Heist Society (plus Uncommon Criminals)

Author: Ally Carter

Publisher: Disney Book Group (Hyperion)

Series: Heist Society  (#1 & 2)

Genre: YA

Rating:  3.5/5 

Recommendation: Ages 13+

**Warning There May Be Spoilers** Since I’m reviewing books 1 and 2 together.

From Goodreads:

(Heist Society)

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip 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.

(Uncommon Criminals)

Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

I loved these books, so much that after I finished the first (I stumbled upon it at a used book store, had never heard of it, and bought it on a whim) I rushed out to get the sequel immediately upon checking Goodreads to see if it was out. I regret nothing.

The Good:

  • The writing! The style is fresh and very funny. Carter has a great unique voice that I LOVED reading.
  • Kat is a really wonderful main character. She’s flawed and insecure at times, realistically not annoyingly so. She’s funny, tough, and smart. All young girls should looks up to the brilliant mastermind Kat.
  • Supporting characters, oh how I enjoyed them. Kat’s crew is stuffed with the best thieves, under 18, that the world has ever seen. Far from cool and calculating (read boring) these thieves are fun, feisty, hilarious, hot, and oh so good at what they do.
  • Can I tell you how much I love heists? So much. I loved the entire process of the cons laid out in these books. From conception, through multiple failed ideas (and hilarious discussions of why some con’s just won’t work) and on to the thrilling main event. So fun.

The Less Good:

  • Book one was overall better than book 2 for me, that’s not to say book 2 wasn’t enjoyable, because it definitely was. The plot and characterization in book one were just a touch stronger.
  • I need to know more about the secondary characters, their motivations and back stories. It’s an ongoing series so we may get more of that as we go on, but it was an issue for me. Especially in book 2, where we got even less characterization from them. I really wanted to know more about boy [computer] genius Simon. How did all of these characters get into the life? Tell me! And what does the ‘W’ stand for?!
  • I was screaming at Kat to just snog Hale for 2 entire books. Screaming. (Just me?)

Overall, if you like YA, if you like heists, if you love feisty heroines and interesting side kicks, these books are for you.

P.S. There’s a Heist Society movie in the works. They’re apparently aging the characters slightly out of their teens (early 20s) which might be good since it will allow for an edgier feel (you have to worry doing a ‘teen’ heist movie would get too cheesy). But it’s still WAY in pre-production, so don’t get your hopes too up.

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