Title:  Stealing Heaven
Author:  Elizabeth Scott
Release date:  May 27, 2008
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Pages:  320
Genre:  Young adult fiction
Source:  Library

Danielle has been stealing things from stranger’s homes for her entire life.  She and her mother move from town to town, looking for houses to break into, and at eighteen, she has never even attended school.  While Danielle is used to her life and doesn’t expect more, she dreams of a “regular” existence – one with friends, close family, and a place she can call home.  When her mother chooses the small beach town of Heaven as their next destination, Danielle assumes it will be exactly like all of their other stops – a few weeks in, no attachment to anything, take what they want and leave.  But what she finds is something totally different – a girl who might want to become her friend, a boy who really seems to like her, and a town she can see herself falling in love with.  But of course, her mother is there on a mission, and Danielle’s dreams of having a normal life slip further and further from her mind as she and her mother get closer to their goal in Heaven.

I’m quite the fan of Elizabeth Scott’s young adult novels, and Stealing Heaven was no exception to that rule.  While I would say that this novel was on the lighter side of YA fiction, it had plenty of heart and a really wonderful main character who I loved right away.

Danielle was such a fantastic character.  She had been through so much in her life – never really knowing her father, being forced to steal with her mom, never attending school or making friends or having a real family.  It broke my heart how she ached for these things in life that everyone else takes for granted, while the whole time knowing she would never have the opportunity to have those things.  It was no surprise that the second people started showing interest in getting to know her, she jumped at the chance to maybe have a few friends.

I love Scott’s writing style.  It feels completely natural, as if I’m talking to these characters rather than reading a novel about them.  She made this completely strange situation seem completely normal, as if Danielle was a regular girl just like any other.  The story was as believable as can be and I so hoped that Danielle would find what she was looking for.  To top it all off, the idea for the novel was so creative to me – I seriously wondered how Scott came up with the idea of writing a book about a pair of mother/daughter thieves.  Either way, it really worked for me!

Overall, Stealing Heaven was a wonderful young adult novel, containing everything I love about YA fiction.  As typical for Elizabeth Scott books, Stealing Heaven comes highly recommended by me.