Stealing HeavenBook - 2008
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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
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