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The Con Code

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A teen forger and thief forms a criminal crew from her high school friends (and crush) to perform a series of heists leading to the location of her missing mother in this action-packed contemporary YA novel. By day, seventeen-year-old Fiona Spangler runs small cons for her ritzy prep-school classmates: getting them out of tests and forging fake hall passes. But by night, A teen forger and thief forms a criminal crew from her high school friends (and crush) to perform a series of heists leading to the location of her missing mother in this action-packed contemporary YA novel. By day, seventeen-year-old Fiona Spangler runs small cons for her ritzy prep-school classmates: getting them out of tests and forging fake hall passes. But by night, Fiona joins her dad on riskier heists: stealing back the clue-filled forgeries her mom scattered across the country before she disappeared. Fiona desperately hopes that her mother will be waiting at the end of the scavenger hunt she left behind. And they are SO close. Just three more heists remain, but then disaster strikes when Fiona’s dad is captured by the FBI. Desperate to finish the job and save what’s left of her family, Fiona assembles of crew of teen criminals: a master of disguise who can transform into anyone, a talented hacker who only communicates in glares, and a rival con artist with a vendetta against—and possible crush on—Fiona. All they have to do is perform three nearly impossible heists, solve her mother’s incredibly complex clues, and evade the FBI. Easy, right?


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A teen forger and thief forms a criminal crew from her high school friends (and crush) to perform a series of heists leading to the location of her missing mother in this action-packed contemporary YA novel. By day, seventeen-year-old Fiona Spangler runs small cons for her ritzy prep-school classmates: getting them out of tests and forging fake hall passes. But by night, A teen forger and thief forms a criminal crew from her high school friends (and crush) to perform a series of heists leading to the location of her missing mother in this action-packed contemporary YA novel. By day, seventeen-year-old Fiona Spangler runs small cons for her ritzy prep-school classmates: getting them out of tests and forging fake hall passes. But by night, Fiona joins her dad on riskier heists: stealing back the clue-filled forgeries her mom scattered across the country before she disappeared. Fiona desperately hopes that her mother will be waiting at the end of the scavenger hunt she left behind. And they are SO close. Just three more heists remain, but then disaster strikes when Fiona’s dad is captured by the FBI. Desperate to finish the job and save what’s left of her family, Fiona assembles of crew of teen criminals: a master of disguise who can transform into anyone, a talented hacker who only communicates in glares, and a rival con artist with a vendetta against—and possible crush on—Fiona. All they have to do is perform three nearly impossible heists, solve her mother’s incredibly complex clues, and evade the FBI. Easy, right?

30 review for The Con Code

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rameela (Star)

    I tried really hard but it’s a DNF for me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shana

    I hear this book is pretty good. 😉

  3. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Fiona has lived by the Con Code her entire life and continued to utilize it when making decisions. Then the unthinkable happened. With only three clues left to recover, her father is captured by the FBI. She isn't ready to give up on their search for her mother's clues, and therefore, assembles her own team of cons. But as she gets closer to the end of her quest, Fiona finds she may not have as much faith in the Con Code as she used to. I don't know about you, but all these months in lockdown ha Fiona has lived by the Con Code her entire life and continued to utilize it when making decisions. Then the unthinkable happened. With only three clues left to recover, her father is captured by the FBI. She isn't ready to give up on their search for her mother's clues, and therefore, assembles her own team of cons. But as she gets closer to the end of her quest, Fiona finds she may not have as much faith in the Con Code as she used to. I don't know about you, but all these months in lockdown have me actively seeking out stories with the sole function of escape, and The Con Code came through for me. This book gave me a break from reality, and I found myself fully immersed in this fun, fast-paced tale. THE CREW Fiona was definitely a star. I was immediately drawn to her and wowed by the way she wrapped her mind around things. Her life was anything but ordinary, and her "norm" was quite interesting to learn about. I loved the rest of her crew just as much. Her "master of disguise" bestie cracked me up, and Tig was quite an enigma, but heck, I grew to adore her too. Her tech prowess was incredible, and I liked her quirks. Then, there was Colin. Colin entered the scene as the new kid at school, and he quickly challenged Fiona as the go-to con guy. I enjoyed watching their little school-territory battles, but loved seeing them work together even more. THE HEISTS Is it just me, or do other people also enjoy all those little details that go into writing about heists? Each plan was fun and creative and very involved. Watching all the moving parts come together was extremely satisfying for me. Thefts, forgeries, disguises, hijacking security systems -- all these things had to be coordinated in order to ensure a clean getaway, and I was pretty fascinated watching it all unfold. THE STORY The heart of this story was Fiona trying to find her mother, who had fled several years earlier. She was stealing back her mother's forgeries to uncover clues that were left to assist her in the search. Seems straight forward, right? Wrong. As with all the best laid plans, the story took some interesting turns as Fiona set out to track her mom. There were several rather wonderful twists which I hadn't anticipated and it just augmented my enjoyment. It's always fun when a story can surprise me as well as make me laugh and keep me throughly entertained. Overall, I had a fantastic time tagging along on this road trip with Fiona and her crew. This was an action packed story, which also featured friendship, family, first love, and a fantastic ending. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  4. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Hastings

    A must read for fans of Ally Carter’s Heist Society! Fiona’s criminal mom has been on the run for years... she’s left behind clues for her daughter to follow in the fakes she’s switched for the real art pieces. Fiona teams up with her two friends and her high school nemesis/son of a FBI officer, Collin, to find her mom. But first, they have to steal everything her mom stole - again. The slow burn romance simmers and the side romance is sweet. And like any great heist, there’s plenty of surprises A must read for fans of Ally Carter’s Heist Society! Fiona’s criminal mom has been on the run for years... she’s left behind clues for her daughter to follow in the fakes she’s switched for the real art pieces. Fiona teams up with her two friends and her high school nemesis/son of a FBI officer, Collin, to find her mom. But first, they have to steal everything her mom stole - again. The slow burn romance simmers and the side romance is sweet. And like any great heist, there’s plenty of surprises, close calls, lies, and spies.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paula Phillips

