Thursday, September 2, 2010

Review: Stealing Heaven

Danielle is a thief. Her earliest memory is watching quietly as her Mom robs a house; her life consists of flitting from rich neighborhood to rich neighborhood, watching her mother charm men and steal. And Dani helps her steal. It’s all she’s ever known for eighteen years, and she’s pretty much okay with it.

Then, she comes to Heaven. Heaven is a beach resort for the filthy rich to hang out with other rich people, just like hundreds of others Dani’s robbed over the years. But Heaven is different, because Heaven has Allison – talkative, quirky Allison who may actually want to be friends. Heaven has Greg, funny, cute, stubborn Greg who definitely wants to be more than friends. And Dani likes him too. The only problem? He’s a cop, her worst enemy. The con is spiraling out of control as Dani struggles with her conscience and with herself, forced to choose between the only family she has and the only friends she’s ever had.

Entertainment: ★★★★

This was a really cool book. I loved Dani. I liked Heaven. And I was really caught up in their story. Scott does an amazing job of crafting a realistic world and catching the reader up in that world.

Plot: ★★★★

There’s not a whole lot of action in this plot – it’s a very internalized type of story – but I loved all Dani’s introspection and the choices she has to make. I liked the ending, and overall I thought this story was really sweet.

Characters: ★★★★★

Most authors try to write thieves as either Good And Noble or Very Bad. Dani is an amazingly well-written grey area. She also has one of the best internal struggles I’ve read in a while; realistic, not overboard or underwritten. I liked Greg very much (too bad he’s fictional) and I loved Dani’s mom. She’s incredibly flawed but incredibly real. An amazing side character. Beyond those three, most of the other characters only made cameo appearances and never really had a chance to make an impact, but still came off as quite realistic and well-written.

Writing: ★★★★

Dani’s narrative is honest. I loved her “voice,” which comes through excellently. I loved her openly cynical tone and her openly cynical description of social interactions. Stealing Heaven might have benefitted from a little more description of the scenery and side characters and things like that, but since the story was supposed to focus on Dani and her internal story I’m okay without it. A really well-written book.

End Result: four stars. A good book, definitely worth your time.

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