Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of lovable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting-or stealing-whatever they want.
No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. So instead of being the heir-this time, Hale might be the mark.
Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy. — from Goodreads
Damn you, Ally Carter. You really need to stop writing books that keep me up until two in the morning on a work night. It’s seemingly impossible for me to read for “just half an hour” because inevitably it’ll turn into “just one more chapter” and that turns into “oh well, midnight 1am is not so bad?” which then morphs into “but I’m at 80%!”
In other news, I read Perfect Scoundrels in one go on a night before getting up early for work. As you do. I blame Ally Carter entirely.
As you can see from the rating, I really really loved this book. It was better than the second in the series (Uncommon Criminals), which wasn’t bad but simply not as good as the first. Perfect Scoundrels, however, was AWESOME. Kat, Hale and Gabby are in the middle of a job when he’s unexpectedly called away and in the resulting drama around the will of his grandmother Kat learns a lot of new things about her boyfriend and his family.
I really loved the insight we got into Hale’s family this time around. We know all these things about Kat’s family — blood relations and makeshift family alike — but Hale’s a total mystery aside from the fact that he’s a total charmer and a great asset to Kat’s crew. Like Kat we don’t even know his full name! Which is quite hilarious (and sad, negl) when she calls for Hale who stands in the middle of a group of other people whose last name is Hale.
Carter did a fab job with the plot this time, it was intriguing and kept me on my toes from start to finish. (On that note: WOMAN, THAT THING YOU DID BEFORE THE END WAS NOT OKAY, THAT WAS NOT AN OKAY THING TO DO!) Plus, it also allowed the characters to grow by leaps and bounds. I’m also really glad that Ally Carter has a way of writing teenagers that doesn’t make me despise them. I often struggle with teenage characters and teenage drama because a lot of the time they end up being caricatures of randomly assembled stereotypes, but I enjoy Carter’s books because these kids feel real.
“And so that means…”
“We have to rob the Henley,” Simon said.
Kat sank onto a truly uncomfortable sofa. “Again.”
While Kat and her crew aren’t necessarily what you would call a normal representation of a group of teenagers these days, they’re not plagued by overly dramatic character traits. Kat and Hale have girlfriend/boyfriend issues amidst the whole mystery surrounding his grandmother’s will and it doesn’t feel fake at all. Whether or not these kids are planning a heist or travelling to the moon or the chosen ones who are meant to lead the revolt that will revenge the planet or something, they still act like teenagers would act and that’s a thing I don’t see all that often in teen/YA literature, actually. Which is why I am continually impressed with Carter’s books.
I also adored the topic of family in this book. There’s all sorts of mentions of who somebody’s family is (obviously Kat has a whole bunch of uncles who aren’t related to her because hell yeah crime families) and who you can call your family and it made me tear up a bit because that’s just so important! The fact that Kat’s family (and not just her crew, but other members of her family) help Kat to try and fix this mess is not only entertaining (why hello there, Uncle Felix, I heard you look good in drag!) but also shows Kat and the reader that they still care about her despite the events of Heist Society and Uncommon Criminals.
All in all, I think 5 teacups are totally deserved. I just really loved this book and don’t care about pragmatic ratings and weighing pros and cons because LALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS BOOK