Uncommon Criminals: Heist Society #2, by Ally Carter
Born into a family of thieves, 15-year-old Katarina Bishop has gone rogue: sort of. She no longer steals for profit. Instead, she steals to right wrongs, mostly by way of repossessing artwork that the Nazis stole during WWII and returning it to the rightful owner. (Or the rightful owner's descendants.)
She's been taking bigger and bigger chances, doing jobs alone, refusing help—even from the mysterious (and very attractive) rich-boy-turned-thief W.W. Hale—and her friends are getting understandably worried.
When she's approached by the old woman whose family was cheated out of the fame and fortune that should have come from their discovery of Cleopatra's tomb, she makes a risky decision: To steal the world-famous Cleopatra emerald.
Problem #1: It's cursed. Since it was discovered, every job that's ever been planned around it has gone wrong.
Problem #2: It's forbidden. Off-limits. Her Uncle Eddie red-flagged it years ago, and if he finds out what she's up to... well, it's an unforgivable offense, and being cursed by the last of the pharaohs is NOTHING to being on Uncle Eddie's bad list.
Like Heist Society, Uncommon Criminals is a fun, funny, cotton-candy-bathtub-book of a read. However! It's unusual, but this is a case in which I enjoyed the sequel much more than the original.
Uncommon Criminals is a stronger book than Heist Society, period. While Heist Society relied on TELLing and infodumps to Set the Stage, Uncommon Criminals didn't. True, that was partly because the storyline had already been set in place in Book One, but it was mostly because the comparable section in this book—the part at the beginning where Carter reminds old readers What Is What and gets new readers up to speed—was handled much more gracefully. So that was really nice to see, and much more enjoyable to read. Recommended to the usual suspects: fans of the Gallagher Girls and chick-lit-ish mysteries.
Heist Society is going to be a movie, and I think it'll translate really well to screen—though after reading this one, I think it might be even more fun as a CW series. Now that Kat is doing the Robin Hood thing, it's basically Leverage with teenagers.
And we all know how much fun Leverage is.
(OH MY GOD! They could have a network crossover and have the Heist Society crew team up with the Leverage crew! If, you know, Heist Society was a show. No, this isn't just because I'd like more opportunities to see Eliot beat people up. I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT. LA LA LA LA LA.)