Title : Heist Society (Heist Society, #1)
Synopsis and Cover Pic : Goodreads
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.
|Not many YA authors offer cozy mystery theme, as far as I’m concerned, particularly with a young girl as the lead character. Ally Carter, with her Heist Society series, has colored YA world with the theme and has given a new perspective that digging the teenage world through YA novels is not only from love, or triangle love. Well, actually this is not the first time for Carter. Her previous works in Gallagher Girls series which offered the same theme has gained much attention and also critical success.Okay, now let’s go dig this first part of Heist Society series : Heist Society!
This story stars Katarina Bishop, or Kat, a 16-year-old girl who was struggling to change her life. She had been a thief since she was only a kiddo, because she was coming from a thief-family. Her father, her late mother, her great uncle, her cousin, almost all her surroundings were thieves. But she really wanted to live like a normal girl, that’s why she chose to go to high school; and for reaching that goal, she broke some data in a junior high school so that she could fake her own data to be submitted to her targeted high school, Colgan. She pretended to be a young European immigrant.
But it turned out that her staying there didn’t take so long as her wish. There were some problems involving the head master’s car and school’s property, those two things were crashed together that they could not be identified what they were before becoming so broken. According to the record in CCTV, the culprit was a girl, and to be more particular, a girl with the same specifications as Kat. Kat’s being suspected and accused, and because she couldn’t prove her innocence, she had to step out of that dream school.
“If Kat had stayed at Colgan long enough, a teacher might have eventually told her what her family had been saying for generations : It’s okay to break the rules, but only sometimes, and only if you know them very, very well.”
And in the middle of nowhere, a rich yet naughty boy who happened to be her best friend, W.W. Hale the fifth a.k.a Hale picked her up and admitted he was the one who did that on purpose, to dismiss Kat from school. At first, Kat was angry, but not too much I figured because she just let things go so easily. She was still disappointed that she could not go to school, and confused of how to deal with her rest of family because she had made them so shocked she’s going to school and leaving family (theft) business, and now, she was going back. But yeah, she didn’t blame Hale so much, because Hale finally told her why.
Her father was in danger. He was accused of stealing five famous paintings from an Italian millionaire man, named Arturo Taccone. Her father was not the one doing that; he had been stealing another things in Paris at the time the paintings were stolen. But Taccone did not buy his story and haunted him. Kat then tried her best to save her father. She went to Paris to meet his father to ask for his explanation, but her coming quite confused her father because he expected Kat to study in Colgan. Kat didn’t feel ready to tell her dismissal and said that she was permitted with an excuse of being sick. Her father told her his alibi in Paris, which was supported by the Paris Interpol who had been following him ever since, even right then when they met up.
“The girls looked at him. When he spoke again, his voice was soft. “Arturo Taccone is in the business of evil.””
After explaining all things, Kat and her father went in different ways. But Kat ended up meeting with Taccone and she was threatened. Taccone said he still believed Kat’s father was the thief and he wanted his paintings back within 2 weeks, unless Kat wanted to see his father and people she most cared about suffer. No better options left, Kat chose to find the paintings even though she didn’t know anything. After some ‘researches’, he finally found out who the culprit was; a guy with an alias, a sacred alias that no random thieves will use it randomly due to its historical name value; Visily Romane.
And here started Kat’s adventure in saving her father. She was helped by Hale, her best friend as well as her crush (I bet she had a crush on him!!), her sexy cousin, Gabrielle, the funny Bagshaw brothers, and the clumsy yet genius Simon. Well, I will not continue the summary. It will contain spoiler! =p
“Running a crew means delegating, knowing when to sit out and let others take the lead. Understanding what your best resources are and exactly how to use them.”
This is a funny, entertaining, and also giving you lessons. I am not confused with any descriptions there, I think Carter composited the novel proportionally; the setting descriptions, the way she introduced each characters there, the surprising part in the end, they are well arranged. If it’s not because I had to do some things else—and also be distracted by many things else—I would have kept reading the books until it finished. It was such a page turner!
Not to mention that Katarina’s character is one of a kind, at least for a 16-year-old girl. She was kinda boyish but independent, caring her father so much, even still loving and reminiscing memories of her mother. She was not defined by her relationship with boys; I am sure she loved Hale more than as her best friend or partner in crime, but she didn’t let her feeling swap her focus and keep being professional in the field—by ‘field’ I mean when they did a robbery. But she was too innocent, no, I think too ignorant about her feeling towards Hale. And for me, her characters are what I wish I had in my 16-year-old era hhi.
“The people she most cared about were depicted there in black-and-white and the message was clear : Arturo Taccon knew how to find the people and things that were important to her, and if Kat didn’t do the same, he wouldn’t be the only one to lose something she loved.”
“For the first time in Katarina Bishop’s life, she truly understood that a picture is worth a thousand words.”
And for Hale, maan, I really love this teenage boy! He’s cute , and based on Kat’s perception, I mean Carter’s description of Hale’s appearance through Kat’s, Hale is a handsome boy. And though he was rich, he was kinda lonely. That is why he had fun with Kat’s family, even joined their business kekeke. And I thought his first encounter with Kat was lovely; he caught Kat in the scene when she was about to steal his Monex’s painting lol. His calmness, cheerfulness, and brilliancy in solving problems are so lovable!!! He also cared for Kat so much. Though I was quite pissed in the beginning because he made Kat out from Colgan, then I found myself like this character. Hhi.
A little spoiler, at the end, Hale did something to help Kat gain back her place in Colgan. =)
“Hale looked at Gabrielle and gestured at Kat. “She’s adorable when she’s jealous.” Kat kicked his shin. “Hey! It had to be done, remember? And contrary to popular belief, I don’t know that many girls.” They both stared at him. “Okay, I don’t know that many girls who have your special skills.” Gabrielle batted her eyelashes. “Oh, you do know how to make a girl feel special.” But Kat… Kat felt like a fool.”
And for Taccone, he was horrible, I think. He liked Kat’s wit but enjoyed seeing her struggle to help her father. He was protected by two guards and I bet he couldn’t do anything unless his guards stood beside him all the time. He was a bad millionaire, enjoyed collecting paintings in a bad manner, and enjoyed games in which someone had to suffer. At the end, he ended up so bad. He deserved it hihi.
I had fun seeing other characters too. I was not fond of Gabrielle at first, but gradually I began to like her. Perhaps because she appeared to be so feminine and sexy and often teasing Kat by being close to Hale. Simon’s soooo cute!!! He was a cute nerd and I wanted to pinch him! Hihi. Two Bagshaw brothers are lovely, too. I really enjoyed reading this story!
“She didn’t protest as Hale slid his arm around her and pulled her to rest against his chest. It was somehow softer there than she remembered.”
I think Indonesian authors who focus on writing teenage literatures can try this genre. It’s so rare here in Indonesia to find teenage books with theme like Heist Society. Not that I support swindling or robbery by teenager, but the values inside this story, reflected by each characters’ decision and act are important for teenagers’ growth, in my opinion.
Still, don’t do robbery, kids! Lol.
I recommend this book for you who want to enjoy the light reading but still contain important messages. Like I said, Heist Society is entertaining and sending good messages for young teenage girl (particularly).
PS : But I happened to regret that in my teenage year, I didn’t read many YA-cozy mystery stories like this. Ever since I was in junior high school, I have been reading detective, crime, and mystery novels. At that time, I still didn’t know much about YA novels and I thought there were only stories about teenage love. But I was mistaken!! Well, I enjoy reading romance but teenage love is too fishy, I reckon. T.T
Rating : 4/5