Sunday, May 23, 2010
HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter
The premise of this book had me really excited. The best way I can describe it would be Indiana Jones meets Mission Impossible... with teenagers. Did you just get goosebumps? I certainly did.
I was reading at a good clip through the first half, maybe even the first two-thirds, until things started bugging me. They became a little too contrived, a little too perfect, a little (no, a lot) too unbelievable.
And then the ending let me down.
Don't get me wrong. It's a good story. I just don't feel the author gave it the justice it deserved. It could have been much, much better, in my opinion.
And now, because of that, I'm writing my first bad review here. I usually don't finish books that I don't like, which then prevents me from posting a review (gotta follow the rules). Once I hit a certain point, though, I commit myself to finishing the book. Usually, it's to see if it will redeem itself, because, well, the beginning was so good, maybe it was just a bad patch from, say, page 200-220, and the last 50 or so pages will blow me away.
No. They didn't. There was actually one point where I had to re-read it three times... not because I didn't understand what I'd read, but because I seriously could not believe that that's what had happened in the story. "Contrived" and "unrealistic" do not even begin to describe it. The final third of this book felt, to me, like it was rushed. It really didn't live up to the rest of the book.
All that being said, Ally Carter is a best-selling author, and that's nothing to sneeze at. This is not her first book, she's a good writer, and Heist Society already had a movie deal before the book was released. I can understand that. The book reads like a movie, to be honest, but that was also one of the problems I had with it. Almost as if she wrote a screenplay first, then wrote the book based on the screenplay. It just didn't have that book feel to it, if you know what I mean.
(Not surprisingly, you'll notice in the linked article above that the main characters' ages will be increased to their early 20's for the film version. One of the main things that had bugged me about this story was trying to believe that a bunch of 15 and 16 year-olds could realistically pull off this major heist. I don't care how rich they are or how many connections they had or how long they'd been thieving... I just didn't buy it.)
So my final word on this is, when the movie comes out, go see it. I'm sure the movie will rock because there are some really cool scenes in here that lend themselves to the awesomeness of film. But in book form it was only so-so for me.