Heist Society by Ally Carter (website | twitter)
Series: Heist Society, Book 1
Publication Date: February 9, 2012
Target audience: Young Adult
Keywords: robbers, world travels, ultimatums, falling for a best friend
Format read: Purchased the paperback.
Summary: As much as Katarina would like to escape the “family business,” she’s forced to rally a team together to help clear her father’s name of a crime he didn’t commit. So much for distancing herself and starting over.
Is there something about your family that you really wish wasn’t true of yourself? For me personally, my grandmother is Negative Nancy; I desperately want to be as positive and upbeat about things as I can be because the negativity really brings me down.
For Katarina, she wants to remove herself from the family business … of thievery. To do so, she’s enrolled herself in a prestigious boarding school and all is going well until she’s suddenly facing expulsion for a crime she didn’t commit.
Enter her friend Hale.
He framed Kat for the crime in order to pull her back into the business. Her father is being sought after by a super scary man who believes her father is the person who stole his private collection of priceless art. Kat knows there’s no way he could have pulled it off (especially not without her). Her uncle is warning her to leave things alone and not get involved in the situation, but there’s no way she can let this go.
Heist Society was highly recommended to me by Elena (of Novel Sounds). I was really in the mood for something different than my typical contemporary romance or angsty, issue books. What a nice and refreshing surprise this book was! As Katarina and Hale try to solve the mystery of who really stole the paintings, they hop from country to country. We get to see how intelligent, worldly, and connected these characters are. Sure, they’re in the business of stealing things, but there’s something intriguing about them too — Is everything they do bad? It doesn’t seem like they’re in the mafia with bad guys, so why are they stealing? What are they getting out of it? — I became absorbed in their world (and desperately wished I was the one hopping on private jets.)
And oh!… there’s Hale… who is smart and brooding and good looking. There’s some unfinished business between he and Kat, and we readers aren’t exactly clued into what their history is. (Read: there’s plenty of sexual tension.) He’s drawn to the world she was born into and she questions why he would want to be part of it when he can have anything else he wants (he comes from a very wealthy family). I appreciated how there was a lot of back story that left me itching for more details — I wanted to know everything I could.
Best of all? Ally Carter builds this amazing story that has your heart pounding as you fear for Kat and her team with each day that passes, but she doesn’t give you all the answers. She doesn’t fix everything or make anything predictable either. There are some loose ends that need to be tied up, some feelings that need to be sorted out, and maybe more things that need to be stolen. Good thing this is a series, huh?
On a final note, I have to mention that I began Carter’s Gallagher Girls series last year and didn’t find myself drawn into the story nearly as much as I did Heist Society. I saw so many strengths and so much growth in Carter’s writing since I read I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You. Definitely, definitely check out this series if you’re looking for something a little different with intelligent characters, strong writing, and a captivating storyline.