Saturday, December 18, 2010

Heist Society by Ally Carter

This novel was definitely enjoyable, although I found I had to suspend realism in some places and not due to supernatural occurrences but just for the fact that teenagers were accomplishing these tasks. That said, this novel about thieves felt like a teen version of Mission Impossible for females.

Katarina (Kat) comes from a family of thieves, especially art thieves, but doesn't want to live that life. She manages to get into a posh boarding school until she's set up for a crime she didn't commit and is subsequently expelled. It turns out that a friend committed the crime because Kat is needed to help her father who is accused by a powerful man (Arturo Taccone) of stealing his priceless art. If her father doesn't return the art, he will be killed. Kat knows her father didn't do it and soon figures out where to find the art. With only two weeks to retrieve it, Kat calls in help from family and friends, all of whom are teens since the adults think it's too dangerous and want the kids to back off. Together, though, the teens set out to rob a heavily protected art gallery - a feat committed by only one other person - the mysterious Visily Romani who stole the pictures from Taccone. In the midst of the thievery, Kat also deals with typical teen issues - jealousy over her beautiful cousin and a love triangle between herself, her best friend Hale, and Nick, the new guy.

This was a good novel. It was interesting and thrilling, especially if you like spy stories. I like how this brought the James Bond feel to a female audience. It has the action that might intrigue boys, but I think they'll be annoyed with the relationship side of the book and possibly a female protagonist. It's great, though, to show that spies aren't just guys. However, at times it was hard to wrap my mind around this being 16 year olds committing these acts. Even when they weren't stealing anything, they were traveling around the world unchaperoned and passing themselves off in so many different situations that I had trouble seeing teens being successful. True that's the life they were brought up in and it is fiction, so I guess I just need to be a little more accepting. One thing I found interesting about this novel was the back story about the painting and how during the Holocaust, Nazis used to steal priceless pieces of art from people. Even though the art in the story was fictional, the history was true and it was a nice touch to the novel.

I enjoyed this book. The characters were all enjoyable and the life they led was definitely captivating. True some of the acts were a bit hard to swallow, but it's fiction and that makes it fun. I look forward to the sequel coming out in June to see what else the characters can do.

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