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Angel Thieves

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  305 ratings  ·  108 reviews
An ocelot. A slave. An angel thief.

Multiple perspectives spanning across time are united through themes of freedom, hope, and faith.

Sixteen-year-old Cade Curtis is an angel thief. After his mother’s family rejected him for being born out of wedlock, he and his dad moved to the apartment above a local antique shop. The only payment the owner Mrs. Walker requests: marble an
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books (first published June 1st 2015)
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Hayden Teen - this book is meant for teenagers, not young children.

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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  305 ratings  ·  108 reviews

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Jun 05, 2018 marked it as to-read-less-urgent
How interesting does this premise sound??!
Confusing, but intriguing.
Honestly, I'm here for the ocelot.
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
1.5 stars

I have zero idea what took place during this one because one POV voice was from *a river*


Full review can be found here:

I have a really strong feeling that I was not the right reader for this book. Why do I start my review that way? Simple: I did not understand what was going on and therefore did not enjoy the book. I wanted to because it had everything necessary to make a good story, but it never hooked me. I really believe one of the
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(This review will be on my blog All the Ups and Downs soon.)
I really enjoyed Kathi Appelt's writing style in her children's picture book Max Attacks, so when the chance to read and review her Young Adult novel Angel Thieves presented itself, I decided to give it a read. I'm really glad I did because I fell head over heels in love with this book!

I very much enjoyed the plot of Angel Thieves and found myself immersed in the story from the very first page. It is told from different perspectives i
Queen Cronut
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Who would've thought angels, ocelots, and runaway slaves could make such an amazing story? Binge read this one in one sitting because it was so good!

Angel Thieves is told through multiple perspectives whose stories parallel across the span of a century.

Cade: An angel thief... literally. He and his dad steal angels from graveyards to make ends meet. I think he was my favorite character in this book.

Soleil: A nice Christian girl and love interest of Cade. I liked her character but wasn't too craz
Teresa Barrera
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Where do I start...
I didn't love this book, nor did I hate it either. I just found myself thrown around too often by the multiple POV'S.
There's some good parts and interesting parts, but since the POV's kept flipping so often, I felt disconnected.
I wanted to like this book, I really did, but I just couldn't really get into it, I'm sorry to say.
On a positive note, the characters have interesting stories and I did want to get more of a feeling, a connection to each character. It just was a little
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I recieved a copy of Angel Thieves in return of an honest review...

This is my first Kathi Appelt book however, it most certainly wont be my last! She is ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! Angel Thieves is told from multiple point of views, Cade (an angel thief, Zorra the ocelet, Soleil Broussard (a preacher's daughter, Achsah(slave), and the Bayou, each with their own stories and minor characters, yet they are all intertwined in some fashion.

The story is not in chronological order, instead, the timelines ar
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, ya, fiction
Very well-done, I think this is the best example I've ever seen of how multiple confusing perspectives can be not confusing at all. It's a good story, terrific characters, and an all-around finely constructed book! Thanks so much to the publishers rep who was waiting to share the ARC with the right person and picked me! ...more
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
There was lovely writing here, but I had a hard time tying all the threads together. Appelt can make me fear for an animal's safety like no other. ...more
Padma Venkatraman
Another novel by masterful plotter Kathi Appelt, in which, yet again, she braids together seemingly disparate narratives, just as she in her Newbery Honor Winning and stunning debut, THE UNDERNEATH. Also, similar to that novel, in this work, as well, we see the stories of humans and animals - an enslaved woman, an ocelot, and a thief. In this narrative, Appelt also interweaves the stories across time, knit together by the themes of hope, faith and a desire for freedom. And, as with THE UNDERNEAT ...more
By the time I finished reading Angel Thieves, I was utterly drained. In my opinion, this story by Kathi Appelt really packs an emotional punch! Why? Because there are several storylines taking place in two different periods, and each storyline has its own variety of conflict.

I’ll admit, I was hooked by this story before I finished the first page. This was my first read by Appelt, and I was delightfully impressed. She has an amazingly unique writing style. I don’t recall ever reading anything qui
Lorilei Gonzales
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was a little eerie reading Angel Thieves amid all the rain and flooding here in Houston. While I normally think of my city’s flooding as a byproduct of excessive precipitation mixed with overdevelopment and trash, Appelt’s novel clued me in to the fact that this area has a history of floods and how the path of the Buffalo Bayou has relocated many times because of them.

But more on that in a bit; let’s talk art for second. The book jacket has that distinct YA look and is very appealing with its
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“The bayou giveth and the bayou taketh away. You can’t
trust her, not for a minute. Give her the sun and she’ll
blind you. Give her the rain and she’ll swallow you. Give
her a storm and she’ll claim your highways and your
bridges. She’ll breach your shiny new buildings, your
waking nightmares, your broken heart.
The bayou’s no angel, that’s a fact.”

This is a book I wish I had tangibly held in my hands while reading it for this review. The pages of the book hold a story unlike any other I’ve read. Inst
Elizabeth Mcdermott
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a very good, very different sort of story. If you're looking for something high action, or thick with plot, this probably isn't for you.

