Sting (Book #2)
"Never do a favor for a friend. So why is March McQuin dangling upside-down twenty feet above a stone floor in the middle of the night, instead of tucked in bed like a regular kid? Along with his twin sister, Jules, he's set on stealing a set of stunning diamonds. It should have been an easy job, in and out. Except another thief got there first. March and Jules are lucky to escape with their lives, and one measly stone. Now the botched heist has created a world of trouble. The stone they grabbed was the Morning Star, one of a trio of famous sapphires, and it's cursed. The theft puts the twins and their friends in the crosshairs of Interpol, the FBI, and a vicious adult gang of criminals. And worst of all, the only way to break the curse and set everything to rights is by pulling off two more impossible heists...and stealing the other two sapphires in the set. Break out the black gloves. Lay out the masks. There's a full moon coming, and jewel to steal..."
Well, the gang is back at it! So much for going straight... Once again, even though I don't want to cheer for kids as they commit crimes, I found myself hoping they would make it. Geez! "But they're just sweet kids," the little devil on my shoulder says. Then the angel on my other shoulder is screaming, "But they're breaking the law and stealing from rightful owners; they need to be caught and go to jail!" Yep, it's wrong, but the book is so well written that you just can't put it down, and you can't find it in you to root against them. This book gets a little more into the roll of each character, and there's more friction between the friends. I didn't love that aspect of it, but they definitely learned some valuable life lessons as a consequence. They learned that they have to stick together, they need to be able to forgive and forget, and they need to be able to trust each other. I did like learning more about each of the characters; you definitely see more of their flaws, but that isn't always a bad thing. There are more twists and turns in this book, and lots of surprises. A few new characters are introduced; some good and some not so good. Unfortunately, these kids are quite adept at their trade. (Hey Kids-don't try this at home!!) If you enjoyed the first book, you will for sure like this one! I worry about second books sometimes, but this one did not disappoint!
Rating: PG (There isn't any profanity or "intimacy." There is, however, some violence. There is fighting, police chases, car crashes, and of course the fact that these children are criminals.)
Recommendation: 4th grade and up (This is a great middle-grader and YA series!)