Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book #14: Heist Society

Heist Society by Ally Carter is another YA novel that I found via a publishers' webinar hyping its forthcoming sequel. The premise sounded intriguing: teenager Katarina Bishop used to be a thief--it's what everyone in her family excels at--but after being wrongfully expelled from her boarding school, she returns for one more heist. This heist is different, though: instead of stealing for gain, she's stealing already stolen goods with the hope of returning them to their rightful owner--and hopefully saving her con man father in the process.

At the most basic level, Heist Society is a good heist story. Throughout my reading I was constantly trying to be vigilant about possible clues to all the intrigue, and I was almost always questioning if I (and Kat) knew the whole story and whether certain characters were actually trustworthy. The story goes even deeper, however, as it starts to negotiate what we call ownership when it comes to cultural artifacts in this modern world--especially when it comes to cultural artifacts that were spoils of war. Despite being a generally feel-good, good-vs.-evil story, the novel doesn't underplay or oversimplify its secondary themes. That fact is definitely to the author's credit.

I'd suggest this book to readers who enjoy a good YA heist or spy novel, who enjoy realistic fiction set outside the traditional high school setting, and who enjoy Ocean's Eleven movies.

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