Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor
*I received an ARC from Penguin First Reads, but this in no way affects my review.*
Synopsis: "Skip O’Rourke is dragged into one last con . . . but he doesn’t know the con’s on him in this funny, page-turning debut YA for fans of Winger and Ocean’s Eleven.
Cameron Smith attends an elite boarding school and has just been accepted to Princeton University alongside his beautiful girlfriend, Claire. Life for Cameron would be perfect, except that Cameron Smith is actually Skip O’Rourke, and Skip O’Rourke ran away from his grifter family four years ago…along with $100,000 of their “earnings” (because starting a new life is not cheap). But when his uncle Wonderful tracks him down, Skip’s given an ultimatum: come back to the family for one last con, or say good-bye to life as Cameron.
“One last con” is easier said than done when Skip’s family is just as merciless (and just as manipulative) as they’ve always been, and everyone around him is lying. Skip may have given up on crime, but there’s one lesson he hasn’t forgotten: always know your mark. And if you don’t know who your mark is . . . it’s probably you.
Witty and irresistibly readable, this standout debut will always keep you guessing."
Review: I am slightly sad that this book did not make it up to my full expectations. I had a good mix of mystery, action, and romance, but I couldn't find that spark while reading this book. Although this book was not particularly up my alley, I think that this could be a great read for someone really into mystery and action.
Thieving Weasels had a lot of potential and that is why I liked the core of the novel, but I think it could have been built upon more. There were many scenes I found that went on for too long and other scenes I wanted more of. The characters were all present and had interesting roles, but the confusion and constant conning left me a little lost on all the character development. I found myself very partial to keeping Skip happy (and alive), but I didn't seem to know anyone else well enough to really want to have them have their happily ever after.
The romance was a bit unrealistic for me. I found it practically impossible for them to resolve their issues with just a single conversation. However, I liked that there was romance included in the novel, because a lot of action or mystery novels seem a lot more focused on the mystery/action part. The relationship also helped Skip seem more realistic (even though the relationship didn't seem realistic if that makes sense?).
The plot line was really what kept me reading. I may not having liked some parts of this book, but the plot did have me questioning what the conclusion of this book would bring. There were also many surprises along the way. This book is not something I would usually pick up, but I'm glad I did because even though it didn't become my favorite book I think that this would be a great recommendation for those who love a good action filled young adult novel with hints of mystery!
Favorite Quote(s): "They're a pack of weasels. Who knows why they do what they do?"
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.