Publisher: Hyperion Books
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.
Okay here's a well-known fact about me - I love heist stories! Love them! But ages ago when I picked up this book on a whim at the library, I unfortunately never finished it because I was either 1) not in the mood or 2) because I wasn't all that interested in the first few chapters. So for this year when I eventually bought a cheap copy of the book, I decided to give it a second attempt due to the many raving reviews and as I flipped through the pages, I managed to finish it and now to my surprise I actually really liked it. It had a fun story, interesting characters and plenty of fun twists, and I could definitely picture this book becoming a movie and being a truly great one for teens. For those who've seen the film The Italian Job, then you'll going to love this book right here!
Unlike the classic tales of Robin Hood and Aladdin, Katarina Bishop - the main heroine of this snazzy story - is not just your stereotypical thief with a hidden agenda and a heart of gold. She's a thief with some sympathy, a thief with a loving family, and a thief with a very, very complicated lifestyle. What can I say? I'm a huge fan of the thief life and the saying of being "in the family business", which is always a great twist for any storyline. I admit, some of the heist activities featured were a little unrealistic at times and some of the events weren't clearly explained like I wanted them to, but neither of these things bothered me all too much. Everything was a bag full of tricks and I love the story for it!
While the storyline was part of the reason why I liked the book but for me the character's were the strongest point. I loved Kat's sassy, self-assured and confident side, and I can see why a lot of readers liked her so much as the main character and why they could connect with her instantly. In this case of loving this particular character, I'm quite glad that I gave this book another go and got the chance to meet Katarina herself. As for Katarina's co-conspirator, Hale, he had amazing chemisty with Kat and he too had some sexy personality hidden underneath his belt. I loved the way he always tried to understand Kat for who she is and I loved how he complemented her so, so well. Also, it's a plus to know there's a mystery behind Hale's first name, which is a really nice touch for Ally Carter's writing. And I'm dying to know what that name is like everyone else!
With an intriguing fast-paced story, plenty of interesting locations including the stylish streets of Paris all the way to the likes of the crazy Las Vegas, Ally Carter paints a vivid picture of places where a lot of young readers would only dream of. And she did it with awesomeness. Overall this was a fun, quick and an easy-to-read book with a variety of elements to satisfy any sort of readers.