Rated Reads

Stealing Heaven

by Elizabeth Scott

Rated: Moderate

Meet Danielle. She’s eighteen, and she has been stealing things her whole life. Lest you think this is because she’s some miscreant, the life she leads is because this is what her parents — first together, and now just her and her mom — do. They break into homes and steal things. And then leave.

The latest town that Danielle and her mom have targeted is Heaven, a resort town in New England. The plan is to set up shop for a couple of weeks, target a rich house, steal the silver, and get out. Except… Danielle has become tired of the lifestyle that her mother has inflicted on her. She wants a house. A pet. A friend. The normal things of life. She doesn’t get the rush her mother does when she steals; she just feels sad, and lonely. Really lonely. And in Heaven, she makes a friend. She also attracts the attention of a guy (who just happens to be cop), and Danielle realizes she doesn’t want to do the job and get out. That it would be nice to stay for once. And so what started out as a simple job ends up being much, much more complicated.

Aside from the abusive mom (not physically, but she has Danielle pretty emotionally dependent on her), the story is an enjoyable one to lose oneself in. Danielle is a compelling character, someone who wants more for her life than what her mother is giving her, yet completely lacks the idea how to go about getting it or even the courage to do so. It is so much easier to stick with the status quo, and not to rock the boat. To a certain extent, Scott takes the easy way out: it takes a man — a friend, really — to help Danielle figure that out, in addition to her mother becoming seriously ill. But the act of learning to trust her friend and believe what he sees in her, and accepting that she is who he sees her to be, is well-written and satisfying.

And Scott’s a good writer, enabling the reader to be caught up in her storytelling, relating to and enjoying the vivid and believable characters. Sure, the situations may be a little fairytale-like, and the ending a tad melodramatic, but that’s almost beside the point. The story, the journey and Danielle are all that really matter. And they all shine.

Rated: Moderate: Two or three f-words, and some off-screen sex.

— Reviewed by Melissa Fox

Melissa Madsen Fox's blogging career began in 2004 when she started Book Nut. Reading, reviewing and book blogging have taken over what's left of her life after being a stay-at-home mom to four rambunctious daughters and wife to a slightly- absent-minded professor of political science.

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  • Stealing Heaven
  • by Elizabeth Scott
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: