My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Published: February 9th, 2010
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Family History, Friendship, Scheming
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. For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history–and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.
My heart is begging me to give this book a four-star rating.
But my brain is insisting I reconsider.
And since I value my brain’s opinion slightly more, a winner has been declared.
Here’s the thing. I adore Ally Carter. Her The Gallagher Girls series is everything and more. I read it and reread and think about it whenever I’m bored and in need of creating some impossible scenarios in my mind that involve spies and spying, in addition to little ol’ me.
This heist story promises excitement. For whom, dare I ask. For the author perhaps. I can imagine her having a lot of fun writing this. But for us, it’s as dry as the desert and feels more like a building up book than a real story.
You know what I’m talking about. The types of books that were written to introduce more than to develop. Like a sort of prequel. Almost every new chapter is an introduction to a character or element in the heroine’s life, and while that is interesting, it’s not action-packed or suspenseful… and isn’t that what we’re all here for?
It’s surprising at times. The characters do the unexpected, and that, to give credit where it’s due, is absolutely fantastic. I know Ally Carter truly wrote this book because only she can use sass in such a smart way. I enjoyed reading about Kat Bishop because of that.
So it’s good, but it’s also disappointing. Then again, isn’t that what three-star ratings are all about? You liked it, but you also struggle to recommend it. Ironically, a ton of people recommended this one to me when they witnessed my love for The Gallagher Girls – and I understand it, but I also kind of wish they hadn’t hyped me so much about this series, causing me to buy all three books on the spot.
I will read the sequel, but I will manage my expectations.
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