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Coin Heist

Coin Heist

4.0 4
by Elisa Ludwig

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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 nerd, the slacker,


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 nerd, the slacker, the athlete, and the perfect student - band together to attempt the impossible: rob the U.S. Mint. This 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 will change all of their lives - if they can pull it off.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A group of teens hatch a plan to save their financially distressed school by robbing the Philadelphia Mint in this fast-paced adventure from Ludwig (Pretty Crooked). Haverford Friends is set to close after it's discovered that the headmaster embezzled its funds. But, during a class trip, the math and tech-minded Alice discovers a flaw in the Mint's security, presenting an opportunity, however farfetched, to break into the system and coin the money needed for the school. She's joined by headmaster's son Jason, who is mortified over his father's predicament; Benny, an athlete who doesn't know where he belongs; and Dakota, who feels pressured to keep up a façade of perfection. Each has a reason for wanting to save the school, but personality clashes, logistical issues, and second thoughts may sabotage their plan. Told in rotating viewpoints from the four protagonists, this is a caper in the same spirit as Ally Carter's Heist Society series. Though characters' voices occasionally blend into one another, and the ending borders on deus ex machina, Ludwig's exciting storytelling and some romantic subplots maintain intrigue throughout. Ages 14–18. (June)
From the Publisher
"The voices of the characters are distinctive... diverse representing a realistic group of teens. Coin Heist plays with some recognizable conventions of heist novels but adds in a few twists of its own. A fast paced, fun summer read not to be missed." -- Hypable
VOYA, August 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 3) - Kate Conklin
Alice is a math genius, happy to be herself and not follow the crowd—most of the time. Jason is the slacker son of the headmaster who cares a lot more than he wants people to believe. Dakota is exactly what her parents want her to be: perfect. Benny, the scholarship athlete, just wants to make it through high school to get to the rest of his life. These four incredibly unlikely friends manage to save their sinking school and learn a lot about who they are in the process. Somehow, hacking into the Federal Mint and creating several million dollars worth of coins is the only thing that could bring them together. Their four distinct voices tell the frantic story of their rush to pull off the perfect crime. The characters that Ludwig presents are familiar, but the perspectives are fresh. Even the over-achiever is given a more in-depth development than in so many typical contemporary fiction novels. The four main characters are authentic, and readers will not be able to help empathizing with all of the struggles they are facing. This is a great choice for a wide range of teen readers, especially those who loved the action of Ally Carter books. Reviewer: Kate Conklin; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Four teens devise an audacious plot to rob the U.S. Mint. The aspiring thieves attend a prestigious private high school, but come from disparate social groups—a football scholarship student; a cool, popular prom organizer; a science nerd, and a rock band slacker. In this novel that is The Breakfast Club meets Ocean's Eleven, the characters are somewhat clichéd, as is their unlikely partnership. Chapters are narrated in the first person by each teen, revealing the protagonist's strengths and inner turmoil. These in-depth looks into each character's persona makes for a slow beginning, as well as the explanation of the mint's inner workings. Once the plan to rob the location evolves, the plot picks up and moves along at a faster pace. Despite the fairly stock characters, the planned heist is original, and the ending quite unpredictable. The teens' voices are authentic, using a lot of American slang, and inject some sexual innuendos. Readers will increasingly sympathize with the protagonists as their backstories are developed more. This title will find a place in most collections, especially where Kiersten White's "Kiki Strike" series (Bloomsbury) and Ally Carter's books are popular.—Michelle Anderson, Tauranga City Libraries, New Zealand
Kirkus Reviews
After an embezzlement fiasco sends their school into bankruptcy, four teens with little in common unite to pull off a massive heist in order to save it.This first offering from a publisher that repurposes abandoned intellectual property (apparently mostly movies ideas) brings together a slacker, a nerd, an athlete and a teacher’s pet. Given this origin story, readers should probably not be surprised to find that Ludwighas crafted a Breakfast Club for millennials—but not without some bumps. The heist elements are perfectly serviceable, but the strength of this novel version is in the character-work. This band of rogues is infinitely more interesting than the con they’re trying to pull off, with revolving point-of-view chapters further fleshing them out as the novel carries on. The heist is certainly imaginative, but when the novel pulls away from Dakota’s perfection complex or Jason’s inferiority issues to look at security measures and hacker nonsense, it’s hard to avoid feeling let down. The two components—character and plot—can’t work together when one so clearly outshines the other, and the result is an uneven read. Underlining this issue is the finale, which feels rushed and cut short, as if the author doesn’t know what to do with these people once the titular event has taken place.Frustratingly erratic. (Thriller. 12-16)

Product Details

Adaptive Studios
Publication date:
Edition description:
Movie Tie-in
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years


Meet the Author

Elisa Ludwig is the author of Pretty Sly and Pretty Crooked (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins). She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and son, and though she cased the Mint while researching this book, she's never tried to rob it.