    Before Fiona learned her ABC's and how to count and everything needed for school, she was being taught the art of heists and forgeries. She was, of course, her parent's daughter. Her parents were two of the biggest criminals. Her mother a mastermind at forgeries and stealing and her father - the charmer. That was until she was younger and her mother disappeared and it was just her and her Dad pulling the jobs and as Fiona got older, she soon learned that by retrieving her mother's forgeries - th Before Fiona learned her ABC's and how to count and everything needed for school, she was being taught the art of heists and forgeries. She was, of course, her parent's daughter. Her parents were two of the biggest criminals. Her mother a mastermind at forgeries and stealing and her father - the charmer. That was until she was younger and her mother disappeared and it was just her and her Dad pulling the jobs and as Fiona got older, she soon learned that by retrieving her mother's forgeries - they each contained a potential clue to tracking down her whereabouts. It is Fiona's last year at high school and now her Dad has been caught by the FBI and it's up to Fiona along with her best friends to track down the rest of her mother's forgeries and follow the clues to find her. However as the group goes on the run and tries to track down their mother, they will have to remain a few steps above the FBI as they are closing on them quickly. I have to admit when Fiona finally finds her mother, it was quite a sad reunion as her mother was selfish and quite narcissistic and showed she only cared about herself and no-one else which went against Fiona and her Dad's values. When faced with the choice of choosing to flee with her Mother or stay and protect her best friends/crew - what will Fiona choose? Find out in this fun YA spy/criminal heist book by Shana Silver. Fans of Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series will love The Con Code. This book is perfect for anyone who has ever dreamed of ever being a teen Spy/Criminal and I also loved near the end the talk of the Isabelle Stewart collection in Boston which is still one of the world's best-unsolved heists from the early 1990s.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    The Con Code brings together mystery and action in a fast-paced race to find and solve the clues while trying to outrun the FBI. How do you do that? Recruit your enemy of course. The Con Code will be great for YA mystery fans looking for a light read with lots of disguises, romance and heist hijinks. Fiona Spangler knows how to run a con. Her parents trained her well. Now she and her father are trying to track down and steal forgeries her mother left scattered around the country before her disap The Con Code brings together mystery and action in a fast-paced race to find and solve the clues while trying to outrun the FBI. How do you do that? Recruit your enemy of course. The Con Code will be great for YA mystery fans looking for a light read with lots of disguises, romance and heist hijinks. Fiona Spangler knows how to run a con. Her parents trained her well. Now she and her father are trying to track down and steal forgeries her mother left scattered around the country before her disappearance. If Fiona and her dad can piece together the clues, they have a chance to find her mother before the FBI. But when the FBI Director’s son joins Fiona’s high school and her father is arrested, Fiona has no choice but to finish the mission herself - recruiting both her friends and her number one enemy. Double crosses and betrayals join forces with ultimate disguises and a range of fun locations for the heists, including amusement parks. The are of course lots of twist and turns in this book, and the ending was a surprise. This has a juvenile tone that younger teens will enjoy, along with a summer romance road trip feel. The Con Code is a light, humorous read. Prepare yourself to suspend disbelief a little as you follow along with the characters. Romance (will they, won’t they, can they trust each other?) takes the focus of a lot of the book as the characters try to outwit the FBI. I don’t agree with the comparisons to Ally Carter’s Heist Society. While it does have a similar set up and uses the same array of heist tricks and action, The Con Code doesn’t quite meet the sophistication of Heist Society (but I’m a huge HS fan, so maybe I am biased). This is mainly because the characters seem a little over the top and stereotypical in their respective roles. The reader is also aware of the characters’ back-up plans so the way they outsmart the police isn’t a surprise, as it is in Heist Society and movies such as Ocean’s 11. Overall, a fun, quick read. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult / Thriller *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* Shana Silver's The Con Code is her sophomore follow-up to Mind Games. The Con Code is a cross between Ocean's 8, Heist Society and Gallagher Girls. 17-year old Fiona Spangler has been schooled in the many arts of forgery and theft. She can pick complicated locks, she can slip into any place without notice, she can create near perfect replica's of famous paintings, she even lives by rules she tries not to break. But, she can't *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult / Thriller *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* Shana Silver's The Con Code is her sophomore follow-up to Mind Games. The Con Code is a cross between Ocean's 8, Heist Society and Gallagher Girls. 17-year old Fiona Spangler has been schooled in the many arts of forgery and theft. She can pick complicated locks, she can slip into any place without notice, she can create near perfect replica's of famous paintings, she even lives by rules she tries not to break. But, she can't forgive her mother for leaving her behind 7 years ago with a list of clues that she, her father have been trying to solve for years. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  8. 4 out of 5

