Publishing date: June 1st, 2008
Summary: My name is Danielle. I'm eighteen. I've been stealing things for as long as I can remember.Dani has been trained as a thief by the best there is—her mother. They never stay in one place long enough for Dani to have real connections, real friends—a real life.But in the town of Heaven, everything changes. Suddenly, Dani must question where her loyalties lie: with the life she's always known—or the one she's always wanted.
Rating: 3 stars
This started out really well. So well, actually, that I found myself highlighting passages every 2 pages. I loved Scott's prose, the chemistry between the characters, and more than anything, I loved the character development. Dani's slow coming of age from a tentative teenager, overwrought with guilt and self-esteem issues to a strong woman who takes her destiny into her own hands was beautiful to watch. Now, when I say self-esteem issues, I don't mean the annoying whining you sometimes see in YA novels. Dani was written beautifully, with subtelty and care, giving us the impression that this girl could actually exist.. I fould myself heart-broken or overjoyed right along with her. This is the kind of character I'd love to have a chat with.
The banter between Dani and Greg was perfect. Perfect. There's a line involving fungus that I won't spoil, but dear god, I actually laughed out loud. And that never happens.
Dani's mom (I don't think we ever get her real name) is also a very interesting character. It would have been so easy for Scott to demonize her and make her the villain in the story. And she is, in a way, but the author also empathizes her role as a a mother, ex-wife and most importantly, as a person. I found myself hating her and feeling sorry for her at the same time. Plus, she's hilarious.
Anyway, it pissed her off because she says, "I thought he was stupider than that, baby. And so now I have to be extra careful with him. It's annoying."
See what I mean?
So, why only 3 stars? Because about half-way through, the books lost some of its charm for me. The plot finally started moving and things got more serious, and the book's atmosphere changed drastically. It was still well-written, but I enjoyed it less. I think that's more my personal taste, though. Scott's prose was gorgeous through and through, and I'll definitely keep an eye out for her future books.
I'll leave you with this quote:
I haven't been careful enough because I stand in the shower and cry for what I've never had and never will. A real home. Things I can truly call my own and keep forever. Friends. I am in the place where you cry and mean it.