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Stealing Kevin's Heart Hardcover – October 12, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This was an amazing book. The story pulled me in right from the very beginning and never let go! Alex was hilarious, and the random twists pulled the story into a perfect grand finale. Carter has a gift for the ability to touch the heart with his sweet plot line. STEALING KEVIN'S HEART deserves 5 stars." --Andriana M., age 15, SLJTeen reviewer

". . . a Twlight Zone-esque paranormal twist." --Kirkus Reviews

"This story has an interesting, different take on the boy-meets-girl scenario . . ." --Lauren Spielberg, RT Book Reviews

"This book had me in tears ... tears of sadness, tears of anger, and tears of joy. But I would recommend this to anyone -- especially teens!! It is an adorable, quick read." --Andrea Newkirk, Dark Readers

Oklahoma Book Award finalist, young adult category --Oklahoma Book Awards

Best Book of the Year finalist, young adult category --ForeWord Magazine

Oklahoma Book Award finalist, young adult category --Oklahoma Book Awards

Best Book of the Year finalist, young adult category --ForeWord Magazine

About the Author

M. Scott Carter is an award-winning political reporter for The Journal Record, a photographer, and a magazine writer. Stealing Kevin s Heart is his debut young adult novel; the novel has been named a finalist in the young adult category in the Oklahoma Book Awards and ForeWord's Best Books of the Year. An Oklahoma native, Carter has been a contributing editor to Oklahoma Today magazine. His stories, essays, and photographs have also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Kansas City Star, The Tulsa World, and the Boston Globe. He lives with his wife, Karen, and their four children in Oklahoma City.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: The RoadRunner Press; First edition (October 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937054055
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937054052
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,453,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

M. Scott Carter is an award-winning political reporter based in Oklahoma. His latest book is the young adult novel, THE IMMORTAL VON B. His debut novel, STEALING KEVIN'S HEART, was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award and Foreword Magazine's Best Books of 2011. When he's not writing books, Carter covers the state capitol for the Oklahoma City Journal Record. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Freedom of Information, Oklahoma, he also serves as state president of the Oklahoma Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and is working on a master's degree at the University of Oklahoma. He makes his home in Oklahoma City with his wife, Karen, an elementary schoolteacher, and their four children. Visit him at www.MScottCarter.com.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By PianoBoat on April 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Clunky and outdated dialogue, lousy editing, and awful cover art. Here's a bit copied from the book: "Oh, no!" My head whirled. "What was going on? No! No! No! We were just racing. I never meant..." The phrase "What was going on?" is clearly an internal thought, not dialogue. I also spotted numerous commas out of place. These faults, while not enough to ruin the book, are distracting and pull the reader out of the story. I randomly flipped ahead to page 74, and immediately saw "Have I made you mad? Is that it? I thought you liked me?" Why the final question mark? It's a statement, unless the girl talking uses "upspeak", but at least for the rest of this paragraph she doesn't. A few lines down, the main character thinks "Jeez. Why couldn't everyone give me some space?" When was the last time you heard a teen say "give me some space"?
And then there's the cover, which practically screams "chick-lit!", but (going by the first 45 pages, anyway) it's not. I'm a male teen librarian, and I read as much YA literature as I can, including lots of books aimed at girls. The title (enough by itself to turn away many boys)is printed in pink, and there's a picture of jewelry. Very few boys are going to pick this book up. Is that sexist? Of course. It's also true.
I wanted to like this book, with its difficult and important theme of getting past the pain and moving on, but when a book is this poorly written I just can't do it. Maybe stopping was for the best; I just skimmed around in the last pages and found that there's an unbelievable paranormal twist to the story. Perhaps younger, more credulous readers will enjoy that, but when I'm reading a book that seems grounded in reality until a chunk of magic is thrown in near the end, it does nothing but leave me feeling like I've wasted my time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mr. Carter's first novel is a winner, telling the story of a young man learning to deal with the death of his best for which he feels partially to blame. The first person narrative creates a very realistic and likable main character. The plot moves along to a not entirely unexpected conclusion, but it holds the reader attention along the way.

Kudos to Carter's use of dialog. One of my biggest complaints in YA literature is the poor representation of realistic dialog. Carter never has characters speak in ways that read like an adult imitating an adolescent.

Definitely a good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ChristinaG on July 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
First of all, the publisher provided this book so that I could review it.

Secondly, after reading some other reviews on this book, I rethought my initial opinion. The one by Pianoboat at first irritated me but then I reluctantly had to admit that his 2-star review was not entirely out of left field, especially given his profession. The book does seem as though it is written for males, since the main character is male, but the cover and title is not geared for them, as this reviewer points out. Others encouraged me that I am not the only one who became choked up (you will see in my review that I wondered if it was my circumstances that got to me!).

Still, I have to stick with my initial review, which is...

Since I am a transplant recipient myself, I had no choice but to read this (meaning I would have read it even if I had not been given the book to review), even though it is a YA book and I am in my, shall we say, 'mid-life' - if life ends at 60-something!. It starts off G-R-E-A-T. This author obviously remembers what it was like to be a teenage boy. This is all before the first chapter.

As the book progressed and I flew through it I had to remind myself 1) that teenagers sometimes say stupid things (ie; it wasn't the author writing poorly!), 2) that the story is fictional (ie; my factual transplant experience is not the same as in the book), and 3) that the three times of tears filling my eyes may be due to the very personal note this has taken for me, despite the different circumstances and organ.

It is no wonder that this was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award! I definitely recommend this book. It is not 'preachy' or pushy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Liviania VINE VOICE on June 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Political reporter M. Scott Carter's debut young adult novel is the story of Alex Anderson, who saw his best friend Kevin Rubenstein die in a drunk driving accident. Feeling guilty and adrift, Alex falls into a suicidal depression. His parents decide to send him to a counseling camp, where he meets Rachel, a Texas girl escaping her ex and recovering from heart surgery.

STEALING KEVIN'S HEART is definitely an issue novel. Issues addressed range from depression to bullying to rape to organ donation. It's a lot to pack into a novel that also has a prominent romance. It's tough for an experienced author to give so many weighty issues their due in a single book, and STEALING KEVIN'S HEART does show a lack of polish. Many problems are solved quickly, often with a single enlightening speech.

There are moments of powerful emotion. The flashback to Kev's death and the aftermath choked me up. The scene where Danny first beats Rachel is genuinely shocking. But Alex's story often feels like an excuse for after school set pieces than a meaty exploration of his psyche. The narration between scenes is clumsy, with frequent unsubtle foreshadowing like ". . . so everything was just about perfect. Of course, it couldn't stay that way (201)."

I am willing to be lenient with STEALING KEVIN'S HEART since it is a debut novel. And, honestly, I admire ambition and STEALING KEVIN'S HEART has that in spades. If you're interested in organ donation or enjoy books that tackle tough topics, go ahead and give STEALING KEVIN'S HEART a chance. It wasn't visceral enough for me, but I think Carter could write a story to pierce my hard heart.
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