Loot by Jude Watson

There is a lot to like about this book.
I liked that it is fast paced. There is plenty of action and hairsbreadth escapes. It's got murder, betrayal, and suspense. I liked these characters and wanted them to be safe.

After March's father, a renowned jewel thief, falls to his death during a heist, March's life changes dramatically. He discovers he has a sister, Jules, for start. They end up in in a nasty group home where they connect with Izzy and Darius. The four teens escape and band together to become jewel thieves.

I suspect readers here at Dickens will love these kids and their adventures, but I have some reservations about this book. 

I'm always conscious that stories have power. Even when we know they are fiction, they niggle their way into our lives and mess around with how we interpret the world. Teens, and especially twelve year old kids, need strong trusting relationships with adults. I wish these characters had this kind of support. Most of the adults are portrayed as enemies, or at the very best, unreliable.

I have to admit that I'm generally irked by books where gangs and criminals are glorified, and in this case these kids become successful criminals. Seriously? 

I think I have a high tolerance for accepting unrealistic scenarios in fiction, but to be honest, this one stretched my credibility. I'm ok with the magical components. It's just that what these young teens accomplish, (March and Jules are not yet 13) didn't feel reasonable to me. Neither did the ending.

Ultimately this book was ok, but it wasn't one of those books I couldn't put down. I wanted to find out how it ended, but I'm sad to say that I wanted it to be over so I could go on to something else. That said, I suspect kids will love it for all the reasons I don't. 

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