    RE Reader

    I'd give this 3.5 stars rounded down because it didn't work that well for me. What I especially enjoyed: ~ the premise -- I liked seeing how they planned their cons and pulled them off. ~ the characters -- although they had some aspects that pulled me out of the story here and there, overall I really enjoyed the 4 main YA characters. What wasn't as strong for me: ~ suspending my disbelief -- I just had a hard time finding any of this credible for a number of reasons. I think part of it was the skimm I'd give this 3.5 stars rounded down because it didn't work that well for me. What I especially enjoyed: ~ the premise -- I liked seeing how they planned their cons and pulled them off. ~ the characters -- although they had some aspects that pulled me out of the story here and there, overall I really enjoyed the 4 main YA characters. What wasn't as strong for me: ~ suspending my disbelief -- I just had a hard time finding any of this credible for a number of reasons. I think part of it was the skimming over details in one spot and going too deep in others -- it felt uneven to me, and made it seem like fiction (which, of course, it is). ~ the romance -- (view spoiler)[Fiona and Colin are cute together on the surface, but it was hard for me to see how she could ever trust him again after what he pulled. And honestly, why he trusted her was also a little sketchy ... it just seemed a little too cliche for my taste. (hide spoiler)] ~ Fiona's constant focus on her mom -- for me, her relationship with her dad wasn't focused on enough, and I didn't understand at all why she had this need to find her mom. The ending (view spoiler)[ with her mom and Fiona's 'light-bulb' moment was over the top and didn't work at all for me. I mostly felt like Fiona was kind of naive (which she could be), and it didn't endear her to me that she spent so much of her angst on her mom -- who left her -- rather than her dad -- who had been by her side through it all. (hide spoiler)] I ended up skimming a lot of this because so much of it felt predictable ((view spoiler)[ not to mention Lokshmi -- irritating character, and once her true identity was revealed, she changed immediately on the page -- drove me insane and made this seem even less realistic for me (hide spoiler)] ). Still, I think teens might find this pretty entertaining, and they *are* the target audience, after all. ;)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Honestly the book was kinda garbage (unrealistic characters, unjustified plot points, truly cringeworthy romance) but it was also kinda fun garbage that I legitimately enjoyed being irritated by because it felt incredibly NORMAL to be irritated by bad story decisions instead of bad public health decisions so I'll take it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Paschal

    **3.5 Stars** I loved the plot and the fast pacing of the writing where there was never a dull moment. The gang got into all kinds of dilemmas, went through every con I could have imagined (and a ton I couldn't have imagined) and escaped some very difficult situations. I also really like how this is a standalone story that completely wrapped up everything, leaving no loose ends (even while I found the end to be bittersweet and a touch heartbreaking). The Con Code was a book about friendship, fami **3.5 Stars** I loved the plot and the fast pacing of the writing where there was never a dull moment. The gang got into all kinds of dilemmas, went through every con I could have imagined (and a ton I couldn't have imagined) and escaped some very difficult situations. I also really like how this is a standalone story that completely wrapped up everything, leaving no loose ends (even while I found the end to be bittersweet and a touch heartbreaking). The Con Code was a book about friendship, family and romance, all in a high stakes action packed setting. I will say that I struggled a little with how easy the main character, a girl who has been taught her whole life about cons and how to evade capture from authorities, fell for cons/tricks from a boy with no training, just his natural charisma, multiple times. I wanted to facepalm at how easy she was to manipulate, it seemed out of character to who I thought she was. Also, sometimes things in their master plan were just a little too easy- like a magical school educational trip that just happened to go to the three spots they needed and was leaving the next day. If you can suspend belief and just get lost in the action and capers, this is a great read (I just sometimes analyze too much for my own well being) This is 100% a fun, fast paced read to escape into. The Con Code is a perfect choice for anyone who likes suspense and mischief, for fans of Ocean's Eleven movie series but in a YA form, and found families.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Erin (erinevelynreads)

    The Con Code follows teenage con artist Fiona Spangler and her quest to find her mother by cracking the codes she left behind on forgeries all over the United States. By day, she’s a student at an elite prep school in San Francisco where she pulls off small cons for her classmates. When Colin O’Keafe, the son of a prominent FBI agent starts attending school with Fiona, the two quickly clash. As it turns out Colin is somewhat of a con artist of his own, and neither of them are looking for competi The Con Code follows teenage con artist Fiona Spangler and her quest to find her mother by cracking the codes she left behind on forgeries all over the United States. By day, she’s a student at an elite prep school in San Francisco where she pulls off small cons for her classmates. When Colin O’Keafe, the son of a prominent FBI agent starts attending school with Fiona, the two quickly clash. As it turns out Colin is somewhat of a con artist of his own, and neither of them are looking for competition. But when Fiona’s father is captured by the FBI, the two put aside their differences to track down the remaining forgeries, and hopefully find Fiona’s mother once and for all. This was the second book I read from author Shana Silver, and I think I liked it even more than her first book, Mind Games. It reminds me a lot of the Gallagher Girls series crossed with Ocean’s 8. It was such a fun story! The story is told entirely in the first person from Fiona’s perspective. I liked Fiona but she definitely had an interesting moral compass. As the story went on, I liked her more and more. Thank you to XPresso Book Tours, Swoon Reads, and Netgalley for the review copy! All opinions are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Isabelle | Nine Tale Vixen

    DNF @ 43% I really liked Silver's Mind Games and I love heist/spy/con stories so I was excited to give this one a try, but I'm finding it underwhelming and tropey. The rivalry/enmity between the main pairing borders on contrived (especially when she has to keep pausing to notice how hot and/or charming he is); she has mommy issues and he has daddy issues; the best friend's B-romance isn't particularly compelling or interesting beyond being F/F; the plot is incredibly predictable; the con code rul DNF @ 43% I really liked Silver's Mind Games and I love heist/spy/con stories so I was excited to give this one a try, but I'm finding it underwhelming and tropey. The rivalry/enmity between the main pairing borders on contrived (especially when she has to keep pausing to notice how hot and/or charming he is); she has mommy issues and he has daddy issues; the best friend's B-romance isn't particularly compelling or interesting beyond being F/F; the plot is incredibly predictable; the con code rules lack impact or humor. That is to say, this isn't a terrible book and I can see lots of people enjoying it. But I grew up reading Ally Carter; by comparison, The Con Code just isn't working for me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hope Hunter

