By: Larissa | May 31, 2014 | (14) Comments

Review: Coin Heist by Elisa LudwigCoin Heist by Elisa Ludwig
Publisher: Adaptive
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Genres: Action, Contemporary, YA
Pages: 255
Source: Received in exchange for review
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The last place you’d expect to find a team of criminals is at a prestigious Philadelphia prep school. But on a class trip to the U.S. Mint – which prints a million new coins every 30 minutes – an overlooked security flaw becomes far too tempting for a small group of students to ignore.

United by dire circumstances, these unlikely allies – the slacker, the nerd, the athlete, and the "perfect" student – band together to attempt the impossible: rob the U.S. Mint. The diverse crew is forced to confront their true beliefs about each other and themselves as they do the wrong thing for the right reasons.

Elisa Ludwig's Coin Heist is a fun, suspenseful, and compelling thriller, told from the revolving perspectives of four teens, each with their own motive for committing a crime that could change all of their lives for the better—if they can pull it off.

I’ve read two other books by Elisa Ludwig, both part of the Pretty Crooked  series. They were enjoyable enough reads, perfect for a light summer read. I’ve read them quite a long time ago though. Still, it’s because of them that I requested  Coin Heist, excepting something similar. However, I found myself to be quite disappointed by  Coin Heist. My expectations were quickly dashed and I even found myself questioning my love for the Ludwig’s other books due to the time that has passed since I read them. The summary did leave me feeling a little wary. It describes four characters that will narrate the story, meaning multiple POVs. I’m pretty picky with my multiple POVs and I did find the transitions between the characters to be quite abrupt and awkward. Something of great importance would happen to one character and then BOOM. You’d be back to another character when things were somewhat (well as much as possible in this read) getting interesting. I really would have preferred one singular POV.

This would have allowed me to better connect to that one character and for their story line to develop well. Each character did have their predictable issues. However none of these issues were resolved in the slightest way, which made the fact Ludwig brought them up pointless and seemingly devoid of any reason. There was one issue that particularly annoyed me. “The perfect” character had a eating disorder. Except no, it wasn’t even called that in the book. It was mentioned only once or twice, but not with seriousness it deserved. It wasn’t resolved in the least either. It was like it was just forgotten, and there’s honestly no way that  something like a eating disorder can just dissipate into nothingness. It’s something that’s a really big issue and should be dealt like such. By not even going into the issue other then a surface level description, it’s really just tossing the issue around like it’s worth nothing. Which is completely wrong and untrue in my view.

The characters themselves highly annoyed me too. I knew there was a risk of the characters being stereotypical judging from the summary. Still,  I hoped that Ludwig would managed to spin these characters into something more. Instead I just ended up more disappointed. These characters really are the epitome of their stereotypes, especially in the negative ways it seems. It made the characters almost appear juvenile since they stuck to these cliche and contrived traits so much.   It gave the characters no depth whatsoever and led to predictable scenarios that somebody who hadn’t even looked at the book could figure out. It was truly unrealistic that the characters would model these stereotypes to such a close degree. Really, the only thing the author did to break the stereotypes was allowing them to hang out together to plan the  robbery Mint. Like wow, you’re really breaking walls  and stereotypes here! A slacker, athlete, perfectionist and nerd nerd planning to commit a felony.

Really breaking away from those stereotypes by continuing to enforce them but also allowing these people to hang out . Which would obviously never happen in real life, right????

The reason these walking and talking stereotypes are hanging out is because THEY’RE GOING TO ROB THE US MINT. In case you missed that little thing. But, don’t worry! Everything is all good. Obviously they’re robbing it for a very good cause, to not lose a scholarship, to make up for his own dad’s stealing mistake by doing more stealing (what is this logic???), to not be perfect,  to get with some guy,   sorry I mean  to give back to the school they all attend which is going through some funding issues.  Obviously. No ulterior motives with these inspirational students. Okay, enough sarcasm. The truth is that the plot is so freaking impossible and honestly hard to take seriously. I know that books are meant to be fiction, they’re not supposed to model real life situations perfectly.  I just couldn’t suspend my belief to this crazy level. However, if you except me to believe that these flat characters (who are fairly unremarkable, minus ‘the nerd’ of course) are going to rob this Mint, which is a tightly protected building, then you got another thing coming. Even talking about this idea seems ludicrous.

