Thursday, March 7, 2013

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

I love this series by Ally Carter! This was definitely one of the books I purchased the day it came out! And to think I never would have started the series if I never picked up the first one at the first Borders I knew to close (a year and a half before they all closed). What a find I had!
These books are about Kat, a teen thief extraordinaire.  She is famous for robbing places that are meant to be impossible to steal from. She doesn’t do it on her own. She has a whole family of backup. Her “family” is made up of people also famous for various kinds of con jobs. The only non con in the group is Hale, Kat’s best friend, sort of turned boyfriend. And Hale has worked so hard for Kat’s family to accept him over the years, helping out on whatever missions he can. It helps that he is made of money and has his own jet too.
What I loved about this book (book 3) is how much we finally get to learn about Hale, the boy who leaves his wealthy life behind for the exciting life of crime (more like painting stealing). The book begins with Hale leaving Kat hanging, literally. She’s in a harness when he leaves a job all of a sudden. It’s because his one family member from his past life that he actually cared for (his grandmother) has passed away.
And before Kat realizes it, she’s at the center of one of the largest cons yet, a con she actually had nothing to do with. Hale ends up inheriting mass wealth in the form of the entire Hale company. And it’s up to Kat to explain to him that his grandmother’s will was a con. Hale’s family lawyer is involved in faking the last will and testament of Hale’s grandmother. There is another stunt at the Henley (an impossible to steal from art museum that Kat’s crew stole paintings form in book 1) and a lot of little gigs around Hong Kong, Paris, Canada, and New York. There’s a lot of relationship drama in this one too!
Kat really understands what Hale is going through because she remembers strongly the not too long ago loss of her mother.  There’s new inventions, cons within cons, plenty of international travel, and lots of old friends. And we get to learn so much about Hale’s story. His family is rather awful. And the more you learn about his past, the more you have to love the guy. And Kat’s family mostly seemed to feel the same way about him too.
There’s never a dull moment in this one. There are so many plot twists and secrets and I am only just beginning to get a feel for when a secret is about to be unraveled, so I was mostly surprised by them still. Carter writes these books almost as you’d expect to view a James Bone movie, one plot device sneakily leading up to another.
I could have used a little more romance. And I was slightly disappointed that a major heist in the works actually never ended up happening. A certain character leaked some hints to the FBI! But all in all, this book really got down into the nitty-gritty emotional factors of working in this world. I loved watching everyone team together to help Hale, who has essentially always been viewed as an outsider.
I absolutely love how strong Kat has become. She’s gone from a girl who just wants a normal life, to the best thief in the world, to someone the whole world turns to when there is a problem to be solved. The way she handled Hale and a newborn jealousy of another girl, I thought was remarkably mature. She always ends up doing what she believes in her heart to be the right thing, no matter how much it hurts her, and this just makes her one of the strongest, most kick-butt female main characters I have yet to meet!
I know I haven’t given too much plot away. It’s kind of hard to summarize a book with so many twists and then not spoil too much. The twists are just so much more fun to read about yourself. And you should definitely check out this series already, if you haven’t. It’s fun, fast, action-packed, and oh so addicting. I give it a 9/10.

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