Monday, March 29, 2010

Review - Heist Society by Ally Carter

Heist Society by Ally Carter
Published by Disney-Hyperion on February 9, 2010
Hardcover, 287 pages
Rating: 4 bookcases

Summary from book cover: When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her 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 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’s priceless art collection has been stolen and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled off this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just in 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 (very crooked) history - and with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

This is the first book that I have read by Ally Carter, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But, I was hooked from the beginning and by the middle of the book I had to know how to know how the story ended. Kat wanted a normal life, away from her thieving family. She conned her way into boarding school and was flying, pretty much, under the radar until she was framed and expelled for playing a prank on the headmaster. Kat ends up being pulled back in to her old life when she learns that her father is the only suspect in a major burglary of a mobster’s art collection. Kat must prove her father’s innocence by pulling the biggest heist she’s ever been involved in.

The characters in Heist Society are really what pulled me into the story. They are so well-developed that I could picture them clearly as I was reading. Kat needs to prove her father’s innocence, so she puts her own life aside to do everything she can for him. She meets with evil mobsters, travels all over the US and Europe gathering information and recruiting a group of teens to help her. Then there’s Hale, Kat’s handsome, billionaire best friend. The tension between the two of them hinted that something more might be going on between them. The rest of the team (made up of Gabrielle, the Bagwell brothers and Simon) was just as memorable and fun to read about.

The plot had lots of twists and turns. Just when I thought I had Heist Society figured out, Ms Carter would change direction. I love stories that do that and Heist Society definitely had me on the edge of my seat.

My only concern with Heist Society was that Kat, Hale and Gabrielle all act much older than their ages.  It was hard for me to believe that 15 and 16 year olds (even those with unlimited funds) could travel all over the world on their own and carry out such a complicated plan. However, this didn’t stop me from enjoying Heist Society at all. (Heist Society has been optioned by Warner Bros and they are aging the characters into their early 20s, which seems more believable.)

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who loves fun, action-packed books. I will definitely be reading more of Ally Carter’s books.


  1. Excellent review! This was definitely a character story.

  2. Awesome review! I really want to read this one :) Its interesting that the characters in the movie or tv show will be older.

  3. I actually could imagine all the characters, just Kat was the hardest. I agree with the maturity, and the realism *but it's fiction*. This story will most certainly make a good movie!!

  4. I have not read this yet but love your review. I am really good at suspending my disbelief so I doubt if I will find the whole maturity thing a problem either.

  5. Book Monster, I agree it is fiction so it doesn't have to be realistic. The age thing didn't bother me while I was reading. It only hit me as I was thinking about the book for the review, and it was really a small thing because Heist Society was well written and the characters are great.

  6. I have yet to read any of her books, either, but I'd really like to. I was thinking of starting with this one, simply because it's her newest. Your review has made me that much closer to picking it up. Of course, I still need to finish all the other books lying around my house first... ;)


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