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Tokyo Heist

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  1,086 Ratings  ·  204 Reviews
The perfect mystery for fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society!

Sixteen-year-old Violet is thrilled when her father's new painting commission means a summer trip to Japan. But what starts as an exotic vacation quickly turns sour when a priceless sketch by van Gogh is stolen from her father's client and held ransom for a painting by the artist. The problem is that nobody knows
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published June 14th 2012 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Barry Agreed, but nevertheless this is a fun and interesting book to read! Although it may not be realistic, within the first ten pages I was totally pulled…moreAgreed, but nevertheless this is a fun and interesting book to read! Although it may not be realistic, within the first ten pages I was totally pulled in!(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Hwa Sun
Aug 11, 2012 Hwa Sun rated it did not like it
Shelves: disliked, review, dnf
*Review based on only the first 100 pages.*

Warning: There's a tad bit of ranting in this review, so please go away if you don't want to be offended. That is all. Read on at your own risk.

I am so disappointed by this book. I had pretty high expectations, and it didn't meet any of them.

Here's the thing about me: I love a good mystery. There was a time when mystery was all I would read (I love Case Closed), and Tokyo Heist just didn't cut it for me.

The biggest issue I had was the overall believable
Dec 22, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Having taken an Asian Art course in college, and having spent my honeymoon in Tokyo and Kyoto, I was extremely eager to get my hands on TOKYO HEIST. I recently had the opportunity to read an ARC of this terrific YA mystery, and I enjoyed every moment of it, particularly the vivid descriptions of Japan, the clever mystery, and the complex, realistic family dynamics. Without giving away too much of the plot, I'll just say this book involves stolen artwork, a summer trip to Japan, sleuthing teens, ...more
The perfect mystery for fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society!

All I can to that is....

As someone who loves thieves and heists and everything that that usually entails, this was entirely disappointing.
Not only was the heist un-compelling, our MC, Violet, and sidekick, Reika, jump to conclusions and are entirely obsessed with manga(which MUST be brought up at least 5 times every chapter so the reader does NOT forget).

Their whole story screams unbelievability; two girls with absolutely no previo
Jul 23, 2012 Kay rated it really liked it
From Seattle to Tokyo, Tokyo Heist takes you to beautiful Japan to solve the case of a missing Van Gogh. Art, squid chips, kimonos and a touch of romance are on the menu for this colorful adventure, in this novel by debut author Diana Renn.

A missing painting in Tokyo? If that doesn’t sound like the makings of a fun YA mystery, I don’t know what does! And sure enough, Tokyo Heist took me on a journey that entertained me from beginning to end.

I’ll get the bad out of the way right away and say that
Sophie Riggsby
Jul 15, 2012 Sophie Riggsby rated it really liked it
*review published on Mundie Moms on 7/15/2012*

I love heist plots. They’re my absolute favorite and what I like best about reading them is the anticipation in wondering just how all the pieces of the puzzle will fall. My favorite theme in stories is anything involving families. Diana Renn combines both of those in Tokyo Heist and boy, does she do it well.

What I loved most about Diana’s book is that it’s not told from the traditional heist point-of-view (us
Merry Wu
Apr 08, 2014 Merry Wu rated it liked it
Tokyo Heist is about Violet, a sixteen year old aspiring artist and daughter of a famous artist. She accompanies her father to Japan and is dragged into a mystery involving a mysterious suicide, a missing van Gogh painting and yukata, Japanese gangsters.
I chose to read this book because it had an attention grabbing cover and title, and the blurb was very intriguing.
A setting that I found interesting was the inn that Violet went to in Arashiyama to follow up on a lead about the missing van Gogh p
Jun 14, 2012 Liviania rated it really liked it
TOKYO HEIST, available today, is Diana Renn's first novel. It's a mystery that takes protagonist Violet Rossi from the streets of Seattle to the ryokan of Kyoto. At first, I was very, very worried that I would hate TOKYO HEIST. The press release claims, "[I]t's the Di Vinci Code for the teen generation with an exotic Asian twist." That description made me cringe. Violet doesn't make the best first impression either. This is going to make me sound so old, but her bad work ethic annoyed me.

But the
Jul 17, 2015 Liza rated it it was ok
What do I feel about this book?

That is a very hard question for me to answer.

Now, normally, I wouldn't think of it being so. The plot is a mystery, Violet gets in over her head and tries to solve the mystery. Hooray!

Only, the problem is...this book has Japanese culture in it.

I will admit, as a huge fan of anime and Japanese culture, parts of this book made me cringe. And I will complain about it because...well, I need to get out my feelings okay!

So first off, Violet comes off as a hardcore weeb.
Apr 24, 2014 Elizabeth rated it did not like it
I really hate giving a book one star, but after long deliberations (between one or two stars), I came to the conclusion that one star is an accurate, honest rating. I gave it one star because the plot is scattered everywhere, Violet was suppose to be sixteen but acted like a ten year old, and the pace was too slow from beginning to end. Also, there were too many different supporting character coming and going without a lot of them having any apparent value to the plot. Most of the characters ...more
Similar Books: Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday, The Liar Society by Lisa & Laura Roecker

I'm not big into mysteries. But there was just something about this blurb that made me want to read this book. Maybe it was the mention of a protagonist who reads manga, or maybe it was the fact that 2/3 of the book takes place in Japan - I don't know, but I had to read this book when I saw the blurb last year. And thankfully, I wasn't disappointed.

This is one of my first ventures into YA mystery territory,
Sep 28, 2014 Greis rated it it was ok
You would think that a story about a girl recovering stolen art to give to a gang boss in Japan would be really interesting and exciting. In theory, it would be, but the reality is that this story was very dry and rather uninteresting.

The things that I loved about this story was the fact that this wasn't set in the United States and that there were so many characters that weren't white people. I loved getting submersed in Japanese culture and learning about certain customs and art, it was really
Rene Kirkpatrick
Jan 20, 2012 Rene Kirkpatrick rated it really liked it
I thought Tokyo Heist was great fun- I especially like the whole Seattle connection: Fremont troll, Space Needle, art galleries, comic stores...

When Violet, a manga reading, comic creating artist, goes to stay with her mural painting dad for the summer, she is plunged into an international art theft. Her dad has been commissioned to paint a mural for a Japanese company, the owner of which has had two small Van Gogh's stolen from him.

On the night of her dad's gallery showing, Violet sees two lar
Jan 06, 2016 Amber rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
I reached 34% before I finally had to hang it up. The believability of this book was practically zero for me. I can believe the Yakuza being involved with criminal activities because they are organized crime and all but the main character destroyed what any other believability there might be to the story.

She's a naive teenager with no experience whatsoever in crime beyond her own imagination. No family members who were police, detectives, etc. no friends who work I'm crime solving. She's just a
Hafsah Faizal
Jun 09, 2012 Hafsah Faizal rated it it was amazing
Originally Posted Here

Sixteen-year-old Violet Rossi is on her way to Japan for her dad's new mural project. A couple of days before they leave, she learns about a set of stolen van Gogh sketches. Once in the mysterious world of Tokyo, where she stands out, Violet and her best friend Reika set out to capture the art thieves and rescue the art. Violet's not doing it for the reward money the Yamada's have promised to anyone who finds their missing painting - she's doing it to get her dad to finall
Pamela Kramer
Jun 12, 2012 Pamela Kramer rated it it was amazing
"Tokyo Heist" by Diana Renn is a shining success, from the cover of the book, with its title encased in what looks like neon yellow police tape, to the final page with its satisfying and touching conclusion.

The story is about Violet, who is a different kind of 16-year-old. She loves manga, wearing scarves made from kimonos, and anything Japanese.

So when her artist father (with whom she's spending the summer) is offered a job painting a mural in Japan, she is thrilled that she gets to go, too.

Dec 22, 2014 Brendan rated it really liked it
This is a really fun, really engaging mystery with a lot of elements I enjoyed. 1.) artist protagonist, so there's fun stuff about the creative process 2.)Japan, so cool, interesting settings that allow for some awesome armchair travel 3.)complicated but important father-daughter relationship.

Don't let the somewhat hardcore-looking cover art fool you: this is a pretty lighthearted and gore-free mystery.

I would now like to address some of the complaints about the novel's lack of realism that I've
Jan 04, 2016 Sivi rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who enjoys a nice adventure where not very much happens

As far as I'm concerned, a unicorn could have appeared in this book and it would have made more sense than the whole plot. I'm surprised by how easily people let two teenagers in on their secrets (even police agents talk about an ongoing investigation).

