If YA books have taught us anything, it’s what makes a good heist. So often, our beloved main characters are tasked with stealing something, making some shady deals, or breaking into well-secured buildings to tackle evil in whatever form it takes. Sometimes it’s even all three. But these clever main characters usually make it out of the situation relatively unscathed. From their successes – and their failures – we’ve figured out some must-haves for any heist.
1. Another Person – There are very, very few instances when a character can complete a heist on their own. Heists are complicated and require a lot of different skills to complete. Even in the most dire situations when you feel like you can’t tell anyone what’s happening, you need at least one person who’s in your corner and can offer advice, assistance, or just be available as a person to turn to.
2. A Back Up Plan – You should never go into a situation with just one plan. Even the best laid plans can’t account for how other people might behave or how they’ll react to what you’re doing. Plus things go wrong – the weather’s working against you or something breaks or the fire you set gets too big. You should always have at least some idea of what else you could do or how else you can get where you need to be.
3. Exits – Similar to the back up plans, you should always go into a room and know how to get out of it. Preferably, you should be aware of multiple exit points. If you can’t get through the door, the air vent might be your best bet.
4. Maps – While not always possible, a map of where you’re working on your heist is very handy. Some maps are not the most reliable, but it’s better than nothing and can help you figure out alternatives when things get really rough.
5. Water – Inevitably, you’ll end up trapped somewhere or you’ll get dirty or you’ll meet someone who’s dehydrated. Plus, you should never trust anyone else to provide safe water. Water is a necessity for us humans, so as long as you’re a human, bringing water with you is always a good call.
6. Rope – Has there ever been a heist where a rope wouldn’t come in handy?
7. A Sharp Object – Big swords or knives or daggers or saws often won’t work when you’re heisting, but it’s still good to have something sharp on hand, even if it’s just a butter knife or a particularly pointy fork. They can be extremely helpful.
There are dozens of other things that can be really useful when you’re stealing something or saving someone, but these are things that every YA heist needs. You can see for yourself in books like The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, Heist Society by Ally Carter, and the new Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria.