Today I'm reviewing UNCOMMON CRIMINALS, by Ally Carter:
The sequel to her novel HEIST SOCIETY, which came out last year (and I finally read for the first time last week):
Like I said in the beginning, I really, really didn't think I was going to like these books. In fact, I only accepted Disney's offer of a review copy because a friend told me I should give them a chance.
Why was I so against them?
Honestly? It was the covers.
Don't get me wrong--they're gorgeous. But...they made me think the book would be about a group of snotty rich girls trying to spice up their bored, mani-pedi filled days by becoming thieves. I envisioned characters that belonged on some lame reality show about spoiled teenagers or an episode of Gossip Girl--and no offense to fans of that--but...it's just not my thing.
So I ignored HEIST SOCIETY when it came out and I certainly had no intention of picking up UNCOMMON CRIMINALS. And boy would I have missed out. I LOVED them. I read them both in one sitting--and it's killing me how long I'll have to wait for the next one.
Here's how the back of the book describes UNCOMMON CRIMINALS:
Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life: Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.
There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long — and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous, and that is . . . the emerald is cursed.
Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all, she has her best friend — the gorgeous Hale — and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses and realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.
Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.
If you're a fan of movies like Oceans 11 or The Italian Job, you will LOVE these books. They have that snappy, heist dialogue down to an art, the plots keep you on your toes trying to figure out who's conning who, and the characters are round, funny, and so incredibly likable. Yes--they're kids (teenagers to be exact) so I know it might seem hard to believe that they could really pull off the heists that they do. But the way it's written convinces you.
Maybe it's because they're set up as teens who have been running cons since they were in diapers. Or maybe it's because so often being teens gives them the advantage, helps them blend in and seem less suspicious. Whatever it is, it works. My disbelief was sufficiently suspended.
And I have to say, I'm not one to instantly fall for the love interest (it usually takes a while to sell me on the boy) but pretty much the moment I met Hale I was like OMG KISS HER! KISS HER! KISS HER! Teenage Shannon and Somewhat-Grown-up-Shannon both had their hearts stolen. And that's pretty much how these books work. Yes, they're written for teens. But they're SO MUCH FUN, I have no doubt adults will love them too. And I highly, highly recommend you give the series a chance. If you don't, you're missing out.
UNCOMMON CRIMINALS comes out June 21st--but if you don't want to wait, you can enter to win my hardcover copy right now.
To enter, make sure you follow my blog and leave a comment by 11:59 pm PDT on Saturday, June 18th. (Yes, I know that's quick--but I'm traveling for ALA next week and won't have time to draw a winner. So it just means the winner will get their prize sooner!) I'll draw one random winner and post their name on Sunday, June 19th. International entries are welcome.
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