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Stealing Heaven Hardcover – May 27, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 10 Up—Danielle, 18, has been a thief all her life. Moving from town to town, she and her mom stay around only long enough to canvas the rich and steal their silver. When she was 15, they moved on at Danielle's request, after she had sex for "the first and only time" with her mother's 20-year-old boyfriend. It's a lifestyle the teen is used to, but she's beginning to long for something more. She wants roots, friends, and a place to call home. When they hit the small resort town of Heaven, Danielle knows the routine. Her mom will chat up the men for information and she, now using the name Sydney, is supposed to do the same with her peers. Only something goes wrong, and "Sydney" begins to make friends with the mark, flirt with a local cop, and generally do everything her mom's always told her to avoid. And when it's time for the heist, Danielle is no longer sure she can follow her mom's demands. This story is deceptively touching. Danielle and her mother are both fully developed, as are the secondary characters of Allison (the friend) and Greg (the young cop). The overriding theme of living up to a parent's expectations instead of following your own path is universal, but the twist of a family of thieves gives the story originality.—Heather E. Miller, Homewood Public Library, AL
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From Booklist

Eighteen-year-old Danielle—aka Sydney, Rebecca, or whatever alias her mother chooses—has been stealing since she can remember. She and her theft-savvy mother move from town to town, mining the successful men whom her mother attracts for information that allows them to find and rob the toniest homes. Dani has no school, no friends, and no home until she and her mother land in Heaven, a small, wealthy beachfront town where Dani realizes what it is like to have a best friend and also a boyfriend, who just happens to be a cop. Scott tells a surprising story that features a mature teen who longs for the straight and narrow, even as the adults around her profit from crime and corruption. Dani’s first-person narrative includes a few winking references to the lucrative life theft can garner, which feel like odd, misguided shifts from the story’s strongest message that Dani is a brave teen who can and does shape a strong future for herself. Grades 7-10. --Frances Bradburn
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 307 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; First Edition edition (May 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061122807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061122804
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,635,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Zellie VINE VOICE on April 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stealing Heaven is about 18 year old Danielle who secretly wishes she could be called Dani. But she can't even use her own name since she lives a life of crime along with her mother. They bounce from place to place robbing peoples houses. But they don't steal cash or jewelry or your DVD players. They steal only silver. I know, weird right?

They end up in this small town called Heaven and suddenly, Dani's entire life changes. She finds out what it feels like to have a friend, a real friend who cares about you. To have a guy like you. And she hates her life of crime. Her mom fills her with empty promises, manipulates her (in my opinion) as well as everyone else around her. The messed up things her mom does really starts to show while they're in Heaven. How selfish and greedy she is. But yet, Dani clings on to her because she believes her mother is the only person who wants her around (were in the world did she get this idea from?!).

Dani wants to stop, but she doesn't want to disappoint her mom. The worst part? The guy she likes is a cop. A rather sweet and understanding cop. I enjoyed reading about him and it made me miss having crushes. So what will Dani do? Will she continue to be controlled by her mother or will she finally take a stand and branch off and do her own thing?

I have to admit, this book started off slow and boring (maybe because I'm not really into the whole robbing someone thing, did that statement sound stupid? Sorry, blame it on the place I grew up) but once they get into Heaven and the one day that Dani's life changes, everything is just a surprising roller coaster from there. I love Elizabeth Scott's writing as well. I highly recommend this book!
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Format: Paperback
Elizabeth Scott's STEALING HEAVEN is a lukewarm novel about a young woman's struggle to let go of the complicated, dangerous life her thoughtless mother has created for her.

Danielle was a likable, if not totally interesting, main character. What she longs for most in the world is family, freedom, love -- things any 18-year-old would hope to have. A practiced and talented thief, Dani isn't accustomed to anyone paying much attention to her. That's the name of their game: invisibility. But Greg takes notice of her immediately and won't let her slip away.

Sadly, for me, Dani was a bit of a Bella Swan. Nondescript; simple; quiet; uninteresting. Guys might say "mysterious," but I think that's a stretch. Basically, Dani's way of life has been shaped by the fact that she must, at all times, protect her identity . . . but she finds herself opening up to Greg in a way she never has with anyone. That's all fine and good, but what I didn't get was why Greg was interested in her. He makes frequent mention of the fact that she answers his every question with a question, and I'll tell you now: that would annoy the tar out of me. I just didn't get much personality from her.

Still, I finished this book quickly and never thought about abandoning it. As Dani's web became more and more tangled and the stakes grew higher, I had to know what was going to happen to she and her mom -- and how they were going to get out of this one. And despite his bad habit of falling for boring chicks, Greg was pretty swoonworthy.

I might have gone with a 3.5-star rating for STEALING HEAVEN, but I have to deduct for the weak ending. I wasn't at all happy with the resolution, and I think so much of the story relies heavily on pure coincidence -- always frustrating for me as a reader. Still, a pleasant enough read for teens. Just be aware of some sexual content and language. The story is darker than the colorful, lighthearted cover might suggest.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a book! I couldn't put it down and finished it within hours! Great for the young adult and older adult as well. It really surprised me. Great story, not far fetched at all. I really felt bad for Dani the whole time. What a strong young woman.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book! I had heard tons of good things about it, and it definitely did not disappoint. I think that Elizabeth Scott's novels just keep getting better and better. I've read all of them so far I think and I've liked all of them a ton so I'm really glad that Stealing Heaven was able to keep up that good-ness streak for me. I really liked how all of the characters were really in depth and relatable. The story put a girl whom we could all think of ourselves as being into a situation that none of us could imagine being in. I think the author portrayed the most normal and sincere teen girl in a beautiful way. You could see all the things that she was feeling and going through as she was put into many different situations. I also adored the character of Greg. Seriously though, what's with all of the perfect and utterly unreal guy characters?! It just makes me ache whenever I read about these flawless guys, the likes of which I believe do not exist in the real world. Even though Greg's character was realisticly unattainable, you can't help but love guys like him anyways. I think the thing I liked the best about the book though was the whole flow of the writing. Nothing was rushed and the story moved at a perfect pace. I loved being able to read about the events through Dani's eyes and I think that if the book hadn't been narrated by her it wouldn't have been as good just because she had such a fluid and relatable voice. I think the only teeny thing that bothered me was that in the end, the issue that Dani and Allison had with each other wasn't wrapped up like I would have liked it to have been. Other than that, Stealing Heaven was perfect; from the beginning sentences to the adorable ending. It's a perfect summer read.
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