Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society#3) by Ally Carter
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Genre: Contemporary, Con Artists and Young Adult
Release Date: Febuary 5, 2013
Pages: 328 (Hardcover)
Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want.No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune.
So instead of being the heir-this time, Hale might be the mark. Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy.
Ally Carter is one of my favourite authors, right behind Sarah Dessen. She’s so talented, telling stories about kickass teenagers risking their lives and having dangerous lifestyles for the heck of it. I wish I could be like them, beating up bad guys and stealing things and giving them to the rightful owners. But Perfect Scoundrels is something that surprised me. However, it wasn’t a good surprised, it surprised me because I could always predict what was going to happen before it did. Every trick, twist, con, everything. Instead of feeling like apart of Kat’s gang and on a brand new adventure, I felt like the puppet master, always one step ahead. Carter does a good job of entertaining readers with tales about teenage con artists but does a harder job of keeping things fresh.
Perfect Scoundrels just feels really forced. From the second Kat’s crew gets together to the very last page, it feels contrived and not natural in the slightest. I get that Carter is going for the funny, ‘we’re here!’ approach but it doesn’t work well in her favour. Another thing I find really annoying is how predictable the bad guy is. Unlike in the other novels, it took some time and shocked me, but this time it’s too obvious to find any pleasure figuring it all out for myself. The overall plan for the heist/con/whatever is also predictable. It’s very straightforward even without being told exactly what the plan is. Some of the characters are choppy and only serve one purpose in the novel (to help Kat) especially the new ones. With no back story of any sorts, they make the story feel more flimsy and forced.
As I said before, Ally Carter has a craft for creating believable worlds with unmistakable writing that I have come to know and love. It’s smooth and convincing, drawing readers into a world most likely unlike their own with theft and romance. The relationship between Kat and Hale is one of my favourite things about the novel because it’s put to the test and it’s quite realistic with the kind of obstacles that they have to face–Kat trying to fit into Hale’s world while Hale is forced to leave hers.
Overall, not a bad read, its downfall being that it’s very predictable and a few parts feel contrived. Nonetheless the writing is better than ever and some of the characters really grow. I recommend this to anyone who has read Carter’s part work or are looking to get lost in the world of cons, heists, and theft with a fun crew to guide the way.
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