Uncommon Criminals
Young Adult / June 23, 2018

Heist Society #2. Author: Ally Carter. Summary: 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,…

Heist Society
Young Adult / March 10, 2018

Heist Society #1. Author: Ally Carter. Summary: 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 traveled 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…

The King of Attolia
Young Adult / June 2, 2017

Queen’s Thief #3. Author: Megan Whalen Turner. Summary: Eugenides, no stranger to desperate circumstances, has gotten himself into difficulties he can’t get out of. Used to being treated with a certain measure of wariness, if not respect, he suffers the pranks, insults, and intrigue of the Attolian court with dwindling patience. As usual, nothing is as it appears when he rescues a hot-headed young soldier in the Palace Guard. (Published Summary) My Thoughts: The point of view progression away from Gen continues. Now we are relegated to a secondary character, circling in Gen’s orbit. Poor Costis. Really, that’s exactly what he is – even to the readers. He’s quite likable; loyal, brutally honest, possessed of some sense of humor (despite Gen’s opinion), and totally trapped. But he gets only minor character growth, and what plot/arc of his own that he does get also revolves around Gen (coming to understand Gen better, finalizing loyalty to his king). Eugenides too is trapped. It is his misfortune that the woman he fell in love with is queen, and along with her he must accept the crown. This book is a length of struggle and personal growth for Gen, as he is forced to…

The Queen of Attolia
Young Adult / June 1, 2017

Queen’s Thief #2. Author: Megan Whalen Turner. Summary: Revenge When Eugenides, the Thief of Eddis, stole Hamiathes’s Gift, the Queen of Attolia lost more than a mythical relic. She lost face. Everyone knew that Eugenides had outwitted and escaped her. To restore her reputation and reassert her power, the Queen of Attolia will go to any length and accept any help that is offered…she will risk her country to execute the perfect revenge. …but Eugenides can steal anything. And he taunts the Queen of Attolia, moving through her strongholds seemingly at will. So Attolia waits, secure in the knowledge that the Thief will slip, that he will haunt her palace one too many times. …at what price? When Eugenides finds his small mountain country at war with Attolia, he must steal a man, he must steal a queen, he must steal peace. But his greatest triumph, and his greatest loss, comes in capturing something that the Queen of Attolia thought she had sacrificed long ago… (Goodreads Summary) My Thoughts: When was the last time you saw a main character this wounded? Come this close to broken? Not as a one-time, see how the poor brave kid handles his affliction, aaand…

The Thief
Young Adult / May 26, 2017

The Queen’s Thief #1. Author: Megan Whalen Turner. Summary: The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities. What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses. My Thoughts: The Thief remains on my list of favorites, and I’ve reread it four or five times by now. I think this is one of those books that just gets better every time you reread it. ​Gen is an unreliable narrator in the sense that he’s certainly not telling you everything that happens, and he’s got nothing against using misdirection. But he always tells the truth. And every time I reread it, I find more delightful instances of this, where Gen said something innocent that – now – I can see as foreshadowing/hinting at what we don’t know yet. Gen is a delightful example of the thief archetype. Vain, lazy, amusing – and yet competent, friendly,…

Crooked Kingdom
Young Adult / May 24, 2017

Six of Crows #2. Author: Leah Bardugo. Summary: Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world. (Goodreads summary) Content Review: Sexual Content: Woman distracts a man flirtatiously, displaying a low-cut top over her cleavage. Girl is forced to explain a book series (“They get to know each other intimately”) because of innuendo (woman asked him if he’d like to play princess and barbarian). Passionate kissing. Girl remembers her painful nights as slave in a pleasure-house. Two men kiss. Language: 13 d***, 10 hell, 9 derogatory…

Six of Crows
Young Adult / May 23, 2017

Six of Crows #1. Author: Leah Bardugo. Summary: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone… A convict with a thirst for revenge A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager A runaway with a privileged past A spy known as the Wraith A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first. (Goodreads summary) Content Review: Sexual Content: Girl’s narrative: “It would have been easy enough to turn away when they called her names or sidled up to ask for a cuddle, but do that and soon enough it was a hand up your shirt or a try at you against a wall. So she’d always struck first and struck hard.” Boy takes off his shirt to wash in front of a girl (she’s somewhat admiring). Mention of…

City of Saints & Thieves
Young Adult / May 6, 2017

Author: Natalie C. Anderson. Summary: In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it. With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering…

Con Academy
Young Adult / December 18, 2016

Author: Jo Schreiber. Summary: Will Shea is completing his senior year at one of the most elite prep schools on the continent. The catch? He doesn’t belong there – conning their way into things is a family specialty, and this is only Will’s latest exploit. It’s just bad luck that he picked this particular school, for it already has a resident con artist, Andrea, and she isn’t interested in sharing the school. In proper thieving tradition, the show-down will be a massive con – played on non other than Brandt, a billionaire’s heir and a student with power. But as they race to be the first to Brandt’s money, they’re not holding back on the tricks and twists. There can only be one con artist here… or will they mutually expose each other? My Thoughts: A short, kind of funny read. I wasn’t super impressed though; I never really liked either of the main characters, and the ending wasn’t very strong. Content Review: Sexual content: Character says boy sneaked camera into a girl’s room – posted pictures of her on facebook to humiliate her. Some kissing. Language: 3 scatological terms, 2 hell, 1 derogatory term Violence: One boy hits another…

Spirit’s End
Young Adult / June 11, 2016

Legend of Eli Monpress #5. Author: Rachel Aaron. Summary: First rule of thievery: don’t be a hero. When Eli broke the rules and saved the Council Kingdoms, he thought he knew the price, but resuming his place as the Shepherdess’s favorite isn’t as simple as bowing his head. Now that she has her darling back, Benehime is setting in motion a plan that could destroy everything she was created to protect, and even Eli’s charm might not be enough to stop her. But Eli Monpress always has a plan, and with disaster rapidly approaching, he’s pulling in every favor he can think of to make it work, including the grudging help of the Spirit Court’s new Rector, Miranda Lyonette. Content Review: Sexual content: None. Language: 6 derogatory names, 4 d*** Violence: Character stabbed in the back. Character chokes a man to death. Trees tear themselves apart in a panic. There is a swordfight, one man stabbed in the chest. Man tears demonseed out of character’s chest. Demons break through barriers and try to devour (everything), various characters carry on a prolonged fight with them. One character murders another by stabbing. Two demons fight each other with some detail.