A slick, twisty YA page-turner about the daughter of a con artist who is taken hostage in a bank heist.
Nora O’Malley’s been a lot of girls. As the daughter of a con-artist who targets criminal men, she grew up as her mother’s protégé. But when mom fell for the mark instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con: escape.
For five years Nora’s been playing at normal. But she needs to dust off the skills she ditched because she has three problems:
#1: Her ex walked in on her with her girlfriend. Even though they’re all friends, Wes didn’t know about her and Iris.
#2: The morning after Wes finds them kissing, they all have to meet to deposit the fundraiser money they raised at the bank. It’s a nightmare that goes from awkward to deadly, because:
#3: Right after they enter bank, two guys start robbing it.
The bank robbers may be trouble, but Nora’s something else entirely. They have no idea who they’re really holding hostage…
Scholastic Reading Counts
Gr 9 Up–Until she was 12 years old, Nora, who is white, had many names. Each came with a unique personality designed to help her mother complete the con she ran with the men she targeted. Beautiful and blonde, athletic with dark braids, and other appearances, each girl served a purpose to pull the most money out of the game. The last con ended when her mother fell in love with a man who knew the game far better than she, leading to a disastrous confrontation that sends him and Nora’s mother to prison. Rescued by her older sister, Lee, who escaped the same family dynamic, Nora is helped by therapy, her white best friend Wes, and her new love, freckled brunette Iris. Also children of abuse, they help her to regain a sense of who she really is. All of this is threatened, however, when one day they happen to be in a bank as a robbery unfolds. This action-packed story sizzles with suspense as Nora quickly grasps that this is a situation she not only understands, but all that she has learned until now can work in her favor. She is going to run a daring con to facilitate their escape. Told in alternating chapters as the bank con unfolds, readers meet each of the girls that Nora became, the results of their cons and how each shapes her, giving her the skills she uses now to escape. But Nora can’t do this alone. VERDICT In this thriller, characters prove that they can rely on their strength, friendship, and desire to be the confident and caring people they know themselves to be.–Connie Williams, Petaluma, CA