    Fiona is a high school con artist. High-schooler by day, she "helps" her fellow students by working cons to keep them out of trouble or to hoodwink their parents. By night, she works with her dad (lawyer by day, fellow con artist by night) to search for clues to find her (you guessed it) con artist mother) who disappeared many years ago, but left a trail of clues as to her whereabouts. Enter Colin, new student at the high school and the son of the FBI agent who is after her parents.. Turns out C Fiona is a high school con artist. High-schooler by day, she "helps" her fellow students by working cons to keep them out of trouble or to hoodwink their parents. By night, she works with her dad (lawyer by day, fellow con artist by night) to search for clues to find her (you guessed it) con artist mother) who disappeared many years ago, but left a trail of clues as to her whereabouts. Enter Colin, new student at the high school and the son of the FBI agent who is after her parents.. Turns out Colin is also...wait for it.....a con artist who pulls cons to try to get the attention of his father. As Fiona and Colin battle it out for Top Con Artist of their high school, Collin becomes aware that Fiona's real gig is finding her mom. Fiona retaliates by getting Colin arrested for trafficking fake ID cards. Eventually, Colin and Fiona join forces, and with two of their friends, Natalie, a disguise genius and Tig, a computer genius, join a Teen Tour bus to finish finding the last three clues which should lead them to her mother. This book was entertaining and held my interest. There is something pretty intriguing about being talented and clever enough to pull off elaborate cons and forgeries. But I couldn't help being troubled by realizing I was rooting so obviously for the "bad guys." Fiona's criminal activity was for no reason other than to find her criminal mother, who turned out to be, frankly, a crazy, awful, selfish person. The cons aren't for the betterment of society or to set things right with people who have been wronged by the government or society.....most were simply selfish to prove they could be done. Even the ending showed no remorse for the criminal activity on Fiona and Colin's parts, but the thrill that more cons could happen in the future. Again this book wasn't awful. When I started reading it, it reminded me a little of Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series. On the other hand, there was just something so off-putting to me about so blatantly glorifying criminal activity for personal gain.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer H.

    Thank you to Netgalley and Swoon Reads! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. A slow burn, high action, race against the clock YA contemporary with heists, hackers, con artists, mystery, twists, and swoons! There's a lot to unpack here that will have you wondering and guessing with one twist in particular leaving me bug eyed. The Con Code is sure to check a lot of boxes with readers. Don't miss it!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kate Waggoner

    Thank you to #NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for allowing me to read a digital ARC of The Con Code by Shana Silver. This YA book will be released on August 25, 2020. All opinions are my own. Fiona is used to a life of crime. Her mother is a forger and art thief and her father is a lawyer by day and confidence man by night. For years, Fiona's mother trained her in the ways of the con. Then, when Fiona was 10-years-old, her mom disappeared and went on the run. Since then, Fiona Thank you to #NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for allowing me to read a digital ARC of The Con Code by Shana Silver. This YA book will be released on August 25, 2020. All opinions are my own. Fiona is used to a life of crime. Her mother is a forger and art thief and her father is a lawyer by day and confidence man by night. For years, Fiona's mother trained her in the ways of the con. Then, when Fiona was 10-years-old, her mom disappeared and went on the run. Since then, Fiona and her father have been working on replacing her mother's forgeries in order to find the clues she left behind and reunite with her. Things go sideways when FBI agent Ian O'Keefe moves to town with his son Colin. It's obvious that Agent O'Keefe is after Fiona's mother. Colin, though, is a bit of a mystery as he starts running cons at school and seems to be the exact opposite of his father. After Agent O'Keefe arrests her father, Fiona puts together her own crew in order to collect the last three clues and finally find her mother. To do this, she will have to stay one step ahead of the FBI. The Con Code is a fairly straight-forward YA heist novel with, of course, a romantic sub-plot. I love a good heist book, but this one just fell flat for me. I have to admit that parts were a little bit predictable. There is also a bit of a pacing problem for me. Things move very quickly in parts and elements don't get fully explained and other elements seem to fall into place far too easily. The book was enjoyable, it just didn't have the depth or complexity I was hoping for. This is a YA book but is appropriate for middle grade readers as well. While there is a lot of theft and evading the FBI, there isn't anything necessarily inappropriate for middle grade readers.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    If you are looking for a (mostly) cute romance that is brought about by a con, this is your book. If you are looking for a clever con book, this is not your book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    This story about Fiona, child of two con artists, and her quest to find her mom, who's been on the lam since Fiona was 10, was filled with larger-than-life characters and some great movie moments. I would absolutely watch this as a movie and can picture all the heist montages already. Fiona and her dad have been pulling elaborate forgery/heist cons, traveling to far-flung locales to retrieve Fiona's mom's art forgeries. Her mother had apparently been planning to run for ages, because she's planne This story about Fiona, child of two con artists, and her quest to find her mom, who's been on the lam since Fiona was 10, was filled with larger-than-life characters and some great movie moments. I would absolutely watch this as a movie and can picture all the heist montages already. Fiona and her dad have been pulling elaborate forgery/heist cons, traveling to far-flung locales to retrieve Fiona's mom's art forgeries. Her mother had apparently been planning to run for ages, because she's planned an elaborate scavenger hunt for Fiona, leaving obscure clues somewhere on all the forgeries, waiting for the two of them to be reunited (for what?). This is probably the most far-fetched plot device -- each original forgery and heist (committed by her mom) likely took months, since each replacement forgery and heist (committed by Fiona and her dad) also take months. So her mother would have been planning to run for most of Fiona's life, I imagine, since there were 13 forgeries to find and steal (we enter the scene when Fiona and Dad are stealing #10, and she attempts to steal the remaining ones for the rest of the book). I thought it was a fun idea to send Fiona on these quests, but the setup is not believable. Fiona's dad is arrested by the FBI in some kind of sting, and with her dad behind bars, Fiona is left to assemble her own team of classmates to finish the heist: Natalie, the disguise/costume whiz, Tig, a hacker who dabbles in all things tech, and Colin, her new, very charming classmate, who happens to be the son of the FBI agent who arrested her dad. Natalie's disguises are fun to picture, and the laconic Tig's hand gestures and obtuse emojis have to be deciphered, causing many a tense moment under pressure. The book is a lot of fun, with hijinks and action on every page, and tons of obstacles keeping things tense. Fiona and her crew have their work cut out for them. Even though we deal with some serious topics here (Fiona's dad's arrest, her mom's disappearance, and swarms of FBI agents), the book is still light on emotion and angst -- thus, I've tagged it as "high-school fluff." There are moments of romance as Fiona and Colin circle around each other, flirting and fighting, and Natalie and Tig nurse their own mutual attraction. I only rated this book 3 stars because I really had to suspend my disbelief with the character motivations driving the plot, as well as a few other plot points. (view spoiler)[Are we truly supposed to believe Fiona's mom planned this elaborate, long-term scavenger hunt for Fiona, sent her educational postcards and e-mails for 6 years, and then didn't even seem excited to see Fiona when Fiona finds her mom's hideout? Her mom is emaciated, time-worn, and only seems to care about grabbing SOME of the priceless forgeries she stole before they run away again. Not emotional to be reunited with her daughter. Not loving or caring enough to have planned the scavenger hunt. She's just had the priceless works sitting in an abandoned subway tunnel all this time, not attempting to cash any of it in...waiting? When every other part of the scavenger hunt seemed meticulously and intricately planned (like the lasers protecting the hideout). I know she was laying low, afraid of being captured, but even the emotion of this scene doesn't ring true. (hide spoiler)] There's a lot that doesn't add up! Silver was also a bit heavy-handed with (view spoiler)[clues to the silver necklace Fiona wears, which turns out to be the key to finding her mom. Yes, Fiona had her mom's location on her person the whole time and didn't even need to forge or heist any those 13 items. Fiona's fiddling with the necklace is mentioned CONSTANTLY, sometimes twice in the same paragraph. It was too obvious, too early on, that the necklace was going to be important. And ALL of the clues left on the 13 forgeries pointed at the necklace. It hardly seems worth the time and effort they expended. (hide spoiler)] It's also far-fetched that all of the final heist locations are featured on the teen tour that Fiona and her friends join. The tour goes all over the country, sure, and the items that need to be heisted are famous and popular tourist attractions. But all 3 available on one convenient tour bus trip? Too easy. (view spoiler)[One thing that did surprise me was the twist that Lakshmi is a young FBi agent in disguise. I thought she was simply an annoying character. I was already suspicious about Colin thanks to his trip upstairs to get his mom's photo. (hide spoiler)]

