Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society by Ally Carter
Published by Hyperion
Date Published: February 9, 2010

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 Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a 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 her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

So upon first glance, I wasn’t exactly intrigued by the cover of Heist Society - to me it looked like a rich girl in Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s garb, committing white collar crimes. I mean, it looks about as dangerous as that dumb movie that came out a few years ago about cheerleaders who rob a bank.

However, once reading a few chapters, I promptly opened my mouth and inserted my foot. I mean OH MY GOD, DO I LOVE A GOOD CON. And this, I think, is my new favorite con artist book. That title doesn’t come easy or lightly, folks.

 First of all, we have the BEST group of con artists ever. Dontcha love it when you read a book and you just LOVE every character? Like every character is just perfect for who they are? Yes, I experienced that with this. Katarina - a short, criminal mastermind. Hale. Um, there’s really nothing more to say than: HALE. He easily makes the list of hottest male characters ever. And the fact that’s insanely rich and doing this just ‘cause - *swoon*. Gabrielle. Yeah, she’s hot and maybe a bit snotty, but she is still freaking awesome in her own girly way. Simon, the kinda geeky computer master and then of course the Bagshaw brothers, muscle and comic relief rolled into one, or two.

I think the thing that just seduced me the fastest was Carter’s writing. It flowed like a movie. While it was 3rd person, it would start from some more or less innocent bystander and then move to our con artists swiftly moving around with precise clockwork movements, having complete control over the situation. I don’t know exactly know how I can read something and feel like I’m watching a movie, but I did without a question here.

Then there was the con. A master con. One with an absurdly simple idea, backed by an impossible task. It was clever and smart and completely on the level of Catch Me If You Can, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels with a touch of Goodfellas/ Godfather. I’m going to say this now: I WANT MORE CON ARTIST BOOKS IN YA. *bangs fists to get attention* PLEASE.

My love for this book was so intense that at some point in the evening, I paused the book, went to my local Barnes and Noble in search of Uncommon Criminals. Only to find they were out. UNACCEPTABLE. I went to one further out and got it. I did this so when I finished I could easily pick up the second book and not have to wait for things like stores to open to satisfy my book-hunger. And what did I do after I finished Uncommon Criminals? Bought the entire Gallagher Girls series. I needed more Ally Carter and thievery.


  1. I picked up this book back in 2010-ish and I read a couple of chapters but then I didn't read anymore of it because I wasn't into it. Didn't like it. But due to much encouragement from others, I picked up the book again last year and eventually read the whole thing and LOVED it. Great review. Glad to see you enjoyed it too!

  2. The synopsis really sounds interesting. That stealing job she needs to do, it's cooool. I can't wait to read it. 

  3. Loved it and your review. Ally's writing, plot and characters are brilliant. Also her pacing?!? Superb.

  4. Personally, I love "that dumb movie that came out a few years ago about cheerleaders who rob a bank"'s called Sugar and Spice.