (Heist Society #3)
Hyperion, 2013

Too often these days, I feel like it's become ingrained in people's heads that all adventure books must be dystopian, involving a corrupt government or the end of the world. These kinds of books also seem to feature girls in leading roles which is of course awesome, but they tend to be loners carrying the world's weight on their shoulders.

But not all adventure has to be sad with a huge message, and not every heroine has to go it alone. And that's what I love about Ally Carter's books. She does it so well in her Gallagher Girls series, and it shines through again here in Perfect Scoundrels, the third book in her Heist Society series.

Kat Bishop and her crew are up to their usual mischief when everything changes. This time it's not about a priceless painting or exotic jewels that need to be stolen (or as Kat thinks of it, re-stolen and returned to their rightful owners). This time, one of their own needs help. When Hale's grandmother dies, the will is read and it turns out she has left the billion-dollar Hale Industries to the 16 year old. But something doesn't seem quite right, so Kat and the crew are hired to try to find out the truth.

This is the first time I forced myself to read an Ally Carter novel slowly, and it paid off. Usually I complain that so much was going on, I wasn't able to keep up with the twists and turns of the heists and cons, but by slowing down I was able to follow the events and really get inside Kat's head. And while there's a lot happening (this series reminds me a lot of the 2003 version of The Italian Job), there's so much more than just plot here. Carter does a fantastic job of highlighting human aspects that any person can relate to, whether or not they lead a life as exciting as Kat's. Readers get to see smart and clever teenagers, that family isn't just the people who share your blood - sometimes it's the people you choose, and never doubt a girl who has a good head on her shoulders and a loyal crew.

While this book has been greeted with mixed reviews, I absolutely loved it. It was a fun escape into a colorful world with a fantastic group of secondary characters who I have come to care about in this series. If you're looking for a light contemporary with a dash of spice and adventure, then the Heist Society series is for you.

Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!

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