  18. 5 out of 5

    T.H. Hernandez

    This was a nice diversion from real life, and just what I needed. Seventeen-year-old Fiona is the daughter of con artists. Her entire life has been devoted to learning the craft of the con. A talented artist and impeccable forger, she and her family have been pulling cons as long as she can remember. But when she was ten, her mother disappeared and left clues on how to find her in her forgeries. Fiona and her dad have been working to retrieve the forgeries and the clues so the family can be toge This was a nice diversion from real life, and just what I needed. Seventeen-year-old Fiona is the daughter of con artists. Her entire life has been devoted to learning the craft of the con. A talented artist and impeccable forger, she and her family have been pulling cons as long as she can remember. But when she was ten, her mother disappeared and left clues on how to find her in her forgeries. Fiona and her dad have been working to retrieve the forgeries and the clues so the family can be together again. At least until her father is caught pulling a job. Now Fiona must complete the mission herself. She pulls together a ragtag crew of high school friends, including a tech genius, a former cosplayer turned master of disguise, and her arch nemesis, but charming classmate she may or may not have a thing for, Plot The story centers around Fiona finding her mother and the heists she needs to complete to gather all the clues to find her mother. The heists were well-planned and executed, and added such an entertaining thread through the book. There is a subtle romantic element with Colin, the son of the FBI agent who arrested her father and a number of twists; some I saw coming, others I didn’t, making this a well-plotted fun read. The Characters The characters are what really makes this story. Fiona is a fully-engaging anti-hero as a con artist. At no point did I not pull for her. She’s a criminal, but she was so lovable and relatable, I wanted her to succeed at every turn. Her dad, while singularly driven, still clearly loves his daughter and puts her needs above his own. Her best friend Natalie and her tech guru, Tig, are both interesting in their own ways. And Colin, as the potential love interest, is just as complex as Fiona. Top Five Things I Enjoyed About THE CON CODE 1. Heists. We’ve been rewatching the Ocean’s Eleven movie franchise and I forgot how fun a well-developed con can be. 2. Fiona. She is so dedicated to finding her mom, but her loyalty to her crew at all costs makes her a hero to root for to the very end. 3. Action. The story moves with a lot of action and edge-of-your-seat suspense. 4. Loyalty. Fiona is loyal to her family and her friends and those loyalties are tested, making her even more relatable. 5. The Ending. I wasn’t sure how things were going to end up, but the author did a great job of wrapping everything up in a satisfying ending that wasn’t predictable. Bottom Line A thrilling escapist read with fantastic characters and lots of action. Disclaimer I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Shana Silver blends high stakes suspense with breath-taking adventure and emotional romance in her fantastic YA novel, The Con Code. By day, high school student Fiona Spangler runs small cons for a profit for her fellow pupils at their ritzy prep school, but at night, she joins her dad for some very risky heists. Forget about hall passes and fake IDs, as soon as night falls, Fiona and her dad are involved in some pretty shady activities that involve them stealing back the clue-filled forgeries wh Shana Silver blends high stakes suspense with breath-taking adventure and emotional romance in her fantastic YA novel, The Con Code. By day, high school student Fiona Spangler runs small cons for a profit for her fellow pupils at their ritzy prep school, but at night, she joins her dad for some very risky heists. Forget about hall passes and fake IDs, as soon as night falls, Fiona and her dad are involved in some pretty shady activities that involve them stealing back the clue-filled forgeries which her mother had scattered all over the United States prior to disappearing seven years ago. Fiona and her dad hope that by finding all these paintings and deciphering the intricate codes hidden within these works of art, they can get closer to finding the woman who had broken their hearts when she had disappeared out of their lives. Only three more heists remain and Fiona is confident that once they reclaim all the paintings, she can be reunited with her mother again. Until disaster strikes and her father is captured by the FBI. What is she going to do now? Her father had warned her to be careful of Colin, the new kid at school whose dad happens to be a federal agent. But the more time she spends in the company of the charismatic and clever Colin, the more she realises that he’s as much of a con artist as she is! Colin is not adverse to pulling stunts in order to make a fast buck out of his fellow overprivileged students and although Fiona knows that she should give him a very wide berth, she slowly begins to fall in love with him! However, with her father in custody, romance is the last thing on her mind. With three more heists to pull, Fiona must keep her head in the game and ensure that they find the paintings and her mother. With everything to lose, Fiona – alongside a coterie of teen criminals – vows to do whatever it takes to be reunited with her family. But will she be successful in her quest? Will she manage to evade the long arm of the FBI? Or will this last con end up being the one that puts paid to any hope she might have had of being part of a family again? Shana Silver’s The Con Code is a slick, stylish and suspenseful page-turner that will keep readers on the edge of their seats and eagerly turning the pages as they find themselves completely caught up in this nail-biting tale of danger, risk and adventure. Shana Silver writes with plenty of flair and humor and will have readers rooting for Fiona as she gambles her life, her heart and her freedom for the sake of her family. A fun and fast-paced read YA fans will thoroughly enjoy, Shana Silver’s The Con Code should not be missed!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Arlen

