The Heist Society, by Ally Carter, was a cute YA book about thieves... much better than the alternative that has seemingly run amuck in our society...books on vampires. Katarina Bishop, or Kat, to her friends, is the daughter of thieves, one who was dragged across Europe with her parents as they cased, then stole, from several museums or collections. She, however, pulled off her own 'heist' by getting into an exclusive boarding school, in hopes of leaving her family's life behind her and trying to 'steal' a normal one for herself.
This, however, is quickly foiled, as her days Colgan Academy are over as she was expelled for a crime that she didn't commit. Much like her father, whose life was on the line because a crime that he did not commit. Which brings us to the main purpose of the story...clearing her dad's name.
Kat gathers a young crew together to un-do a crime by one who is never named, in order to protect her dad from the evil Arturo Taccone. Mr. Taccone believes that Kat's father stole five priceless paintings from his private collection, and wants them back. He told Kat that her father has two weeks to return the paintings, or her father's life is forfeit. After confronting her father, Kat believes that he did not do the job, as his alibi is that he was busy in another city at the time of the crime.
As someone mentioned before me, it was like an 'Ocean's Eleven' for teenagers. The story moved quickly and clever tricks were played, but it left me wanting. It was an amusing book, but not one that I would hand off to my teenagers, telling them that this is something that they would enjoy... which they wouldn't. It is written in a simple manner, though not many grammatical mistakes were present. Ms. Carter ties up the loose ends, which is always nice, but the book itself was found wanting. I stuck through the book to see how the heist would be pulled off, and how Kat would get rid of Mr. Taccone.
For a Young Adult book, it seemed a little simple, whereas many YA books today are a little more involved. From an adult's standpoint, it seemed very easy and not very thought-provoking. The book was populated with seven quirky teenagers who all had their specialty. If another book by this author came out, I don't think I would pick it up, even to see where Kat goes next. I never got attached to the main character, which is not what you want to happen to your main character...you want people to be involved in the character's life so they will come back for more.
As I mentioned, it was a quick, fun book; however, it left me wanting. One thing that the author did try to do was to point out the fact that several priceless items were stolen by the Nazis during the Second World War. In an afterward, the author also mentioned that there are still people who are trying to right these wrongs. It was a nice attempt to try to educate our younger generation of this heinous act that was perpetrated on millions of people who had done nothing wrong. Once again, I think that the message could have been a little stronger.