Heist Society, by Ally Carter
Katarina Bishop was born into a family of thieves. At age fifteen, determined to leave that life behind—because, after all, a thief's career will usually end in jail or an early death—she conned her way into the best boarding school in the country.
Three months later, she is pulled out of her safe haven in such a way that she'll never be able to return—but her friend Hale has a very good reason: Kat's father stole five priceless paintings. From an extremely scary mobster. The mobster wants his stuff back. NOW.
Problem is, Kat's father didn't steal the paintings. And he doesn't know who did. And, as he's got Interpol on his tail, he's not really in any position to negotiate OR investigate.
So it's up to Kat to find out what happened to the paintings, assemble a team and make a plan, re-steal them, and get them back to Mr. Scary. Within two weeks.
Heist Society is Ocean's Eleven¹ with a sixteen-year-old girl as the protagonist—like Danny Ocean, Kat is coming back to the life after some time away, she travels around to put her team together, and she pulls off a heist that no one would have ever thought possible. (The main difference is that Danny Ocean never doubted himself, whereas Kat isn't quite sure about her abilities.)
It's a fun, cotton-candy read, but as it was all TELL and no SHOW², it might actually work better as a movie—I'm a lot more forgiving of stock characters, emotions and situations if the actors are charismatic and the scenery is pretty. (And the clothes. Good costume design goes a long, long way.)
What I'm saying is that the premise overshadowed the characters. Or the characters never became more than vehicles for the premise. Which is sort of the same thing, I guess. I've read the first two or three Gallagher books, and while those also had "MAKE ME INTO A MOVIE" stamped all over 'em, I felt that they had a lot more... vim.
I'll totally give it to my Ally Carter fans, of course, and to my more forgiving readers who're looking for a (very) light read. If there's a sequel, though, I'm going to just sit back and wait for the movie.
¹The new one, not the drunk one.
²There's a romance here, but I only know that because I know it was supposed to be there—I never felt it.