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Heist Society Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 9, 2010
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For as long as she can remember, Katarina has been a part of the family business—thieving. When Kat tries to leave "the life" for a normal life, her old friend Hale conspires to bring her back into the fold. Why? A mobster's art collection has been stolen, and Kat's father is the only suspect. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat's dad needs her help.
The only solution is to find the paintings and steal them back. Kat's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history—and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.
- Format: Hardcover
- Publication Date: 2/9/2010
- Pages: 304
- Reading Level: Age 11 and Up
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I'm certainly able to enjoy a story about unrepentant and even sympathetic criminals (I loved [book:Paper Moon: A Novel). This isn't that.
Kat here isn't a criminal pulling a heist, because she left that life. We are not given the reasons she left.
Kat here isn't someone who decided stealing is wrong, but got sucked back in, because she never, ever once says she thinks stealing is wrong.
Kat isn't simply morally ambivalent, her moral compass, whatever it actually is, doesn't exist in the pages of this story. She's presented as a pretty normal, nice, decent young person, not a hardened, tough criminal type, who left the thieving life. But she never has any moral dilemma or question, never expresses, even to herself, that stealing is wrong.
And that was my big issue with this book, most especially as a YA book.
Kat is raised by thieving parents, whom she loves and from what we can tell were/are basically likable people. Ok, that's no issue.
Kat leaves but still has teens who are professional thieves she likes and considers friends. Ok, under the circumstances that's understandable.
Kat is placed in a position where pulling off this heist could be very easily understood and justifiable under the circumstances even if she had denounced theft as wrong. And so it would have been a very simple matter to include the information some way and some how that THEFT IS WRONG and still have the same story.
But Kat doesn't. The book doesn't.
A reader could choose to make the assumption that Kat left the thieving life because she feels it's wrong, but no where does this book ever provide that information. It's a book about stealing where morals are completely absent in any way.
And that's my issue with this book, especially in a book for young people.
This book took me a little by surprise. In a good way though. A while back I was in a bit of a reading funk. There were too many books to choose from, not enough time to read them all, and not sure what genre I felt like delving into. Someone from Goodreads recommended a ton of adventure/fantasy books, one of them being Heist Society. I kept seeing this book everywhere for a while, but finally gave it a go a few days ago. I am so glad I did, because this book was a lot of fun to read/listen to.
"Time, the greatest thief of all." -Ally Carter, Heist Society
And that is exactly what it feels like for Kat and her friends since they are racing against the clock in order to steal and return Arturo Taccone's precious paintings back to him. Kat was a fun character to get to know. Her and Hale have an interesting relationship. They may not always see eye to eye on everything, but it is obvious that they trust on each other.
Heist Society is a humorous and lighthearted read/listen. I listened to this one on audio-book and I thought that the narrator did a really good job with all of the voices and also conveying the emotions of each character/situation.
I liked the humor throughout the story. Like I said previously, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. It was easy to get into, and there was always something going on, so I never felt uninterested. Romance takes a backseat in this story, which I did not have an issue with. The bulk of the story revolves around trying to pull of the big Heist at The Henley.
I liked all the characters too. Kat was very likable. She was strong and smart and she managed to pull off being a thief while still being a good person. I just wanted to push her into Hale's arms the entire book. I kept reading and thinking, "on the next page something is going to happen between Hale and Kat" and then most of time nothing happened.
So I am hoping in the next book more happens between the two of them.
I am also a big sucker for art and museums, so I loved hearing all the descriptions of the paintings and the Henley. All of the heist planning was really interesting for me too. It got me thinking and had me trying to piece together their plot. That kept me really engaged in the storyline. A few times, however; a lot was going on at once and I found myself having to re-read a paragraph to keep from getting confused. But that's only because there were a lot of high action scenes in this book.
Great book! I look forward to seeing what will happen next, and I can only hope to see more Hale/Kat interaction.