Author: Elisa Ludwig
Publication: June 10th 2014, Adaptive Studios
Format: e-ARC, 225 pages
Source: Netgalley (Thank you Adaptive Studios!)
Buy it on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo
The last place you’d expect to find a team of criminals is at a prestigious Philadelphia prep school. But on a class trip to the U.S. Mint – which prints a million new coins every 30 minutes – an overlooked security flaw becomes far too tempting for a small group of students to ignore.United by dire circumstances, these unlikely allies – the slacker, the nerd, the athlete, and the "perfect" student – band together to attempt the impossible: rob the U.S. Mint. The diverse crew is forced to confront their true beliefs about each other and themselves as they do the wrong thing for the right reasons.Elisa Ludwig's Coin Heist is a fun, suspenseful, and compelling thriller, told from the revolving perspectives of four teens, each with their own motive for committing a crime that could change all of their lives for the better—if they can pull it off.
*I was given an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Did you say heist? Well, it definitely caught my attention when I saw this up for request on Netgalley. Coin Heist is an enjoying read, with some set backs but just as fun as some of the books I've read.
There were reasons we all cared. That was obvious. I mean, we all wanted this. Otherwise, why had we wasted our time?
So it all starts with Jason Hodges as he attempts to rob The Mint after a tour the students of Haverford Prep had to go to. Jason's dad, who happens to be the ex-head of HF, was arrested for corruption; for stealing the school's money. This leaves Jason and his Mom to live a life far from what they were used to, so Jason decides that robbing The Mint is possible. He then asks the help of the resident nerd, Alice. In the process of figuring out how, they get Benny (the jock)'s attention as well as the VP of the student council, Dakota. Together, they plan on going through with the heist while also pursuing some of their interests in the process.
The characters are indeed diverse. They narrate the story through their own, little POV's. A lot of readers compare this to The Breakfast Club, which kind of is. They each have their own personalities and quirks but reading through their own thoughts, some of the characters are a little off.
Alice is a lovable character being the geek and all. She's adorable! I just hate the fact she's doing all this because of Jason. I kind of wished that Jason would've begged her, and she's like the chill, hard to insist kind of nerd. But no. She got distracted with Jason's charms. She shared some things about her family, especially her Dad but it didn't seem to develop much in the story.
He suddenly became sort of hot: shaggy brown hair soulful hazel eyes, a lanky frame with just enough muscle.
Jason was manipulative and self-centered. I didn't like the fact that he didn't seem to appreciate everyone's efforts much. Though he seemed nice in some parts, I just felt frustrated with him. He redeemed himself in the end, that's for sure. But still, not a fan of his character!
And the only girlfriend I had in my head: Jennifer Lawrence.
Benny, on the other hand, was my utmost favorite out of all the characters. He's quiet, observant, makes a lot of point and caring. He's easily flustered, but that makes him really cute! *cue twinkling eyes*. Of course he became part of the heist because he wants to save his education but ultimately, he's a really good guy. He's like the "actions speak louder than words" kinda guy. I love him for that.
Dakota was likable. She suffers from too much pressure from her esteemed parents who want nothing more but for her to succeed. They want to keep the family connection tight with her dating the senator's son, and also going to an Ivy League school once she graduates. Her character was kind of afloat for me. She can be here and there but you'd forget about her sometimes. She was helpful in situations though but she kind of seemed dense. I wouldn't mind if they stripped off her POV from the book. But I am a fan of the Benny x Dakota pairing.
Though quite lacking in individual characteristics back-up, when they do convene and work together, they become wonderful human beings who bring life to the story. It's like, everyone turns into shining heroes and I enjoyed every moment seeing them together or just working together.
Your time hasn't come yet, my mom always said. I was getting a little tired of waiting. But unless something seismic happened at HF, I might have to wait longer.
I loved how elaborate some of the operations are such as the hacking and how exactly you could get into The Mint. Every detail of the heist was well thought out. Maybe I should try some of those tactics, although I should probably have Alice's hacking skills. LOL!
The novel got so much better halfway to the end where they had the ACTUAL heist. My heart was pounding, I was worried it won't work out. It was written awesomely though the prom really just served as a breather for me since I was more worried with Alice and Benny making it alive! I think the heist was done with justice and I enjoyed the suspense it offered to its readers. I was glad that it was effective to me.
It was of course, a little dangerous----evidence of our crime. But it was more than that. It was a reminder of what we could do, and who we could be, given the chance.
The end was sly but also it left me hanging, though not really a cliffhanger. It felt as though it was an empty victory somehow. I wanted to know more. This may be the reason why I wasn't that invested to the characters as individuals because I won't really know more about them or what future lies for them at least.
Elisa Ludwig's attention to detail in terms of the heist was spot on. The planning and the actual thing worked well. How I wished I was fully invested on all the characters but I guess Benny could suffice my needs.
Coin Heist was not boring at all. In fact it's quite thrilling but it's not the type of book where you wish for something drastic to happen in the beginning. It's like peeling an onion to get to it's inner layer. Indeed there were shining moments and parts I did not care for. All in all, a likable read.
About The Author:
My debut young adult novel PRETTY CROOKED (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins) was released in March 2012, and the sequel, PRETTY SLY, is out in March 2014. COIN HEIST, a YA thriller, is out in June 2014 (Adaptive Studios). I live in Philadelphia with my husband and son.
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