I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Smash and Grab
Author: Amy Christine Parker
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Summary (from Goodreads): Ocean’s Eleven meets the star-crossed lovers of West Side Story. Grab some popcorn and get ready for an adrenaline-filled heist!
LEXI is a rich girl who loves a good rush. Whether it’s motorcycle racing or BASE jumping off a building in downtown Los Angeles, the only times she feels alive are when she and her friends are executing one of their dares. After her father’s arrest, Lexi doesn’t think twice about going undercover at his bank to steal the evidence that might clear his name. She enlists her hacker brother and her daredevil friends to plan a clever heist.
CHRISTIAN is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The local gang has blackmailed him and his friends into robbing banks, and he is desperate for a way out. When the boss promises that one really big job will be the last he ever has to do, Christian jumps at the chance for freedom. In fact, he’s just met a girl at the bank who might even prove useful. . . .
Two heists. One score. The only thing standing in their way is each other.
Told in alternating points of view, this caper is full of romance and fast-paced fun. Hand to fans of Perfect Chemistry, The Conspiracy of Us, and Heist Society.
Smash and Grab is a heist story with so much potential. It is action-packed, but too predictable and unrealistic. I also didn’t enjoy the choices that one of the main characters made, which made me end up not liking the book as much.
I absolutely loved the concept of heists in Smash and Grab. I really enjoy action and crime novels and was very excited about the characters attempting to rob a bank. Of course, the characters have to have a plan before entering the bank, so one of them poses as an intern to gain insider secrets. Their plan has covered everything from uniforms to conceal their faces and the ideal exits. There are so many amazing layers to this story that make it an interesting heist book.
Though the concept of Smash and Grab really intrigued me, I found a lot of the story to be way too unrealistic. There are a lot of parts where the situation is ideal for the characters and things tend to turn out so perfectly that it ends up being pretty unbelievable. I also found the book to be pretty predictable, which was disappointing. I prefer surprise endings and plot twists, especially in an action novel.
I didn’t really like Christian’s character in Smash and Grab. He is a member of this Mexican gang sort of thing that he can’t easily quit because they can kill his family. He also receives a full scholarship to a university and is invited to join the summer program. Christian is told that he can’t go to the school as it will interfere with the bank robbery, so he essentially prioritizes a gang over his future. I understand the difficult situation, but I just didn’t agree with many of the choices he made.
Smash and Grab is a unique story about heists, but ended up being too predictable and cheesy for me. One of the main characters made some really poor choices, which lowered my overall enjoyment. However, I would still recommend this to fans of books like Heist Society by Ally Carter, as both books have a theme of heists.