Julep Dupree’s a con artist and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average. But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head.
THE MAIN CHARACTER
Julep is a feisty and independent main character, who doesn’t like to rely on others – but sometimes, she just can’t help it. It’s this ‘criminal mastermind plus minions’ vibe that’s very Heist Society. My only criticism of Julep is that she could be too trusting at times.
“I’m a con artist. As much as I might wish I weren’t, I’m still all smoke and mirrors. You can love and illusion, but the illusion can’t love you back. Even if it wants to.” – p.265
The romance aspects were understated, but clearly there. Sam, Julep’s BFF, is clearly in love with her from page one – but being Julep, she’s oblivious. Then there’s Tyler Richland, her school’s resident heartthrob, who decides Julep’s worth his time when she doesn’t run screaming from the dead rat someone’s placed in her locker… I liked both boys, so I never really knew who I should be shipping!
“I lean against the wall, surveying the destruction in the kitchen. Something tells me whoever tossed the place did not find what he was looking for.” – p.12
I really liked the beginning of this one and the ending, but the middle seemed to lack focus, as Julep and the gang went from one loose end to another – following clues her father had left for her. The storyline picked up somewhat once the mob made it’s presence known.
“There are two things you need to know about the mob. The first is that mobsters hate con men…. The second thing to know about the mob is that they have a tendency to eliminate the competition in a rather permanent way.” p.67