Author: Ally Carter
Reason for Reading: I love love LOVE LOVE Ally Carter’s books. I have been a fan of hers since day one. I read the first book in her Gallagher Girls Series, I’d Tell You That I Loved You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You, in the 6th grade and have bought all of her other books on the day of their release. The Gallagher Girls Series (I’d Tell You That I Loved You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You; Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy; Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover; and Only the Good Spy Young) is about an all-girls boarding school for spies, and it’s AMAZING. I also met Ally Carter a couple weeks ago when her tour came through my town and got all of my books signed. Uncommon Criminals is her newest novel.
Quote: “As soon as he touched her, Kat knew there was no such thing as curses. People make and break their own fortunes—they are he masters of their own fate. And right then, Kat wouldn't have changed anything."
Copyright Date: 2011
Length: 304 pages
Genre: Teen Action/Adventure
Rating (out of 10 stars): 8 stars
Summary: Katarina Bishop has never been proud of being a thief, but it’s the life she was born into and she now knows that she can’t escape it. And, after the impressive heist she and her crew pulled off last year, she has become one of the most famous thieves in the world. When someone asks her to steal the Cleopatra emerald, however, the cursed gem might be too much for Kat to handle.
Review: Ally Carter is a master of young adult fiction. Her books can definitely be models for any writer working to impress teens. One of the things I love the most about them is their consistency. The things that I loved about Uncommon Criminals are also present in all of Carter's novels, and for that reason this review can apply to any of her six young adult books. Therefore, I present to you (it’s been so long since I’ve done a list, I’ve kind of missed them):
5 Reasons Why Ally Carter’s Books are Amazing/What Every Good YA Series Needs
1. The Voice: An important thing about YA Fiction is that it needs to appeal to, well, young adults. The voice of Carter’s novels is simple; it sounds like how your average teen would talk. Her use of humor and sarcasm is friendly and familiar and her characters are incredibly relatable; they could be people from your own life! This familiarity makes you care for and love the characters that much more.
2. The Connection: Even though Katarina Bishop is an art thief and Cammie Morgan is a spy, when you get right down to it, they are just your average, run-of-the-mill teenage girls. Both girls have crazy mad skills, but they also have the same insecurities that plague every teenager. This makes the main characters so much realer and it makes the reader-character connection a lot stronger.
3. The Sidekick(s): Would Batman be the same without Robin? Would Harry Potter be the same without Ron and Hermione? Um, no. The sidekicks are just as important, if not more important, than the hero. Every hero needs friends with different talents and trials than themselves to help them through their adventure. Ally Carter’s heroes have some of the greatest sidekicks ever. They are always assisting (and sometimes hindering) in adventures and I really wish they were my friends.
4. The Love Interest: Need I say more? For those of you who have read the Heist Society novels, Hale is MINE. The charming, amazing, yet sometimes annoying boys in Carter’s books are enough to make just about any girl swoon.
5. The Continuing Mystery: Each book has its own individual plot, but it’s the continuous mysteries that make you really want to keep going. Ally is a master at this. Each series contains several mysteries that last throughout the series and have yet to be answered. Some are fun, like what is Hale’s first name? But others are more serious and could mean life and death for the characters. This is what really makes you continue to ask for more.
Recommendation: If you are a teen girl, you have got to read these books. Ally Carter writes some of the greatest YA books out there, and every one should get a chance to enjoy them. However, I’m not sure I’d suggest them to our dear Manklers; they’re a bit chick flick-y. But, on the other hand, they might help you understand the female mind…
These books sound awesome! Any other Ally Carter fans out there?
Related post: One Year, 100 Books