Undercover Thief by H.T. King
Fourteen-year-old Pamela Torres is an exceptional girl. After her parents abandoned her at the tender age of nine, she had to be to stay alive. But Pam has come a long way from stealing food from the supermarket and huddling beneath shop windows for shelter. Now, Pam and the band of fellow misfit kids who took her in, are some of the most notorious thieves in Underground London. She has a home, a family, and a killer wardrobe, to boot. Life is pretty good.
But when her parents suddenly return to Pam’s childhood home after years of zero communication, Pam’s world is turned upside down. They steal her away from her home and chosen family to enroll her into the Victoria Institute: an American boarding school for spies.
Desperate to get back to the world she knows and loves, and wholly unfamiliar with the concept of homework, Pam does not take the strict, disciplinary vibe of the Victoria Institute – or to her parents, government spies themselves and teachers at the school, who seem to have developed a newfound sense of responsibility for Pam’s wellbeing and education. But what would they do if they knew her true, unlawful identity? What’s more is that something seems off about one of Pam’s classmates… something that could threaten not only the school, but also international government relations and the lives of millions…
Full of humor, heart, and a healthy dose of sass, UNDERCOVER THIEF is a story of adventure, family, and redemption – a must-have for any teen’s book collection.
This is a fun, fast paced book.
Pam was left with her grandmother because her parents worked away from home. A lot. One day, they didn’t come back. Her grandma died shortly after and nine year old Pam was terrified and alone. After almost starving, she started stealing, just to survive. One day she met another kid that was a thief and he took her in. Jerry, Leah, and Micah became Pam’s family. They were just kids, but they were thieves. Not just the stealing food type of thieves. They broke into museums to steal. Leah was an expert at tech and Jerry and Pam did the rest. They were able to disable complex security systems and not get caught. The kids stole big things for a reason though. Micah needed special doctors that wouldn’t contact any social services program. Jerry, Leah, and Micah lived with their drunk father. Right before they left, their father hurt Micah and he lost his vision. They never used guns or hurt people. That was part of their code. While they were thieves, all of them were good kids deep down. This found family made me heart both happy and sad.
Pam’s parents show up after all these years and realize that Pam can handle a lot of things they didn’t expect. They worked together with some law enforcement officials (maybe retired or secret) to find and grab Pam. She was drugged, put on a plane, and brought to the US. She’s put into a school that is for spies. Only select kids are brought in and they take classes like manipulation, all kinds of foreign languages, law, and others. Pam’s mom was in the CIA along with the woman who runs the school, Miss Price.
Pam is stubborn and doesn’t follow rules well. She causes a lot of problems every day at school. All she wants is to go home. But she also gets close to the other kids, especially her roommate Ronnie (who is Miss Price’s daughter) and Gwen. Over time, Pam starts to trust these girls and they become family, too. She struggles with missing her other family and isn’t handling her parents departure and arrival years later well at all. There is one teacher that Pam gets close to, too. She excelled at manipulations and was really smart. It was trust and hurt that were her biggest downfall. That and how she acted out. Pam turns 15 early in the book. At times, she feels extremely immature. Other times, she feels like an adult. I guess that’s because she was forced to be responsible, but still didn’t really understand what it’s like to be an adult. There were times she annoyed me, but she had such a caring heart. I loved how she stood up for her family and friends. I loved how she talked to people like humans, even if others didn’t seem to think they were. Her friendship with Ronnie and Gwen was perfect.
While at the school, Pam overhears a girl, Marley, speaking on a secret phone. It sounds like she was planning something dangerous at the school with someone unknown. Pam decides to keep an eye on Marley and prevent whatever bad thing might happen. She loved some of these kids and teachers and her basic instincts seemed to be to protect. While Pam tries to protect her heart and her secrets, she eventually hits a point where she breaks and people find out who and what she really is.
I don’t want to get too deep into the story. The book was fast paced with a lot of action, but also a focus on the characters. I enjoyed this and gave it 4 stars.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy for review.
Have you read Undercover Thief?