    The Con Code by Shana Silver Pub Date: 25 Aug 2020 read courtesy of NetGalley.com I was hooked in chapter one of The Con Code. What struck me, though, was that the tone of the first chapter felt like an entirely different book from the rest of the book. I thought the father-daughter relationship was going to be the action of the book, but it ended up being the motivation behind the story. The action of the book became much more teen-oriented for the remainder of the story. That's not a judgment, ju The Con Code by Shana Silver Pub Date: 25 Aug 2020 read courtesy of NetGalley.com I was hooked in chapter one of The Con Code. What struck me, though, was that the tone of the first chapter felt like an entirely different book from the rest of the book. I thought the father-daughter relationship was going to be the action of the book, but it ended up being the motivation behind the story. The action of the book became much more teen-oriented for the remainder of the story. That's not a judgment, just an observation. Once I got my head around the change in tone, I still enjoyed the story. I liked the intertwined spying on each other, the breaking and establishing of trust, and the playing along with Fiona's planning of the heists. I appreciated the characterizations with the exception of Tig; this nonverbal character received no explanation for this quality, so the reader was left chalking it up to Tig's personality. Tig was written consistently, though, so at least there was that. I did have a problem with the travel camp, however. How could it just happen to stop at places Fiona needed to go? It's never said, but were they duped and set up by the FBI? With all of their abilities to beat the system, it doesn't make sense that they'd fall into the trap just like it doesn't make sense about the Camp's itinerary. Then, of course, there's the inclusion of Lakshmi, the annoying camper. (I can't say more about her, or I'd have to say, "spoiler alert.") This trip was a convenient way to move the action forward, and in the end, it made me feel as duped as Colin and Fiona. The build-up to the conclusion ended abruptly - big build-up, quick finish. In a way, I felt like it made light of mental health issues; it was rather dismissive. Everyone just moved on. Regardless, it was a fun, interesting read, and I will be getting it for my high school library. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Follow the clues. Find Mom. Fiona Spangler does not have anything resembling an ordinary life. Not with the upbringing she had. She was learning how to forge art and documents, pick locks, and different types of cons pretty much since she was born. At 17, Fiona is right beside her dad on heists, creating her own forgeries (to include--but not limited to--fake hall passes and report cards), and tracking down her mother I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Follow the clues. Find Mom. Fiona Spangler does not have anything resembling an ordinary life. Not with the upbringing she had. She was learning how to forge art and documents, pick locks, and different types of cons pretty much since she was born. At 17, Fiona is right beside her dad on heists, creating her own forgeries (to include--but not limited to--fake hall passes and report cards), and tracking down her mother's greatest forgeries. Each one contains a clue as to where her mother can be found. And just when the last three are practically in their grasp, the worst happens. Her dad and his crew are busted by the FBI. Not to be deterred, Fiona rushes to assemble a team of her own, consisting of: her best friend, who wears a different disguise everyday; a hacker who prefers to communicate with emojis and gestures instead of, you know, words; and her worst nightmare. Colin O'Keefe. The teen con man extraordinaire who can charm the pants off of anyone. Oh, and his dad is a FBI Agent. Makes for an interesting road trip... Perfect for fans of Ally Carter's "Heist Society", Roshani Chokshi's "The Gilded Wolves", and Leigh Bardugo's "Six of Crows", "The Con Code" is a gripping page-turner full of high stakes, heists and cons, betrayals, and quite a bit of swoony feelings. Not from Fiona, of course. And not for Colin. No, no siree, no... Right? Well, you'll have to pick up a copy of "The Con Code" to find out!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    * I was sent an ARC of this book from the author and Swoon Reads. It’s been years since Fiona’s mother has gone missing. Fiona and her father have been working hard to capture and solves the clues her mother had left behind.. that is, until her father is captured by the FBI and she must solve the clues with the help of a few of her high school friends! This was such a fun and easy read, The Con Code was the perfect refreshing break I needed from all the heavy fantasy I read! The Con Code was full o * I was sent an ARC of this book from the author and Swoon Reads. It’s been years since Fiona’s mother has gone missing. Fiona and her father have been working hard to capture and solves the clues her mother had left behind.. that is, until her father is captured by the FBI and she must solve the clues with the help of a few of her high school friends! This was such a fun and easy read, The Con Code was the perfect refreshing break I needed from all the heavy fantasy I read! The Con Code was full of characters that you couldn’t help but enjoy and laugh with. They all come together really well and really want to help our main character, Fiona, out with these major cons she’s trying to pull. I love how Fiona breaks down the rules of conning slowly throughout this book and also sprinkles in some of her sarcasm and wit throughout this story to the point that I was chuckling! Each character has a unique skill set that help with the intricately woven con’s they must pull off. I think Natalie ability to transform her and her friends into anyone else was my favorite of all! Tig, one of our main character’s, doesn’t speak for all 300+ pages of this story but you can still understand her motives and who she is and I feel like that is a well written and rounded out story if I can love a character that doesn’t even speak throughout most of this story! The Con Code was full of clues, laughs, intelligent teens and a few plot twists and that I 100% didn’t see coming and just enjoyed this read so much! This book reminded me why I love mysteries so much and brought me back to my roots of why I love to read! For fans of: witty characters, loving dads, plot twists, slow burn romances, hate to love, mystery, amazing friendships & LGBTQ REP.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katie Steele

