Book Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

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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'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'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 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 (very crooked) history - and with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

A fairly fun, light read, though having your entire family's safety in jeopardy seems like a serious subject. I love Ally Carter's action heroines because they're funny, cute, and treat the whole thing with a lot of levity. I say this because I've also read some of her Gallagher Girls series, which I like a lot (you should try it... preview the first book here).

Now, the most recent book with a thief as a protagonist that I've read is StarCrossed, and it was fantasy set in a kingdom with religious issues. You may understand why I found Heist Society interesting. The whole tightly-knit, exclusive family business thing was appealing as well. It was weird the way the others (meaning everyone in the crew who was not Kat) tried to exclude Nick at first. (Okay, so he was working with Interpol, which was totally unexpected.) But that's not the point at all.

The combination of witty characters, a hint of romance, world travel, and a stolen art collection make for a great read for someone who's bored and wants a spot of fun. I'd like to personally recommend this book as a nice, chick-lit-ish ride. I'll be reading the next book, Uncommon Criminals.
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