Thursday, May 12, 2016

Heist Society by Ally Carter | Book Review

Heist Society #1
First Published: 2010
Library Paperback
Young Adult, Contemporary
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.
Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.
For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.
For a while, I've been meaning to read a Carter book. She just seemed like one of those must-read authors to me, you know? Between her Gallagher Girls series and Heist Society, Heist Society caught my attention. I just liked the idea of a young thief better than a school for spies (too much like Spy Kids, for me). I'm not entirely sure I made the right choice.

Because while I enjoyed the idea of this story, I was far from thrilled with the execution.

Heist Society begins at a prestigious school - and the expulsion of one student. Her name is Katarina Bishop, but everybody besides her great Uncle Eddie call her Kat -- including her best friend (and possibly more) Hale and their crew; the brothers, Simon and Gabrielle.

Throughout the entire read, I kept wondering who the hell are these people? All these characters appear one moment, disappear the second, return the next - but we never learn about them. They are so underdeveloped, we know practically nothing about them or their pasts, why they do what they do, nothing! We very occasionally see unexplained glimpses, little references to things we don't know.

The characters are very flat, in that way, and as I never felt like I knew them - I never invested in them either. All we know about them is what's happening to them right now, making them just two dimensional--if not one dimensional--decorations. 

The trickiest part in regards to this book is the writing. I liked certain aspects of it, and hated others.

I liked: - how Carter went from the present to the past or the future for a second, giving extra information and sometimes even outright telling us what to pay attention to. To me, it was an element that kept me reading and interested.

-How Carter kept dropping bombs out of nowhere, withholding information until a certain point. It kept the read interesting because you knew Kat found something - but you have to read on to find out what.

-How the pov switched between the various characters while in operation, so we could see all the position and roles. It flowed perfectly and made the whole thing a lot more interesting.

I didn't like: - how Carter jumped placed. One moment we're in England, the next Paris, the third New York, and it's all too fast, too abrupt and without explanation. You never once saw the travel, instead you were teleported in space with no concept of time or culture to it. In fact, if Carter hadn't written the location's name each time I would've never known we were someplace else.

- The counting clock, making me feel like I was dropped in the middle of a 24 episode or something.

-How even the action wasn't exciting, to me.

It wasn't the fun read it was supposed to be, you know? 

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