    Check out the original review and more on NovelKnight! This book was provided by the publisher (via NetGalley). This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. The Highlights: —  Heists! —  Morally gray characters —  Good pacing —  Could have used a little more depth Shana Silver is becoming an auto-read author for me. I had so much fun reading Mind Games last year, and The Con Code was a great follow up. It's a fun, light read that I flew through. Ocean's 8 but with te Check out the original review and more on NovelKnight! This book was provided by the publisher (via NetGalley). This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. The Highlights: —  Heists! —  Morally gray characters —  Good pacing —  Could have used a little more depth Shana Silver is becoming an auto-read author for me. I had so much fun reading Mind Games last year, and The Con Code was a great follow up. It's a fun, light read that I flew through. Ocean's 8 but with teens, it's a perfect summer read. So while it wasn't the best book I've read this summer, it was fun and I'm really glad I picked it up. The characters in The Con Code were good. Not great, but good. I liked Fiona a lot as the main character, her motivations were clear from the beginning and she stay true to those throughout. The side characters all felt a little one dimensional to me. Honestly, I've forgotten most of their names now that I'm several weeks out from reading the book. They were fun while reading, but didn't leave a lasting impression on me. I felt that the story for this one was a little unbelievable, but it was fun! If I hadn't been reading with critique in mind I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more. And I thought that the ending was especially good, easily the strongest part of the entire story. So it's definitely worth reading for that aspect. The pacing was a bit off for me. Yes, it was a fast read, but it's a pretty short book so that was almost a given. There would be really fast-paced action sequences, followed by slower in-between bits, but they didn't feel quite balanced. Sometimes those in-between bits seemed to drag on a little too long, or there would be a weird time jump that made me feel like I was missing out on some of the story. Still, there was enough action that, paired with the overall shortness of the book, it was a quick read. So yeah, I liked The Con Code! Is it an instant favorite? No. But it was delightful to read, funny at times, and really stuck the landing with its ending. I know that I can go to Shana Silver's books for fun, so I look forward to more in the future. In the meantime, I can see myself revisiting The Con Code if I'm looking for a fun heist book that isn't fantasy. For More Bookish Content: Blog || Twitter || Facebook || Bloglovin'

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carro Herdegen

    Language: R (118 swears, 1 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG Seventeen-year-old Fiona rules the school when it comes to cons and forgeries. When an FBI agent and his son move into town, Fiona knows to be cautious of the new enemy on her turf so as to not draw attention to her and her father’s illegitimate past times. Fiona is shocked when her enemy isn’t interested in busting her but, instead, wants to steal her clientele as he cons his way into everyone’s hearts and wallets. Reading Fiona’ Language: R (118 swears, 1 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG Seventeen-year-old Fiona rules the school when it comes to cons and forgeries. When an FBI agent and his son move into town, Fiona knows to be cautious of the new enemy on her turf so as to not draw attention to her and her father’s illegitimate past times. Fiona is shocked when her enemy isn’t interested in busting her but, instead, wants to steal her clientele as he cons his way into everyone’s hearts and wallets. Reading Fiona’s story was painful -- excruciatingly so at the beginning, though it eventually eased a little. I couldn’t watch Fiona fall for the cons I could see coming, and Silver was so good at making me hate Colin that I dreaded the rest of the book, wary of what he would do next. Kudos to Silver for eliciting strong emotions, but it backfired by making it difficult for me to motivate myself to keep reading through my embarrassment for the characters (mostly Fiona). The Con Code was not quite the fun con book I was hoping for, though there are still plenty of amazing and improbable feats completed by teenage con artists. I ended on amicable terms with this book, even if I know I’ll never reread it. The mature content is for innuendo, mentions of sex, partial nudity, and illegal activity. Reviewed for http://kissthebook.blogspot.com/

