Sunday, July 25, 2010

Heist Society - Ally Carter

US                                                      Australian/UK

Interested in what Ally Carter has to say about her cover story? Clicky :)

Kat Bishop wants to leave the family business. But that's not easy if your family are a gang of exclusive, world-class thieves...
When a mobster accuses Kat's dad of stealing his priceless art collection, Kat knows there's only one thing to do - she has to find the paintings and steal them back. But with only two weeks, a teenage crew, a plan that will take her across Europe, and her dad's life on the line, can she pull off the biggest heist in history? (from back cover)

Heist Society is like reading Ocean's Eleven but with a rag tag bunch of teens (including best friend hottie, glamour girl and geektastastic nerds). It's actually already been optioned for a film and I can see why.

Not only is the plot intricate with a glamorous setting, but the writing is really a cut above. I loved the sophisticated tone and intelligent humour that amused me from the first chapter. Even with teenage protags, it doesn't necessarily have a YA feel about it. It's in third person POV, mostly from Kat, sometimes bordering on omniscient.

Kat is the funkiest of main characters, spunky and determined, yet you see glimpses of insecurity that make her real and her motivations complex. In particular, I loved her dialogue. I wish I had connected to her a smidgen more though.

Ally Carter knows how to keep the pace cracking with plot twists and clever foreshadowing. Add an eccentric but eeevil villain who continually ups the stakes and a puzzling and complex climax and you have an impressive book that it just plain fun.

Confessions:

  • Occasionally, I got lost with the plot, haha. I think I don't have the brain of a criminal and I floundered every now and then keeping track of the players. Probably b/c the pacing is pretty hard-core. I am a fan of fast-paced plots, so bring it on anyway :)
  • I wanted to see more of Hale (Kat's best friend who is ever so cool and hot in the very best of ways). I'm wondering if it's the first in a series...
  • I didnt think it would be so well written. Continually startled by the intelligent wit and smooth narration. Some of it reminded me of Adult Fiction author Jeffrey Archer's style, who writes cleverly with foreshadowing and double-crossing and characters who spark with wit and high IQ's...


Conclusion: I gave it three and a half stars. Me & my ratings, it's a complex thing...
It's definitely got the making of a 5 star book, plot so brilliant, writing so unique and intriguing. So, basically, my three and a half stars hovers between I liked it and I really liked it. It's not a fave b/c I mostly love character driven books, and this is is mostly plot. Occasionally, my brain hurt figuring it out, LOL . However, I'll be reading more of Ally Carter for sure as she has talent (like, whoah) and I think this book brings something unique to the YA scene. And, when I see other 5 star reviews, yeah, I think it deserves it, b/c if this premise appeals to you, you wouldn't find much better than this...

Recommended if you like mystery and action and fast-paced round-the-world double crossing crime scene showdowns. If this sounds like your kind of thing you should definitely read the first chapter here. It showcases Ally Carter's beautiful writing and starts with intelligence and intrigue :)

Oh! Oh! The covers? Which one's your fave?

I think they're both stand outs and pretty brilliant. I'll confess that I became quite attached to my copy while reading it, so I'm choosing the Australian as my fave, but I have a feeling I will be in the minority...

8 comments:

  1. Love the US one. The girl on the UK/Aus one um, doesn't work for me. But I do like the red rays thing.

    And I recently won this at a giveaway, so yay, can't wait for it!

    And that's a very well thought-out review.

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  2. love the us one as well!

    and this sounds great!

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  3. Ohh good review. I've read it as well and I love Hale. I really hope it becomes a series :)

    In terms of the cover, I am actually very attached to my ARC that has a different cover, it doesn't have Kat on the cover but has swirls (kind of like the background of my blog) and uses the same font as on the US cover.

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  4. I actually like the UK cover this time - cant' say why, maybe it's the leather jacket. Great review - I like almost everything, plot and character driven, but I Guess that I'd pass on this one. There are just too many other books out there lately that sound more worth my time.

    On a totally different note - Reading The Year of Secret Assignments - meant to only read a little while my son was watching TV but ended up getting almost halfway through. Love the quirky characters so far. :)

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  5. Haven't read it, but your Oceans Eleven reference made me want to. By far the best of the Oceans movies. (:

    To be completely honest, I don't quite like either cover, but I like the Australian/UK one more than the US one.

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  6. I like the US one, i have this on my wish list.

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  7. Ohh, this sounds like my kind of book. I'll have to add it to my ever growing wish list.

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  8. Just got to hear Carter last night to a room filled with girls many of them dressed like one of her Gallagher Girls. She was fun to listen too...very funny too. I liked Heist Society, but agree it was not five star material. She is working on another and there may be a movie in the future.

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Thanks for the commenty love :)

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