Pretty Sly by Elisa Ludwig
Grades 7-10 (cover photo courtesy of Goodreads.)
Willa Fox has a slight problem; she likes to steal things. She just got out of juve for stealing items from the rich, mean girls at Valley Prep High School, where she got the nickname Sly Fox. This story is told in the novel’s prequel Pretty Crooked, and the first of this story refers back to it enough to catch the reader up. Willa and her mom have moved numerous times in her young life so her artist mom can find new “inspirations” for her artwork. Paradise Valley was their latest stop but being here caused her mom to act strangely, and then all the notoriety surrounding Willa’s “Robin Hood” style heists has made things worse. And as this story opens, instead of getting ready for her first day back at school, she is standing in the middle of her ransacked house looking for some trace of her mom. A cryptic email and a stash of cash is all Willa has to get her started. Along with her hunky friend Aidan, who has his own shady past, Tre, who is trying very hard to walk the straight and narrow, and Cherise, who has become her ex-best friend, Willa sets out to find out what’s happened to her mother. She tries to follow her mom’s trail, but along the way, loses all her cash, fights with Aidan and runs in to the seriously bad guys who are chasing her mom. Corbin, an FBI agent following the case, offers helps several times and when Willa finally accepts his help, she learns her family has deeper secrets than she ever imagined. Willa is a spunky girl, more than willing to jump into the middle of the action before she actually thinks things through. The story moves quickly, with barely a break for Willa or readers to catch their breath. Fans of the Heist Society series will enjoy this one as well, but be prepared to purchase the final one in the trilogy as well.