Published by Random House Children's Books on July 19th 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, General, Law & Crime, Thrillers & Suspense
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Ocean’s Eleven meets the star-crossed lovers of West Side Story. Grab some popcorn and get ready for an adrenaline-filled heist! 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. Told in alternating points of view, this caper is full of romance and fast-paced fun. Hand to fans of Perfect Chemistry, The Conspiracy of Us, and Heist Society.
Smash & Grab is one of those books you’re either going to love or hate, depending on how “real” you like your fiction. Some will scoff at teens pulling off bank jobs, but I love it. There’s something so exciting, so thrilling, about reading about bank robberies and base-jumping and other adrenaline-filled pursuits. It just gets you so excited! I know, morally, that bank robbing isn’t right, duh, but they do it without harm! It’s all good! But if that’s not your jam, don’t read this book. It is so my jam, though, and I loved it.
What I liked most about Smash & Grab were the characters. In a book like this, you have to love the characters to really agree with what they’re doing, and Lexi and Christian are amazing MCs. They come from completely different sides of the tracks, but they’re sole goals are the same: to provide for their family. Although Christian’s threat comes as an actual, physical threat, so it’s not like either of them woke up one day, thinking they’d rob banks. There’s way, way more to the story than that, and that’s what makes this book so readable, so enjoyable, so hard to put down.
This is the kind of book you can pick up and lose yourself in when you don’t want to be part of the real world for a day or so. Is it perfect? Probably not, but I just read it for what it was – a fun, heist-y, bank caper and I didn’t think too hard about how hard (or easy, as the case may be) it is to rob a bank. Though I kind of feel like this book should come with a big warning, in neon writing that says “Do not try any of these things at home”, just for any budding robbers or base-jumpers, looking to get a thrill, reckon they can do it themselves. Don’t be silly.
I did for a long time wonder how Smash & Grab would end – because surely something so criminal cannot end happily? It cannot end with people walking into the sunset? Well you’ll have to read and see, but it did give me pause for thought, and I actually kind of liked the ending. I would also really like either a) a sequel or b) a companion novel featuring the other characters in the book. I would so get behind that. I’d be first in line to read any sequels/companion novels. I really, really enjoyed this. This was such a cute, fun read, perfect for fans of Ocean’s Eleven.