I have a very small addiction to books (and movies) about con artists and thieves and spies. Don’t panic! I’m not on the wide road to a life of espionage. I never even get library fines, okay?!* Lately Deborah and I have been fangirling over crimey capers and she suggested I post about it. It fit in well with these week’s recommendation prompt. I couldn’t resist!
Although I am cheating on this list. (Do I ever follow the rules? I mean…really? Do I?) and I’m adding in a few movies because I haven’t read enough heist books. I NEED TO READ MORE.
* Although I do own Loki shoes, so that says something about my devious nature.
This Week’s Prompt: Ten Books For Readers Who Like [insert topic here]
\\ Click on the covers to go to Goodreads //
1. CURSE WORKER TRILOGY by Holly Black
The Curse Workers is one of my top favourite trilogies ever. OKAY! I know I say that a lot, but this is different! It’s hilarious and supernatural and and stuffed with compulsive liars. Everyone is a villain (and they’re all mildly forgivable and adorable). Trust NO ONE. Plus the protagonist, Cassel Sharpe, is part Indian (well, it’s hypothesised, he doesn’t know his exact heritage) so yay for epic adventures with cultural diversity!
2. HOW TO LEAD A LIFE OF CRIME by Kirsten Miller
Despite sounding like a how-to book for dummies, this is AMAZING. It’s not just about cons and stealing, it’s about the psychology of evil. Seriously if you have not read this yet, YOU ARE NOT LIVING PROPERLY.
3. HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter
I loved this book! Was it original? Well…no. If you’ve seen any con movie, then you’ve covered the basic plot of this book. But it is about 15-year-olds being insanely and disgustingly talented and smart. It’s awesome to read books about characters who ooze smartness and make us feel like a bumbling failure, right? Right. GO READ IT. (I haven’t finished the trilogy, but I will. One day.) Also: it’s highly quotable and hilarious..
I’m really incredibly excited because book 2 arrived in the mail today and YAY I GET TO FIND OUT WAHT HAPPENS NEXT! But, I digress.
This one isn’t by the point of view of a con artists: it’s a money heist. It’s still incredible though and features an unwilling detective and a subtle dose of fairy tale retellings (you can figure out which) and occasionally people get murdered, which is all fantastic. Gotta love books.
5. Ocean’s 11, 12 and 13 // movie trilogy
I’m pretty sure this is what started my love of con artist plot lines. Genius plots? Incredible twists? Hilarious lines? WATCH THESE MOVIES. They largely deal with casino cons, but they blow stuff up (always a bonus). In Ocean’s 12 (movie #2) heads off to Amsterdam so they can steal stuff. It also has a moment where Julia Roberts plays Tess Oceans who plays Julia Roberts. Yup.
6. LEVERAGE // TV series – 5 seasons
I ADMIT IT: this was my latest fangirling obsession! I love this show an astronomical amount. Give it all the stars! All the flailing! It covers hundreds of cons, that range to hyperventilation-worthy to downright funny.
It’s has a Robin Hood vibe where this team steals from rich and cruel companies and gives back to the people they’ve basically “robbed”. They’ve got a mastermind, a grifter, a hitter, a thief, and a hacker. They’re all geniuses and act like a big dysfunctional family.
This is set in the 1960s where Leonardo Di Caprio plays a con artist who poses as a pilot and runs around the world being a million people at once and spending a lot of money he doesn’t own. HE’S ONLY 16 WHEN HE STARTS CONS! He’s also rather a genius because one con needs him to pose as a lawyer and, without studying, he passes the exam with top marks. It’s good, peoples, trust me.
8. THE ITALIAN JOB // movie
I haven’t seen the original (do not glare at me, it isn’t nice) but this is fantastic. It takes off after a con goes wrong and the team have to get revenge on the member who betrayed them. They steal a lot of gold. They speed around in minis. They hatch crazily brilliant plans. Sometimes they punch people and everyone is rather sassy.
9. NOW You SEE ME // movie
This is an incredible movie (although the ending is bizarre and not…in a good way). It stars the Incredible Hulk…um, SORRY. I mean Mark Ruffalo and a team of very narcissistic magicians/con artists.
It’s perfection with cons disguised as magic until, um, the end where it goes bizzare and unrealistic. But pfft, who needs a solid ending if the beginning is awesome? (Don’t answer that.)
Interesting Fun Fact: One of the main actors for this movie, Jessie Eisenberg actually reads the Curse Worker audio books! Awesome, right?!
10. INCEPTION // movie
Stealing art is too mainstream, so this gang steals DREAMS. They extract secrets from your subconscious and it really is a mind twisty movie. Again, it stars Leonardo Di Caprio, so I think the guy really really wants to steal something, but has to live vicariously instead.
Also the soundtrack is gorgeous. If you write books then this is definitely inspiring background music. (It’s by Hans Zimmer who is incredible.)
Obviously I’m always on the look out for more awesome YA heist and con artist books. Look at my pathetic list! I have not read nearly enough.
YA Con/Heist books I need to steal…erm, READ:
now i know i cheated on this prompt rather ginormously…so HELP ME! recommend me some awesome con/crime/heist/thieving YA books! go wild in the comments my thieflings. also have you read/watched any of these? thoughts? link me up to your TTT post too, if you like!
Cait @ Paper Fury
…is currently so proud of herself for being on top of her TBR! She has only 13 books that need reading! What is this?! She’s reading up big in preparation for abandoning all and writing a new book. Just must finish those darn edits first…She’s only got 10K to go. It’s TORTURE. Currently she’s reading The Sin Eater’s Daughter and is mildly disappointed.