Which is exactly what 75 percent of the book is, planning. THERE WAS NO PLOT DEVELOPMENT FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE BOOK. This enraged me. It made everything super slow and made me feel like I was reading a bunch of nothing. That’s because I was. I was just reading about insipid walking and talking stereotypes talking about impossible things. The ending of the book was even more improbable. Everything went to their ridiculous plan at first. Then there were snags! Yay, maybe this book would actually minimally enter the realm of possibility. My hopes were quickly dashed when somebody who was in an authoritative position and knew all of these children was easily manipulated into helping escape with the money from the Mint building. By the very end of the book these criminals get no repercussions from their crime. I believe this is a standalone also which basically means these teenagers managed to infiltrate the US mint no problem. It takes unbelievable to a whole new degree After robbing a super well guarded building these teenagers return to prom like nothing is wrong. You see the relationship between the slacker and the nerd develop. How shocking. This romance, alike the characters, felt super stereotypical and contrived. There wasn’t much development towards it, the relationship really did develop from thin air.

Overall this book really fell flat for me. I honestly wouldn’t recommend it if you’re like me and dislike stereotypes, unresolved plotlines, complete and utter impossibility and annoying multiple POVs.

~Thank you Adaptive for sending me this copy!~

1 Stars
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Larissa was born and still is living in the land of ice, snow and maple syrup. She's 18 years old and really has no idea what to do with her life lately. Larissa's plans are constantly changing--though there’s one thing has remained constant throughout her seventeen years, and that’s reading. It takes her to another world and puts her into impossible situations and that’s why she loves it so much.

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14 Responses to Review: Coin Heist by Elisa Ludwig

  1. Nara says:

    Ugh this sounds terrible! So first, there’s no reasonable explanation for why they’re robbing the Mint (well, I guess there sort of is, but they’re stupid reasons, so I call bs lol), and then there’s no actual action. I really dislike stereotypical characters, too.
    Well, screw that, I’m definitely not going to read this thing…
    Nara recently posted…Review: Sekret by Lindsay SmithMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah it wasn’t my favorite read by a long shot 😛 Lol their explanations for robbing the Mint were so insipid. Like I’m sure there’s another way to get some money other then robbing the Mint. Perhaps, a job??? Novel concept, I know. Lol judging from your dislikes I wouldn’t recommend this one for you.

  2. Melanie says:

    Oh god this book sounds absolutely dreadfully boring! I think I saw this one on Netgalley a while ago and thought it looked really promising. Looks like that’s not the case, yeeks. LOVE the last gif you had there.

    Fantastic review, girly! <33

  3. Hahaha hilarious sarcastic review Larissa, it really does sound improbable that a bunch of stereotypical teenagers could rob the US mint doesn’t it? That’s actually quite hilarious, I really enjoyed your review. Don’t think I’ll be reading this one.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #31 – HEIR OF FIRE IS MINEMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Thank you Jeann c; I love being sarcastic hehe. It really is impossible! Like there’s no way I could do it lol. I think that’s a good choice, not reading this one lol

  4. I love different POV’s but like you the transition needs to be done correctly and allow me to connect. So sorry this disappointed you. It is harder when it is an author whose books you have previously enjoyed.
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  5. Zoe N. says:

    *sighs* Aww…I’m sorry this one didn’t work for you as much as you hoped it would Larissa! 🙁 I can definitely see where you’re coming from though…whenever there’s a dual narrative that isn’t done well, the characters usually become very lacking as a result, and it sounds that’s exactly what happened here.

    As for the characters being stereotyped? *frowns* That’s always a shame because characters are supposed to feel real and connectable, and that’s just not possible if they’re stereotyped to such an extent.

    Implausable and unsolved plotlines in one story? Oh god! That’s just horrible. 😐

    I think I’m going to give this one a miss as everything you’ve mentioned will probably bother me as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts though, even if this wasn’t your favorite read. BRILLIANT review Larissa! <3
    Zoe N. recently posted…After the EndMy Profile

  6. Larissa says:

    Yeah that really is what happened in this case /: I felt nothing for these characters, except annoyance. The stereotyping just made things worse. It just makes them seem like such a unrealistic caricature. Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend this one for you, if you’re bothered by the things you mentioned.

    Thank you Zoe <33

  7. Alise says:

    Bad POV changes and stereotypical characters? Blah. The POV thing gets me every single time in other books, it’s only done well like half the time. Plus it’s even worse if the transitions don’t work. I’ll be skipping this one. Great review, Larissa 🙂
    Alise recently posted…Review: Dreams of Gods & MonstersMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah I have quite the negative relationship with POVs, they’re done badly the majority of the time in my view. I think skipping this one is a good choice. Thank you Alise (:

  8. Aw, I’m sorry you were disappointed, Larissa! I liked the beginning of the first book in the series well enough, but I grew steadily more incredulous (and then annoyed) when I discovered she was just stealing CLOTHES. It was such a shallow thing, I couldn’t even believe middle grade readers would buy that idea. But I’d be interested in trying a future book by this author, outside of this series.
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