Book Review: United We Spy (Gallagher Girl#6) by Ally Carter

13580951United We Spy (Gallagher Girl#6) by Ally Carter

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: September 17, 2013

Pages: 296 (Hardcover)

good good

Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.

opinion

After seven years (that’s right, I started this series when it first came out!) and six books I can say that I am a Gallagher Girl through and through. I have cried with them, fought with them, loved them, and most of all, became them. This has been such a fun ride and most of the characters have grown up and I will miss them all. Even though I was a bit disappointed with this one because of the outcome, I still loved it. Hell, I freaking love this series and it sucks that it’s over but I’ll forever remember my sisters.

A problem that this book has has to be repetition. I got it, they are all spies who go to kick ass school that teaches them how to kill people and steal and pretend and blah blah blah. I got it, I would have appreciated it if this fact wasn’t shoved down my throat every other page.

Ally Carter never fails to reel me in with her amazing writing skills! I swear, I could read her novels all day. The characters, especially the four girls, Cammie, Bex, Liz, and Macy have grown up so much and have changed into very close friends and great spies. There’s a ton of action scenes and suspense throughout the book so I never felt bored while reading and the romance between Cammie and Zach is still very strong and sweet but it has always taken the backseat and in United We Spy it’s no different.

United We Spy is the final book. That’s it. And even though I’m still unsure about how I felt about the ending, this is by far one of the best series I’ve ever been fortunate to read. Like any great series, it seems that you have to stumble upon them rather than look for them. I recommend this series to anyone who loves spy novels and are looking for a wild trip that will make you believe that you can be a spy yourself.

4 Dreamy Clouds

4 Dreamy Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society#3) by Ally Carter

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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)

good good

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.

opinion

 

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.

3.5 Dreamy Clouds

3.5 Dreamy Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Favourite Book Quotes Of The Week#26

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A list of my favourite quotes from books I’ve read in the past week. Leave a comment telling me what your favourite quotes are! I’ll be sure to check your post out too!

The Immortal Rules (Blood Of Eden#1) by Julie Kagawa

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Favourite quotes:

1. “You don’t dwell on what you’ve lost, you just move on.”

2. “Did he teach you how to bore you opponents to sleep? Because I think I missed that lesson.”

3. The closer you got to someone, the more it would destroy you when they were inevitably gone.

4. “And sometimes, hope is the only thing that gets us through the day.”

School Spirits (School Spirits#1) by Rachel Hawkins

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Favourite Quotes:

1. I don’t know what heaven smells like, but if it doesn’t smell like freshly baked cookies, I will be really disappointed.

2. When you don’t have much family left, you’ll do anything to protect what you have.

Afterlife Academy by Jaimie Admans

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Favourite quote: “There are more important things in life than studying.”

Double Crossed by Ally Carter

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Favourite quote:

1. “You’re late.” Kat said as soon as Hale put the phone to his ear. She wasn’t the kind of girl to wait for hello.

“What can I say? Macey McHenry has been throwing herself at me…”

“See, that’s the kind of thing that would make me jealous if she weren’t way out of your league.”

“You know, if I had feelings, that might have hurt them.”

2. “Why don’t I know You?”
“Does anyone ever really know someone else?”
“You think your cute,” she told him.
“You think your gorgeous. But I’m the one guy here who knows better.”
“So I’m not gorgeous?” Macey challenged.
“Of course you are,” He started away, turned back at the last minute. “But I’m the guy who figured out that’s not all you are.”

Favourite Book Quotes of The Week#25

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A list of my favourite quotes from books I’ve read in the past week. Leave a comment telling me what your favourite quotes are! I’ll be sure to check your post out too!

Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

17302690Favourite Quotes:

1. Everybody dies, dudes and dudettes. That’s the name of the game.

2. “Everybody’s got troubles, you know that? The world’s a universally sad and fucked-up place. People hurt, all of them. You beginning to get that? Or do you still think it’s just you, man? Only you that suffers? Like You’ve been singled out?”

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

13580928Favourite quotes:

1. “The things that are the most precious to us are sometimes the most secret.”

2. Sleep every chance you get. Eat every chance you get.

3. “Someday you will know that the heart is not always as wise as it is strong.”

4. The biggest lies you tell are for yourself.

Uncommon Criminals

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: June 21, 2011

Pages: 298

Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2)

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 simply… 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, 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.

(My Opinion)

The story is told from third person and mostly focuses on Kat. There are new characters, adventure, and lots of conning. In very rare cases, a sequel will be better than the first but sadly, this book doesn’t beat out Heist Society. There are too many twists and some of the new characters are stiff and chalky. Even though I love the idea behind this book (Cleopatra is pretty awesome) and the obstacles Kat and her crew faces, it seems like half of the story is stiff while the other half is about family.