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennah Wilson

    Before I started this book, I felt like I was in a reading slump. Normally I love reading and have a huge TBR of books I cannot wait to start. But reading just felt like a chore. However, once I started this book any sort of slump I was in vanished! I could not put this book down, however, since I started it really late in the night and I had work in the morning, I had to put it down. This was such a cute and fresh read that was exactly what I needed. It follows the story of Fiona and her con-ar Before I started this book, I felt like I was in a reading slump. Normally I love reading and have a huge TBR of books I cannot wait to start. But reading just felt like a chore. However, once I started this book any sort of slump I was in vanished! I could not put this book down, however, since I started it really late in the night and I had work in the morning, I had to put it down. This was such a cute and fresh read that was exactly what I needed. It follows the story of Fiona and her con-artist family and the mysteries surrounding her mother's disappearance. Through in some positive female friendships, con-artist rivalry (and maybe some romance), with a dash of teenagers outsmarting the FBI and you have one stellar book. My only negative thought was there was a LOT of tongue clicking in this book. I felt like every character at one point or another, would click their tongue in response to something. Which wasn't bad, it just happened frequently enough to be noticed. Overall would recommend for a really cute light-hearted book! It was exactly what I thought it was going to be, which was great! Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for this advanced readers copy! All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    The daughter of a con artist follows clues to find her mother. Along the way, she takes three of her friends. One of those friends is the son of the FBI agent chasing her mother. Opinion What a great read! This book covers it all. First love? Check! Mystery? Check! Finding out who you can trust? Check! The ending? Going to blow your socks off! I think that this book was absolutely wonderful. Fiona, the female MC, is desperate to find her mom but is utterly confused when this gorgeous specimen of a The daughter of a con artist follows clues to find her mother. Along the way, she takes three of her friends. One of those friends is the son of the FBI agent chasing her mother. Opinion What a great read! This book covers it all. First love? Check! Mystery? Check! Finding out who you can trust? Check! The ending? Going to blow your socks off! I think that this book was absolutely wonderful. Fiona, the female MC, is desperate to find her mom but is utterly confused when this gorgeous specimen of a guy show up. Colin turns out to be the FBI agents son. But Colin is looking for something himself. When he can’t find it, he helps Fiona go in search of her mom. This all lays out for a cute first romance book. The kids go through several heists together, coming closer. The twists that Ms. Silver puts in along the way add so much to the plot that you won’t want to put the book down. Along the way, Fiona learns what is important in life and ends up making a hard decision. It does all work out in the end. This is one I’ll be calling my librarian friends to add to their libraries. Great book! Many thanks to netgalley.com for providing me with an ARC of this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Megan (inkand.imagination)

    *Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher - thanks! Overall this was a pretty fun read! There were definitely some slower aspects to the plot line, but in the end I enjoyed this one. The characters were interesting and the heist plot was really fascinating. The way all the different clues connected reminded me of National Treasure, and I loved how everything finally came together. One of the drawbacks for this book for me was the romance. I felt like there was so much go *Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher - thanks! Overall this was a pretty fun read! There were definitely some slower aspects to the plot line, but in the end I enjoyed this one. The characters were interesting and the heist plot was really fascinating. The way all the different clues connected reminded me of National Treasure, and I loved how everything finally came together. One of the drawbacks for this book for me was the romance. I felt like there was so much going on that the romance brought something not necessary to the plot. Honestly, I would’ve enjoyed the characters getting to know each other and growing as friends or a “found family” trope rather than having the enemies to lovers aspect of the plot. But, that being said, this was a fun heist story that I throughly enjoyed! I’d recommend it for younger fans of YA because the book read more like a middle-grade novel in some aspects, but it was still a pretty good read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Cestra

    The story had a ton of potential! The premise and the plot were very intriguing and I really loved the first several chapters. I really liked the introduction of each character and the way the plot just got thicker and thinker in several areas. This is a three star read for me because of the plot inconsistencies yes the plot thickens but that also exposed holes. Certain heists were talked more about than others, and some of the characters didn’t hold up to the suggested depth. There were several The story had a ton of potential! The premise and the plot were very intriguing and I really loved the first several chapters. I really liked the introduction of each character and the way the plot just got thicker and thinker in several areas. This is a three star read for me because of the plot inconsistencies yes the plot thickens but that also exposed holes. Certain heists were talked more about than others, and some of the characters didn’t hold up to the suggested depth. There were several lose ends at the end and I wish the epilogue went more into all that...It seemed certain characters were forgotten about in conclusion , and I’m still trying to figure out how things were made okay in the end. Needless to say, I enjoyed most of the this story, but there were certain factors that drastically hindered my overall star rating.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sam Taylor

    I love a good heist story, and Shana Silver really knows how to pack the suspension and tension into her books. The heists throughout this book were fun and fast-paced to read through--each one leading to a clue that would help Fiona find her long-gone, estranged mother. The friends making up the heist team are a great set of characters to follow, and the slow burn, enemies-to-lovers romance as well added depth to the story (and I'm tough to please, when it comes to the enemies-to-lovers trope!) I love a good heist story, and Shana Silver really knows how to pack the suspension and tension into her books. The heists throughout this book were fun and fast-paced to read through--each one leading to a clue that would help Fiona find her long-gone, estranged mother. The friends making up the heist team are a great set of characters to follow, and the slow burn, enemies-to-lovers romance as well added depth to the story (and I'm tough to please, when it comes to the enemies-to-lovers trope!). Definitely an excellent book for anyone looking for a summer thriller.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Thank you net galley for the advance reader copy of this novel. This was a contemporary YA romance/mystery. This novel was very well written. It I felt like I was somehow missing key pieces of information like the sudden crush Fiona has on Colin at his first day of school. The plot moves quickly from one heist to the next and the characters are very likeable. I would love a follow up novel with dismiss mom, th I agent Ian or even just move jobs by Fiona and her crew. Great reas!

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