Saturday, January 8, 2011

Review - Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott

Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott
Bookdepository / Amazon UK / Amazon US
Librarything / Goodreads

Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary

Rating: 4 stars
Pages: 336

Summary: Dani has been trained as a thief by the best--her mother. Together, they move from town to town, targeting wealthy homes and making a living by stealing antique silver. They never stay in one place long enough to make real connections, real friends--a real life

In the beach town of Heaven, though, everything changes. For the first time, Dani starts to feel at home. She's making friends and has even met a guy. But these people can never know the real Dani--because of who she is. When it turns out that her new friend lives in the house they've targeted for their next job and the cute guy is a cop, Dani must question where her loyalties lie: with the life she's always known--or the one she's always wanted.

Thoughts: I was surprised by Stealing Heaven.  I picked it up expecting a cheery, chick-lit read - Ocean's Eleven a-la-Sophie-Kinsella.  That would have been great, but what Scott delivers is about 20x better.  Stealing Heaven is a serious book.  Dani grows up with a mother who has indoctrinated her into a life of crime - a life that Dani is just not meant for.  She's never been to school, never been able to tell anyone her real name, never had any friends - and, on top of that, there's her absent father and her mother's manic relationship with thievery.  Less than ideal is putting it mildly.

But even as Dani's mom behaves in ways unbefitting a mother, Dani is able to recognise why her mother her is behaving so thoughtlessly.  It's really easy for a teen to just turn around and hate their parents - but Dani doesn't because, even as a teen, she can see her mother with the eyes of an adult.  I read this book wishing I could hate her mom - but I just couldn't.  It is fantastic, and adds a whole new level to what could have been a simple break-away-from-your-family book.

Stealing Heaven is about a girl working out who she is, and what that means for her family.  About a girl who has to wake up, take her head out of the sand, and truly examine her life.  She doesn't do it for a boy - although she does have an extremely influential romance with, get this, a cop - and she doesn't do it for a friend - although she makes pals with a lovely girl along the way.  Dani changes her life for herself, and it is wonderful to read.

Bottom line?  A fantastic contemporary read for young adults.  This book is sweet, sad, and thoughtful - you'll love it.  I can't wait to read more by Elizabeth Scott!


  1. I've only read one Elizabeth Scott book and thought it was very good. This sounds great...I'm totally intrigued now.

  2. This one has been on my shelf for years and I've yet to read it. I must do so ASAP!

  3. This is only one of 2 Elizabeth Scott books I haven't read, and like Michelle above it's been sat on my shelf (of, y'know, in a box) for AGES. Time to dig it out, I think!

    So glad you enjoyed it :)



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