There’s a few things that I don’t enjoy about this book because I know that Ally Carter could have done a better job. In the first book, I didn’t mind the repetition of how amazing these kids are but in the second book, I find that it’s just too much and gets annoying really fast. Not only does the repetition bother me, but so does the romance between Kat and Hale. It’s so stiff and boring. Even when Kat freaks out over stupid things, I didn’t feel much. The ending is a bit of a disappointment because it seems a bit disorganized and messy. Nothing is properly put into place so it’s easy to get confused and bored. I think Ally Carter put so much time into making the heist itself perfect that she forgot that her characters are supposed to jump off of the pages.

I still really love her writing style. Like I mentioned before, the heist itself is good, there are a lot of obstacles that keeps you entertained. And the relationship between Kate and Maggie because they are very alike yet very different. I also like that Kat gets her ass handed to her by someone she barely knows.

Fans of Heist Society might be disappointed with this. I still recommend it because this is still an Ally Carter novel. I’m hoping that Perfect Scoundrels, the third book in this series, will be the best book yet.

 3.5 dreamy clouds

Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society#2) By Ally Carter

Uncommon Criminals

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: June 21, 2011

Pages: 298

Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society, #2)

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 simply… 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, 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.

(My Opinion)

The story is told from third person and mostly focuses on Kat. There are new characters, adventure, and lots of conning. In very rare cases, a sequel will be better than the first but sadly, this book doesn’t beat out Heist Society. There are too many twists and some of the new characters are stiff and chalky. Even though I love the idea behind this book (Cleopatra is pretty awesome) and the obstacles Kat and her crew faces, it seems like half of the story is stiff while the other half is about family.
There’s a few things that I don’t enjoy about this book because I know that Ally Carter could have done a better job. In the first book, I didn’t mind the repetition of how amazing these kids are but in the second book, I find that it’s just too much and gets annoying really fast. Not only does the repetition bother me, but so does the romance between Kat and Hale. It’s so stiff and boring. Even when Kat freaks out over stupid things, I didn’t feel much. The ending is a bit of a disappointment because it seems a bit disorganized and messy. Nothing is properly put into place so it’s easy to get confused and bored. I think Ally Carter put so much time into making the heist itself perfect that she forgot that her characters are supposed to jump off of the pages.
I still really love her writing style. Like I mentioned before, the heist itself is good, there are a lot of obstacles that keeps you entertained. And the relationship between Kate and Maggie because they are very alike yet very different. I also like that Kat gets her ass handed to her by someone she barely knows.
Fans of Heist Society might be disappointed with this. I still recommend it because this is still an Ally Carter novel. I’m hoping that Perfect Scoundrels, the third book in this series, will be the best book yet.

3.5 Dreamy Clouds

Heist Society By Ally Carter

Publisher: Hyperion Disney

Genre: Adventure and Young Adult

Release Date: February 9, 2010

Pages: 287 (hard cover)

Goodreads

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 travelled 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.

(My Opinion)

An adventurous mission with a lot of twists and surprises and a complicated romance? With a bunch of teens? The reasons why Ally Carter is one of my favourite authors is beautifully shone in this novel. I felt for Kat and her crew throughout. The writing is smooth, enjoyable, and kind of perfect. Heist Society is like a teen version of Ocean’s eleven or Catch That Kid. Only more badass with characters that stick with you long after the book is done. They all feel real, like I was watching this in a movie theatre or quietly watching from a distance while its being told. The ending was not what I was expecting either.

The only thing that I probably didn’t like about this book is how little the relationship between Kat and Nick is. I wish the relationship between them formed a little bit more.

There is a mysterious grace that Kat Bishop has and it makes everyone around feel intimidated. She’s strong, determined, and is as quiet as a cat. I flew through this book because it’s fast paced with so much happening that I couldn’t put it down. Heist Society made me laugh more than once and also pulled on my heart-strings. I love the mystery that surrounds Hale and his family because it kept me guessing throughout the book about how his life was before he met Kat. The many twists and turns was easy for me to follow the ride along with her. I love that Ally Carter decided to write the book in third person too because I get to know the story from some of the other characters’ perspectives.

Even though I only shed a few tears for this book, it is still an amazing read, one that I will never forget. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good heist book that will defiantly keep you entertained and surprise you. I am anxiously awaiting the third book in this series, Perfect Scoundrels which will be out next year February.

 5 Dreamy clouds