If you are looking for a cute and fluffy summer read in the style of Ocean's Eleven, look no further than Ally Carter's Heist Society. Fifteen year-old Katarina Bishop is determined to leave her life of crime behind until she discovers that her father has been framed for an art theft he didn't perpetrate (this time). The powerful, sinister man from which five priceless paintings have been stolen, Arturo Taccone, is determined to make Kat's father pay. She decides that it's her responsibility to save him from certain death by returning the paintings--artifacts separated from their rightful owners by the Holocaust--by Taccone's deadline, a seemingly impossible two weeks. To assist her in tracking down and stealing back the paintings, Kat enlists several teenage members of her crime family, including the wealthy and dashing Hale, her buxom cousin Gabrielle, the irrepressible Bagshaw brothers, and technogeek Simon. But when the team learns that the paintings will have to be re-stolen from a museum with the tightest security money can buy, against the wishes of the head of their family and the rest of the criminal underworld, they know it will be the most difficult and dangerous heist of their young lives.
Despite the engaging characters and the action-packed world traveling and the witty banter and the intriguing hints of a deeper mystery that involved the Holocaust and an unknown master thief working to right old wrongs, the book didn't hang together completely for me. It felt unfinished, like the first of a series (which it is, judging by recent Twitter updates) in which characters are introduced and the foundation for future action is built. At the same time, there wasn't a huge amount of character development. Several plot points seemed rather conveniently resolved. Nevertheless, the book was very entertaining and definitely a promising beginning for future adventures.
Dead Mother: Yes
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