My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Alan Gallauresi’s entertaining and brilliantly comic Young Adult crime novel stars Angelo – or Angel, as he prefers to be known – Bastillo and his two best friends, Drew Wales and Lionel “Porno Name” Tang (don’t ask!); together they are the Heist School Freshmen of the title. The story explores their attempts to navigate the political and emotional minefield that is freshman year at their American High School. However, not only does Angelo have to cope with the normal teen drama – the two local bullies, a newly-broken heart and getting his homework in on time – but, following a sniff of potentially unclaimed illicit proceeds, he also gets drawn into recruiting a group of High School oddballs to help him and his Freshmen pull off an audacious raid. But, will they get away with it?!
I loved reading Heist School Freshmen; it is a lot of fun, fast moving and well written. It starts with a bang, keeps up a steady pace and includes a good crop of laugh-out-loud moments and intriguing but hilarious characters. Alan Gallauresi has created a modern heist story, with up to the minute pop-culture references, that manages to encapsulate perfectly the ups and downs and agony and elation of everyone’s school days. I enjoyed the book, even as a 30-ahem-year-old woman, and I imagine it would strongly appeal to both sexes of most ages, particularly those depicted in the story. I could also see it making a convincing translation to the TV or movie screen. I understand Gallauresi is currently working on a sequel and I look forward to reading it! Reviewed by Julia for Readers’ Favorite.