Friday, June 17, 2011

Review: Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Stealing Heaven
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 320
Release date: June 1st 2008
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought at The Book Depository
Find out more: Amazon ; Goodreads

Goodreards description:
My name is Danielle. I'm eighteen. I've been stealing things for as long as I can remember.
Dani has been trained as a thief by the best there is—her mother. They never stay in one place long enough for Dani to have real connections, real friends—a real life. But in the town of Heaven, everything changes. Suddenly, Dani must question where her loyalties lie: with the life she's always known—or the one she's always wanted.

First sentence:
My first memory is staring into a window into a house that isn't mine.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In a review quote on the back of the book it says that Stealing Heaven is "an addictive book about a real world that feels like a fantasy," and that's exactly true. I love the idea for Stealing Heaven - Dani's life is crazy, something none of us could imagine.

You might think it's predictable from reading the description, and some other Elizabeth Scott novels definitely are (Bloom, Something, Maybe), but the plot is full of surprises. The plot is compelling, perfectly-paced and fun. But because of Elizabeth Scott's great, vivid writing, this is much more than a quick, fun read - it's also insightful and moving.

I thought it would be hard to relate to Dani since her situation is so different from the reader's, but it only took me a few chapters to understand her. After that, she's easy to relate to. The problems she has because of their stealing aren't exactly things I've dealt with myself, but I definitely felt for her. Her situation is actually pretty sad - she's closed off from the world, can't really communicate with anyone other than her mother because they don't want to be noticed by anyone. I don't think I could live with that. Reading about Dani is still loads of fun, though - her personality is great, and I loved her sense of humor.

The other chracters are well-written and fully-developed too. I absolutely loved Greg. Making Dani fall for a cop is a perfect idea for this novel. The way Greg believes in Dani and sticks with her despite her bitchiness in the beginning (because, well, he's a cop and she's a criminal) is just so sweet. The romance is one of my favorite parts of this novel. The way it develops is so natural and realistic, but still sweet and swoon-worthy. You couldn't help but root for the couple. Alyson is a great character too. While I could never really warm up towards Dani's mother, her character is also well-written and understandable.

***This next paragraph contains mildly spoilerish information!***
My one problem with Stealing Heaven is the ending. I can't even really explain what I dislike about it, though. How it ends is great - not too happy, not too sad, just right. What I mind is the way the ending happens - in my opinion, it's just too fast. I think Dani's decision should have been elaborated on much more. Some more explanation would have been useful - I didn't get how Dani's and Greg's relationship ends up - Dani and her mom leave town, etc., and suddenly Greg's there too. That seemed a bit forced to me, just wanting to have a happy ending for Dani and Greg (not that I mind happy endings for such cute couples, but still!).

Despite my disliking the ending, this is a great, original read, both fun and insightful! Other than Living Dead Girl, it's my favortie Elizabeth Scott book since it's not as predictable as some of her others. I definitely recommend it!


  1. Fantastic Review!! I've read one Scott book and I didn't like it too much but I picked this one up because I'd heard so many good things about it!
    Can't wait to read it!

  2. Great review! I love the books of Elizabeth and I want to read Stealing Heaven.

  3. Wonderful review, this sounds like a great book for a teen. I think my teens would love it, and it's odd that this happens in real life, kids learning things from parents that aren't good for them.

  4. i've heard great things about this book from everywhere!

  5. This looks amazing, I loved Living Dead Girl but it made me so sad, so I'm scared this will do the same >.<

  6. I heard a lot about this book and it looks really interesting - like the idea about mother and daughter as criminals.
    But you said you didn't like the ending, so I'm little bit afraid now:D

  7. It sounds like a great book!I love the fact that it is full of surprises!Sorry that you did not like the ending though.


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