Review of Stealing Heaven, by Elizabeth Scott


Stealing Heaven

by Elizabeth Scott

HarperTeen, 2008.  307 pages.

Starred review
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2010: #3 Other Teen Fiction

Danielle is eighteen years old.  She’s been stealing things as long as she can remember.  Her Mom is good at what she does, and she’s trained Dani how to get the job done.

Dani’s never stayed in one place for long, and she’s never gone to school.  Her mom says, “Some kids go to school and leave not knowing how to write their own name.  You can do that and you can tell plate from sterling just by looking at it.  That’s education.”

When they decide to work in a beach town called Heaven, things begin to go wrong.  Dani meets a nice girl at the beach, who turns out to be the daughter of the owners of the richest place in town — the one her Mom plans to steal from.  Then a cute guy keeps running into her and seems interested in her — and he turns out to be a cop.

Having a friend or a boyfriend has always been out of the question for Dani.  But now she’s getting pulled in.  What will her mother say if she finds out?  What will Dani’s new friends say if they find out that she’s a thief?

This book pulls you into Dani’s dilemma as a young adult torn between what she’s always known, what she’s good at, and the call of a life that’s different, a life with relationships that last.

This is another book I couldn’t stop reading until I’d finished it in the early hours of the morning.  The story is gripping, and you do find yourself caring about Dani, but understanding her struggle.  Elizabeth Scott makes the characters distinctive and interesting, but completely believable.  I don’t think I’ve never met a professional silver thief, but now I feel like I know what that would be like.  I’m going to have to read more of her books.

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