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

This Is Not A Test By Courtney Summers

3.8/5-This book made me laugh a lot but I didn’t feel sorry for the characters. I wish I did but I didn’t for any of them. Zombies were a nice touch for this story.

(Summary from Goodreads)

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

(My Opinion)

This Is Not A Test is a book with zombies in it. But it’s not really about them, it’s about the fact that Sloane doesn’t want to live anymore and she can’t seem to find the right time to leave the world. The characters in this book were okay, they weren’t great because some of them seemed rushed and not well thought out and there wasn’t very much action. I liked the idea for this story and the chapters were short and mostly easy to read.

When you read about a book that has zombies in it, you expect a lot of action and guts and gore and other shit. But you don’t get much of that in this book. Even though the book wasn’t about the zombies, I was expecting a lot of action at least since Courtney Summers included them in. But you only find action near the end. In the middle is drama, drama, and more drama. There were some parts of this book where I didn’t even understand what I was reading. Sloane was a very complex character, I’m not sure if I liked her or not because there were times where she was fine and cool but then there were the times where, she would just do the dumbest things. And then just not make sense at all.

The chapters were very short and I finished this book in a day because of it. I loved how just awkward and forced the characters were to get together and stay together for such a long period of time. It was funny reading what the six teenagers did with no privacy. Especially the relationship between Sloane and Rhys because it was awkward while sweet. I liked that Sloane was depressed but not too over-the-top that it was annoying or too uncomfortable to read about. Courtney Summers put a few great twists in this book that had me guessing, especially about her sister because I didn’t know what to expect when it came to Sloane’s sister, Lily.

This book is for people who like zombie books but I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re into hardcore zombie books because there wasn’t that much action in it. It’s also a good read for people who liked books that have teenagers that dislike each other and have secret motives.