“These moments are the only times I ever feel truly alive.”
Title: Smash & Grab
Author: Amy Christine Parker
Publication: July 19th 2016 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Heists. Heists everywhere.
Not that it is a bad thing, of course. Smash & Grab is a fun, exciting, and entertaining fiasco of bank robberies and boy meets girl. While it is hilarious and action packed, it also suffers from a disappointing amount of unrealistic adventures. Not being able to believe in the characters and what they were doing made it very difficult to get in to, despite how much I enjoyed it.
Smash & Grab is a lot of fun. Really, really fun. I loved watching the various plots all weave together and then go out with a big bang at the end. The characters were wonderful, albeit a bit cookie-cutter rich girl and boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The robberies are hilarious, easy – but hilarious. Smash & Grab is a peculiar kind of book that entertains you even though you find all the little (and not so little) flaws along the way.
My biggest issue with the book was, surprisingly, the execution of the robberies. It is not that easy. Robbing a bank, especially a high-end bank, is not as easy as One-Two-Three, tie up a guard here and there, flash some metal, and then roll around in the money. I wouldn’t have had a problem with the ease of their subterfuge, if not for the fact that they were first timers who had never robbed anything before and then literally had their money handed to them on a silver platter (not literally, but you get my meaning). To compare, I’m bringing in (unfairly) a favorite of mine. Six of Crows. The power of Six of Crows is that even though the heists are completely ridiculous, there is such meticulous planning and an awful lot of hard work that goes into each and every step that it makes it impossible not to believe. That is not the case here. Don’t get me wrong, folks, I still loved the book – but if you’re a stickler for being realistic, you might have an issue here, too.
The characters are amazing. They could probably do with more development throughout the novel considering it is a standalone – but they weren’t bad. Lexi drove me bonkers. Spoiled brat who is cold to the bone and takes no prisoners in a way that is probably meant to be endearing but failed on epic proportions? Check. While she is/was/possibly could be considered as the protagonist, she was a very difficult protagonist to get behind. They both were, Lexi and Christian. Christian wasn’t as bad, but he was just as unbelievable. I guess you’re probably wondering why I called them amazing, huh? Lexi and Christian are amazing because, despite their obvious flaws both in character and then in execution of the book itself, they do sort of pull you in against your will and make you feel things. You might not be rooting for them, but you’ll end up caring in some way, shape, or form about the outcome of their tale. It’ll take you by surprise, trust me.
Smash & Grab was an entertaining debacle. Filled with heists, a plethora of side characters, and cute criminals that deserve their own song, Smash & Grab was an adventure of a read perfect for fans of Ocean’s Eleven or anything else heist related.
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