05 March 2011

Heist Society

Heist Society
Disney/Hyperion 2010

Note:  This is a book review I did for my Adolescent Literature class on Adventure novels.  I thought it was good, so I decided to post it.  That, and the book is darn good!
Heist Society by Ally Carter is the teenage girl version of The Thomas Crowne Affair.  Kat Bishop has had enough of the world of thieves, so she leaves the family business and enrolls in a posh private school.  However, the world of thieves isn’t quite done with her yet.  When her father is framed for stealing some paintings from a very dangerous criminal, Kat and her band of teenage crook friends must recover the paintings and clear her father’s name.  Heist Society is an excellent book about family ties, trust and one of the oldest trades:  stealing.  The plot is ironically over the top and completely believeable, with unexpected twists and turns that keeps the reader enthralled and guessing and leaves them shocked and begging for more.

Heist Society is, in every way, an excellent adventure story.  The protagonist, Kat Bishop, is not only likeable, she and the other characters are excellently developed (Nilsen & Donelson, 184) – their back stories add to both the intrigue and depth of the story – and readers will be able to identify with Kat (Nilsen & Donelson, 184) and her desire to become who she wants, regardless of her family and her history.  Though the setting and the plot are fantastic, the reader is drawn into them like movie goers were drawn into Ocean’s Eleven and National Treasure – even though the main characters are committing crimes and breaking dozens of laws, the reader wants them to succeed, if not just for the fun of the action, but for the deeper reason behind their action.  All in all, this is an excellent book that will appeal to the adventurer in all of us.

Nilsen, A. P., & Donelson, K. L. (2009). Literature for today's young adults: Eighth Edition. Boston: Pearson Education.

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