Heist Society by Ally Carter
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.
Kat has swindled her way into a very prestigious boarding school in an effort to leave the family business. You see, since she was a wee little one, she’s been involved in family outings that included casing the Louvre, lifting famous artwork, picking pockets. Oh, it’s all in a day’s work. Kat’s family members are professional thieves. And even though they’re total lawbreakers, even Kat, you just can’t help but love them. They’re not killing people or really hurting anyone; they just steal expensive stuff from people and places so wealthy they wouldn’t know the difference anyway.
Someone has pissed off Arutro Taccone– nasty mob boss– by stealing some very pricey paintings from his fortress of a home. Taccone thinks it’s Kat’s father and he puts out a warning that those lovely gems must be returned or else. I mean, and you really don’t want to get to the Or Else stage with a mob boss. Kat knows this. She, her best friend, Hale and a few other members of the family get together against the wishes of Uncle Eddie (who’s sort of the leader of the family) to plot to find the paintings, steal them back and return them to Taccone so that Kat’s dad and other loved ones can stay safe. Kat really doesn’t want this; she wants to leave this life behind and start fresh, but she has to protect her family.
So, why did I wait so long to read this book? It’s ADORABLE! It’s about every kind of cute imaginable! It has a little Frankie Landau Banks feeling to it in the beginning because there is a major prank that takes place at a boarding school, but Kat, while she’s equally as bright as Frankie, is a different girl all together. She’s bold, even though she’s scared. She’s daring, even though she isn’t completely sure what to do, and she goes against both her father and her uncle, even though they’re usually right. Ok, so she’s a lot like Frankie, but she feels different.
The banter between Kat and her friends/cousins/guy she loves but doesn’t realize yet, is priceless. They are a fabulously talented team, all devoted to Kat in a way I don’t think even she recognizes. The plot is fun and far-fetched but so completely entertaining that I was engrossed from the first few pages.
Better than all of that was Kat’s relationship with Hale. I live for those moments of almost kisses and stolen glances and things that seem so incredibly obvious to the reader (JUST TELL HER YOU LOVE HER FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!), but are so confusing to the protagonist. This book has those moments and more. Hale is quite crushworthy and his affection for Kat is full of promise. They make a great almost-couple.
Crush Intensity: 4/5 So cute! Looking forward to continuing the adventures in the next books.