Book Review by: Kayleigh S., 8th grade
Book: Heist Society
Author: Ally Carter
Number of Pages: 287
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Range: Upper Middle Grades
Source of Book: Ramsey County Library
“Thieves aren’t supposed to want too much–which is ironic, but true. Never live anyplace you can’t walk away from. Never own anything you can’t leave behind. These were the laws of Kat’s life–of Kat’s world. As she watched her father sip hot coffee and sneak smiles at her over the top of the cup, she knew that, strictly speaking, no thief is ever supposed to love anything as much as she loved him.” (pg. 25)
Ever since she can remember Katarina Bishop has been taught how to pull off major heists by her large and exotic family. Just a few months ago, Kat made the decision to try and leave “the life” for a normal one, by conning her way into the best boarding school in the country, Colgan. Soon after she begins at Colgan, she gets a very unexpected visit from her former associate in crime and best friend, Hale. The news he comes with rocks her world upside down, forcing her to rejoin the life she just tried to abandon. Five extremely valuable paintings have been stolen from a very powerful, yet evil man and he will do anything to get them back. The problem isn’t that the paintings were stolen, it’s that the list of suspects is made up exclusively of one particularly talented thief: Kat’s dad.
I have read five other books by Ally Carter, and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. The first chapter was a little confusing because the author put you right into the middle of Kat’s life so you didn’t really know what was going on. However, in the second chapter you were able to understand it better because you got to meet another important character and learn a little more about Kat.
All of Ally Carter’s characters were very well developed. I really like the way she introduced them by having them seemingly pop up out of nowhere. These sudden appearances give you a surprise and add a new twist to the story. For example:
“She leaned back and sighed, ‘Well, I guess that’s over.’
And it would have been . . . if another voice hadn’t said, ‘Actually, it’s just beginning.’
Kat jumped. In the dim light, she hadn’t noticed the figure sitting at the other end of the limo’s bench, smiling back at her.
‘Hale?’ she asked as if the boy might be an imposter. But then another question crossed her mind. ‘Hale, what are you doing here?’ ” (pgs. 11-12)
Examples like this happened frequently in the book so I was always eagerly anticipating the next one. I would not recommend the book to anyone in 6th grade or younger based on some references to mature content regarding clothing choices. In addition, younger readers may not understand how Kat can want to help her father when she knows he is a “high class” criminal.
Read Heist Society:
- If you like Ally Carter
- If you enjoyed the Gallagher Girls series (also by Ally Carter)
- If you like realistic fiction
- If you enjoy reading about self-discovery
- If you are in 7th grade or above