The storyline is actually interesting, finding a painting that's been hidden for a long time. But there are so many random things in this book that it makes you lose all the interest you had in it (please, if KG was an actual manga, I wouln't rea
Jordan Funke
Feeding my obsession for east Asia, this art heist adventure satisfied me completely. The characters are lovable, the mystery is well executed, with a few contrived moments for the convenience of the plot. I expecially like how the protagonist uses her sketchbook to process what she is observing and learning through drawing it out as a manga. It was a little hard to believe that she knew absolutely no Japanese, since we learn that she is obsessed with Japan. Most kids will make the effort to ...more
Jul 08, 2014 Edelynn rated it really liked it
I (for the most part) enjoyed this book, from cover to cover. I am very sad to say, but let me start with the bad. I felt like this book sometimes fell into the situation where the book would rock me too sleep. But there were also a lot of pros. If you believe that this book had and interesting plot, you are correct. Even though this book was placed in modern day time, it still has thrill seeking moments which will keep you on your toes. This is great for people who exists in the world of geek ...more
Oct 06, 2015 Nicholas rated it really liked it
Tokyo Heist is a very interesting crime book by Diana Renn. As this is her first novel this book has some cool characters that fit with the book. I love how the way how it was just a regular day but then suddenly something really interesting would happen. The book made me feel engaged in it so I never got bored of it and I enjoyed reading it. I love how the storyline goes which is very interesting. I highly recommend this book to all the people that like crime books.
Aug 24, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
Awe. Some!!!
Sep 08, 2012 Kimberly rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery, young-adult
One dimensional characters, improbable events, super simple to solve mystery.
Jake Gonzo
Dec 04, 2014 Jake Gonzo rated it did not like it
This book was truable
Helen Peynado
Mar 05, 2014 Helen Peynado rated it did not like it
I didn't even finish it. I tried.
Actual rating: 2.85 I am not a fan of this book much really at all. That may be just because it's not my style or whatever.

Many things in this book annoyed me, but I guess I should write positive things first, so I can pretend to be nice... The Japanese culture was depicted interestingly and clearly in this book. It was new and fresh and quite unlike any other book I've ever read before. She really did a great job capitalizing on the culture and the artistic things in the book. I just wish she
Neal Goldstein
Oct 05, 2016 Neal Goldstein rated it really liked it
As a huge mystery fan whose read all the classics, I am awed by Diann Renn abilities. Ms. Renn boils down language to its most potent phrases, painting characters, scene, and plot like a skilled Impressionist, or in this case, a 'ukiyo-e' painter. In keeping with an art caper novel, Tokyo Heist is peopled with high-powered connoisseurs, conniving art dealers, pitiless art thieves and gangsters, and idealistic artists. To solve the mystery, Ms. Renn's sixteen-year-old hero, Violet Rossi, must ...more
Jun 30, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, contemporary-ya
This review originally appeared here at Tripping Over Books

Friends, there’s not much about TOKYO HEIST, the debut from Diana Renn, that doesn’t push several of my must-read buttons. Art heists, Japan, characters who have creative talents of some kind–I had nerd bells going off all over the place when I first heard about TOKYO HEIST, a story about a young girl and her flaky artist dad who get caught up in this yakuza-infested art mystery, with a generous side helping of Japanese culture, manga, a
Sep 10, 2013 Jianne rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.

Two things what Tokyo Heist had that I decided to read it: Japanese culture AND heist.

Since I'm a big big anime fan and well, still-in-the-process manga fan then it's also no surprise that I really really love Japanese culture. That's the reason why I truly enjoyed the Young Samurai series. It's really rare that books if anything get set in Asia. But Japan or Chinese do remain top in the list. Anyway, the YS series features a lot of Japanese culture but since that's historical fiction,
Jan 20, 2016 AAA Gal rated it it was ok
This book would've captivated me if the story carried realism.

Tokyo Heist follows a sixteen year old girl named Violet. She's a fanatic of Japanese culture and manga and dreams to publish her own manga one day. While visiting her father in Seattle, Violet somehow finds herself invested in the mystery revolving around Van Goh, business art traders, a missing art painting and find solance to the suicide of an artist.

This mystery send Violet and her father in Japan, and all fantasy dreams are com
Jun 20, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: june-2012, arc-tour
Read all my reviews at The Flyleaf Review:)

Art themes. Art theft themes. Travel themes. Summertime travel themes. Mystery. I knew, knew, upon reading the summary of Tokyo Heist that I was going to dig this book. How could I not? The five aspects mentioned above are absolute favorites of mine! And I was not disappointed. Tokyo Heist was a fun and funny mystery caper featuring both a likable MC as well as likable secondary characters set in an awesome exotic (at least to me) locale. And it has art
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I write contemporary YA novels featuring globetrotting teens, international intrigue, and more than a dash of mystery. My first novel, TOKYO HEIST (2012) was an Indie Next Pick. LATITUDE ZERO (2014) was a Junior Library Guild Selection. My third novel, BLUE VOYAGE, released in 2015. All are published by Viking/Penguin.
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