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Coin Heist 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Books4Tomorrow More than 1 year ago
One of the reasons I added Coin Heist to my wishlist of books I’d like to read in 2014, is because I imagined it to be a YA version of something action-packed like the movies, Ocean’s Eleven or The Italian Job. Reading the book summary after finishing the book, I have to admit I feel a little cheated. Where’s the “suspense”, the “fun”, and the “compelling” the summary has promised?! Every time I put the book down, I had to motivate myself to pick it back up and continue reading; that’s why it took me so long to finish it, because I kept reading other books in between. I can’t even say which one of the four main characters was my favorite, because they were all relatively the same; each void of a unique voice, just with different problems and reasons why they need the money, and all of them from different social standings. This probably explains why I didn’t find it to be a “compelling” read. The missing “fun” and “suspenseful” elements are easy to explain because there aren’t any. What’s so “fun” about reading chapters and chapters of four people complaining about their lives? There wasn’t even any humor to be found anywhere in this story. Warm and fuzzy feels? None. I’ll begrudgingly agree that there is a small amount of suspense in the last few chapters when the actual heist is going down, but I was disappointed that it was only about ten percent of the book. The other ninety percent is to explain every character’s motivation for wanting to rob the U.S. Mint, the little bit of romance that develops, and a little planning for the heist a.k.a., Operation EagleFly. However, this was not such a bad read. A bit on the bland and dramatic side, and missing a couple of promised elements, but not bad at all. The four different perspectives worked well, and the writing flowed easily from one scene to the next. It is clear that a good amount of research went into this book, and I found everything about how the minting process works fairly interesting. I had certain expectations of this book which weren’t met, but I do feel that there will be many who would enjoy Coin Heist thoroughly. I enjoyed it enough to want to read more books by this author. An eARC of this book was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
sportzmomof5 More than 1 year ago
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. What would you do if your father embezzled money from your school? Rob the Philly MInt? Well that is just what these 4 students did. I really enjoyed this book, kind of had an Ocean's Eleven vibe. The storyline was well-developed and pulled you in from the beginning until the end. The characters were relatable and likeable, pulling you in even more.
TaleofTwoDoxies More than 1 year ago
To begin I must confess: I love heist themes. Heist movies? Love them! Bring on the Ocean's, Italian Job, Inside Man type movies and keep 'em coming! Heist books? Love, love, love! (My absolute favorite being the YA Heist society series by Ally Carter). In my opinion, we need more YA/Teen Heist books because there are just not enough out there - so needless to say, I was a teeny-tiny bit excited for this and one I got the chance to read the E-Arc a happy dance may or may not have occurred!                So, as you can probably gather from the picture and blurb, Coin Heist is about an unlikely group of teens who join forces to plan a heist on the US Mint in order to save their school. To me it was really Heist Society (or for movie reference Ocean's) meets Breakfast Club.                So fans of awesome 80's films unlikely groups/teams working together - type stories, heist themes, and/or fun, adventure YA books - this book is probably looking for you! Highlights: * The heist! - I loved reading about the teens getting together, plotting, planning, strategizing and coordinating a heist. *The  Plot - Can't say much more for fear of spoilers but: it was fun, it was amusing, and it was engaging! *The characters - I really enjoyed getting to know each character, I liked learning about their personalities and motivations. I also liked that the book did this by changing POVs. This, of course, is always interesting for looking at and learning about other characters as well - I like getting an interpretation of the main characters not just from their own perspective but from others as well. Wishes: * Character POVs - Although I really did enjoy the fact that the story was told from multiple perspectives, one wish would have been for slightly more differentiation between the different character voices. At times I would lose track of who was narrating, although I could pick it up again easy enough as I went along and saw the conversations, etc. * The ending didn't complete do it for me - I was a bit let down by the ending, I wished it happened a bit differently. I guess it was a more realistic (in some ways) idea of how it all plays out but I was hoping for a different resolution. I don't want to spoil the book so I can't really be specific here, but suffice it to say that I was left wanting for a bit more closure. Overall, it was a fun, quick, and light read - perfect for what I'm generally looking for in my summer reads. I enjoyed the heist aspect and the overall idea of the story, I also found the characters to be interesting. Rating 3.5 out of 5 Doxies - Light, fun and definitely worth a read! Recommendations Heist Society by Ally Carter Also Known As by Robin Benway
PrettyInFiction More than 1 year ago
Coin Heist by Elisa Ludwig reminded me a lot of the movie The Perfect Score with Chris Evans. It's got a similar premise: group of high school students who would normally never speak to one another come together to pull off a heist. And even a similar cast of characters: the slacker/stoner looking for redemption, the smart girl who thinks it's fun, the popular girl looking to be bad, and the jock who needs the plan to work to get into college. And, after reading the book, I have to say, it was also just as fun as the movie was to watch. My favorite part of Coin Heist wasn't the heist itself, but the characters behind it. The book starts out with Alice, the petite tech head who often gets overlooked in favor of the taller, blonder, bustier girls at school, and her crush on Jason, the headmaster's pothead son. When Jason's dad gets arrested for embezzlement and the future of their prep school is in danger, Alice and Jason concoct a plan to rob the Philadelphia Mint, which eventually includes Dakota (tall, blonde and busty herself) and Benny (the scholarship kid from the wrong side of town). I loved how these kids had nothing in common except for the fact that they all had reasons to want to save their school. These four take turns narrating in alternate chapters throughout the book. I can't even say I had favorite because they all stole my heart. They each had their own reasons and problems that made the heist seem like a good idea. The heist itself, while enjoyable, was riddled with plot holes, but I had fun reading about it. There were times where I knew beyond a doubt that, in real life, this scenario just never would have worked, but it's a story and sometimes you just have to accept unrealistic things in a story. Like, for instance, four teenagers being able to steal coins right off of the presses at the Mint! Logically, it might not work, so if that's what you're looking for, this one is probably not for you, but if you're just looking to lose yourself in an adventure then you might just love Coin Heist. There is a bit of romance thread throughout Coin Heist. It's a sweet romance though. It's a "like" sort of romance, not a "love" sort. There are no over the top declarations of undying love. These kids really act like they're in high school, you know, except for the whole pulling off huge robberies thing. But there's also the feeling of friendship while reading. Alice, Jason, Dakota and Benny are not friends, but throw anyone into a high pressure theft and they're sure to bond. I especially enjoyed the end because you got to see that, even though they had their differences, they learned and grew because of each other. Coin Heist is a fast and fun read, that will have you flipping the pages to see what comes next. If you enjoy stories about teenage thieves this is definitely one you'll want to give a try!