Thieving Weasels – Billy Taylor

Skip O’Rourke is dragged into one last con . . . but he doesn’t know the con’s on him in this funny, page-turning debut YA for fans of Winger and Ocean’s Eleven.

Cameron Smith attends an elite boarding school and has just been accepted to Princeton University alongside his beautiful girlfriend, Claire. Life for Cameron would be perfect, except that Cameron Smith is actually Skip O’Rourke, and Skip O’Rourke ran away from his grifter family four years ago…along with $100,000 of their “earnings” (because starting a new life is not cheap). But when his uncle Wonderful tracks him down, Skip’s given an ultimatum: come back to the family for one last con, or say good-bye to life as Cameron.

“One last con” is easier said than done when Skip’s family is just as merciless (and just as manipulative) as they’ve always been, and everyone around him is lying. Skip may have given up on crime, but there’s one lesson he hasn’t forgotten: always know your mark. And if you don’t know who your mark is . . . it’s probably you.

Witty and irresistibly readable, this standout debut will always keep you guessing.

My review
It will not be easy to classify this debut from Billy Taylor. Is Thieving Weasels a YA, Humor, Romance (you have got to admit: committing a crime to keep your girlfriend is pretty romantic, isn’t it?) or Crime Fiction? No matter the category, this book is funny and surprisingly easy to read. The characters are funny (especially Vinnie, he is just the prototype of a dumb wannabe mobster. Fortunately the whole family agrees), the story is fast paced and the plot keeps unfolding. I can see the slapstick musical coming from this story. The whole story is about the family O’Rourke, who take pleasure in deceiving and conning their way through life. They scam insurances, neighbours and easy targets. Skip O’Rourke managed to escape his family and start a new life as Cameron Smith. He has a perfect life, a pretty girlfriend and a bright future. That is, until uncle Wonderful drags him back into the ‘family business’ for one last con. But since everybody is lying to everybody, the actual job and the implications just keep getting fuzzier and fuzzier. In all a fun read, with lots of chuckles along the way. Four stars for this debut. And keep an eye out for the film.

Publisher: Dial Books

Published: August 2016

ISBN: 9780525429241

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