Book Review: For Heist Society, Plus Cool Armchair Travel Link

Title: Heist Society
Author: Ally Carter
Year Published: 2010
Genre: YA
Format: Read eBook on Nook for Droid
Rating: ** 1/2 for experienced readers; *** for teen readers new to this genre

Katarina Bishop just left her family’s Art stealing business to try out life as a normal boarding school student.  She enjoyed being "normal" until someone framed her for a stunt involving the headmaster’s Porsche Speedster and a fountain.  Suddenly Kat’s thrust back into the world of high-priced Art theft to save her father, who is in deep trouble, and Kat’s the only one who can save him.

I really wanted to like this book.  It’s written by the same author who wrote the Gallagher Girls Spy School Series, starting with, I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You. That book had a strong realistically teen voice, a well-built storyworld with lots of fun details, and lots of normal teen emotions.  Heist Society, on the other hand, feels like it’s filled with the type of stock characters one would see on a glossy, bland evening teen soap opera on American TV (think Gossip GIrl with Art thieves). 

That said, this might be a good book for a reluctant teen reader who doesn’t have as much experience watching movies like Ocean’s 11 or shows like Leverage. The Art stealing scenes are kind of fun and cool, but not very realistic– much like an episode of Leverage or some other con artist show.

Armchair Travel Link:

Check out this cool armchair travel link I read about on Grist, in Sarah Goodyear’s article, A Virtual Vacation: Stroll the World with Robot Flâneur   The site offers a virtual travel slideshow with a hundred or so varied street shots of one city.  It makes an enjoyable scene saver while I’m doing other work at my desk.  You can virtually travel to 9 different cities:  Paris, London, San Fransisco, Mexico City, Manhattan, Berlin, Johannesburg, Tokyo, and São Paulo.

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