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Heist Society (A Heist Society Novel) Hardcover – February 9, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 6–10—Tired of her lifelong involvement in her family's illicit dealings, teenager Katarina Bishop enrolls herself in a prestigious boarding school. Then after a mere three months there, 16-year-old billionaire Hale arranges for her to get kicked out. He informs her that five paintings have been stolen from the menacing Arturo Taccone and that her father is the prime suspect. Determined to save him by locating the real thief and stealing the paintings back, Kat gathers a crack team of larcenous teens for the heist to be pulled off before the two-week deadline. However, her resolve falters when she learns that the paintings are Nazi war spoils. She negotiates complicated relationships in an action-packed plot, and the unknown identity of the thief suggests a sequel. This irresistible light-fingered fairy tale is elevated by glamour and mystery. Carter's style is conversational, smooth, and clever, exposing Kat's wry humor and her steely determination. Amid themes of family loyalty and identity, the protagonist comes to understand herself, her beliefs, and her place in her family. Daring, delicious, but filled with a sense of purpose, Heist Society mixes classic elements of the adolescent bildungsroman into a high-stakes escapade.—Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT
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After a childhood spent assisting her father, one of the world’s most talented art thieves, Katarina Bishop tries to leave the family business behind when she forges her way into a New England boarding school. She quickly discovers, though, that her past is inescapable. Her father has been accused of stealing already stolen masterpieces from a dangerous Italian billionaire. Certain that her father is innocent, Kat resolves to find the missing paintings and return them to their unsavory owner, who has given her a two-week deadline. Carter, the author of the Gallagher Girls series, skillfully maintains suspense as Kat assembles a team of teen accomplices, travels across Europe, and plots an impossible art heist to save her dad. This is a thoroughly enjoyable, cinema-ready adventure, and the details of thieving tools and techniques, lavish settings, and cast of eccentric characters, including possible spies and love interests, all add texture and depth to the action. Readers will hope for a sequel to answer the book’s central mystery: if Kat’s father isn’t guilty, then who is? Grades 6-10. --Gillian Engberg
Top customer reviews
Since I so thoroughly enjoyed her Embassy Row series, I’ve embarked up Ally Carter’s Heist Society trilogy. Heist Society (Disney-Hyperion, 2010) is the first book in this fun, YA heist adventure series.
Fifteen-year-old Katarina Bishop was born into a family of high-end art thieves. She tried to run away from crime life by enrolling in a prestigious private school, but her longtime billionaire friend (and potential love interest), W. W. Hale, has her expelled. And perfect timing, for it turns out a notorious villain is after Kat’s father for a theft Bobby Bishop insists he did not commit. In order to save her father, Kat must find out who stole Arturo Taccone’s five valuable paintings and steal them back for Mr. Taccone, before he kills her father.
Now, I’m a huge Oceans trilogy fan and a general lover of heist films, so this story spoke naturally to my interests. It’s lighthearted, cinematic, dryly humorous, and not bogged down with too many details – just how I like my easy YA escapes! If I could’ve changed one thing, I’d have preferred it to have been written in first person, like Carter’s other books, instead of third person. Otherwise, this book was a fun international romp through Europe and the U.S., with a colorful cast of teen collaborators, an impossible mission, a mystery Robin Hood figure, and surprises at every turn. I was 100% entertained and will be eagerly devouring Book 2!
Hale is a fun character. Can be a little egoish but so fun and sweet. He really loves Kat in fact he turns away from his lifestyle to be with her. He is probably frustrated at how Kat doesn’t see this about him Doesn’t see how much he cares and wants to be more than friends. I think Kat though is beginning to realize what Hale really means to her and what she means to him. Especially when the new boy joins the crew. The boy Hale doesn’t trust.
So Kat is strongwilled and determined to do something no one else has and with her crew of ragtag misfits she just might pull it off. Does she? That’s something you just have to read this incredibly fun book to find out. Oh and I really hope her and Hale figure things out. She does finally get some respect though from family. Yeah!
a. as much as short skirts =/= anything bad and YAY for girls wearing them if they want to and not wearing them if they don't want to, but it bothered me that Gabrielle is 16 and when [she wore a super short skirt and high heels into that museum] it's described as all the men stopped doing and thinking what they were doing and thinking, and were mesmerized by her; I meaaaan ok that's cool I don't mind it, but she's 16! She's just a kid and it made me really, really uncomfortable that grown up men would ogle her like that yikes.
b. I simply wish that we got to know the crew a lot more in depth, because they're all so great and I'm already in love with them, but more physical description, personality traits, background etc would have been nice. Things such as where did the crew know Simon from? How did the brothers end up at Uncle Eddie's? Where is Gabrielle's dad? etc but since there are two more books (and possibly more?) this may occur later, so fingers crossed!
I figured out one of the twists but other than that this book was entertaining and SUPER DUPER SHIPPY!!!!! Let me tell you: I. HAD. FEELS. (all over the place)
First more than 3 stars of the year! /fist pump/ Can't wait to see what happens next and the preview at the end of the book promises more awesome mysterious things in continuation for the previous book. I'm excited to learn more!
The problem is that this time Bobby Bishop is innocent; he was pulling a much smaller heist in Paris at the time. He wants Kat to forget about it and stay with her safe boarding school life. But that ship has sailed and Kat along with Hale, who might be a boyfriend if they can ever stop sparring long enough to find out, her cousin Gabrielle and friends Angus, Simon and Hamish plan a way to get the paintings back.
I enjoyed this whole story. I loved the interactions between all the kids. I loved how conflicted Kat was about her old life and how much she wanted to start a new one. I loved her sense of family loyalty. I also loved that she was one very smart young lady who wasn't going to wait around for some man to rescue her.
I can't wait to finally read the rest of this series.