BUT, if you're open to a sweet, often heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful story of how so many lives and times and worlds can intersect, then Angel Thieves is worth the time.

I absolutely loved the nearly poetic prose of Appelt's writing, and the way she managed to weave together so many disparate, yet ultimately interconnected stories. This was not
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was ok

Kathi Appelt did not give herself an easy job. A fiction novel, rooted in a dynamic, multi-perspective narration, does not allow for any true, appreciable characterization to occur. It was difficult to empathize with any of the novel’s characters, simply because I was never able to witness enough of their personality & character to truly establish a connection to them. There were multiple missed opportunities to truly create compelling, moving literary scenarios due to the rushed movement
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Wait what? I...what?

That was me reading this book. I was confused about the ending. Well, it was more like a non-ending. By the time I came to the last page the story still wasn't done. The book concept was great and it had good writing (which is why this is a 2.5 and not a 2), but the weaving of the story, particularly the (non)ending was not there

True rating: 2.5
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
One of my favorite authors, always beautiful descriptions and characters- I enjoyed book but felt the end was rushed and I didn’t feel enough satisfaction with all the characters seperate stories. Still great and worth reading, just wanted a bit more!
Anne V.
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The author weaves history, nature, spirituality, and a teen romance, telling her story through multiple time periods and points of view. Masterful.
R. G. Nairam
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderful experience to read, though I wanted more from it as a story.
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
It was weird. I had hoped all the characters played a part in the story. What made me buy and read the book was the Angels and the Ocelot.
Lissa Johnston
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Angel Thieves so effectively demonstrates how our present lives are deeply intertwined with the recent as well as the distant past. Many beautiful threads are skillfully interwoven into a compelling homage to the author‘s beloved hometown of Houston, Texas. The multiple storylines are easy to follow. Alternating among the various characters and their POV chapters was an effective way of increasing the suspense. I was caught up with the current character, but in the back of my mind, I was wonderi ...more
Ruthie Jones
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review was originally published on Lone Star Literary Life.

Angel Thieves is a striking depiction of familial devotion, the harsh cry for freedom, and tender new love. In this beautiful novel, the Buffalo Bayou in the Houston area is the watery thread that connects the seemingly disparate narratives throughout. As the stories unfold, they begin to gently flow and intertwine, even though they are separated by time, culture, and indescribable heartache.

At the core is the modern story of young
May 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
Audiobook DNFed at 22% - An hour in and I don't see or understand what this book is about. But there sure is a lot of a people of color suffering historical tragedies! There's also a lot of names for things from different languages and an overall random and disjointed collection of POVs. I'm also a little put off by the idea of yet another bland ass book by a white lady that prominently features a black woman's pain. ...more
Melanie Dulaney
Intriguing book with so many threads weaving in and out, sometimes clearly intertwined and sometimes not so much. Author Kathi Appelt sets her YA novel in Houston, TX and spans the 1840s to present day using a church on the bayou, a single dad and his son, an antique store run by a kind widow, a freed slave woman and her two young unfreed daughters, a sweet 16 year old girl with a crush, and a wild cat. The themes of freedom and cages of different types run through all the stories and sprinkled ...more
Lone Star Literary Life
Reviewed by Ruthie Jones for Lone Star Literary Life.

Also featured on Lone Star Book Blog Tours. Lone Star Blogger Team average rating: 4.8.
Dede Fox
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Her language is as lovely as ever. I learned much about Texas by reading this book, things not mentioned in history books written by white men. The Houston setting spoke to me too.
Josephine Sorrell
Jun 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: newbery-2020
Too many threads and voices. A very confusing book and not fun.
Kristine Hall
Print and Audio Book Review. Before readers ever read the first page of ANGEL THIEVES, they will know it’s unique. There’s the jacket illustration, there’s the amazing hidden gem beneath the jacket, and of course, just the book’s description sets it apart from what readers expect in books written for the young adult audience. Don’t be fooled by all the white space. Read a few pages, and it’s clear that Kathi Appelt trusts her young readers to think and process and absorb higher level concepts. T ...more
Jenn Belden
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was provided a copy of the book for review purposes. I gave this book four-and-a-half stars, rounding up to five here.

I honestly don’t know where to begin with author Kathi Appelt’s latest young adult novel Angel Thieves! The structure, the characters, the writing – they all come together to make something magical. This isn’t just one story, but several separate stories that slowly intersect, with the common tie amongst them being Bayou.

This was a book that DEMANDED I sit down and savor it. Th
Carol Royce Owen
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
OK, I will say from the start. I loved Angel Thieves, but it would take a lot for Kathi Appelt to top her incredible masterpieces, The Underneath and True Blue Scouts of Sugarman Swamp. Those two novels will never be replaced as some of my favorite children's novels. Angel Thieves is written with much of the same style as those books, part realistic fiction, part fantasy, part historical fiction, woven through with several stories and a myriad of narrators. One is of two sixteen year olds with c ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I didn't actually realize this was going to be a five-star read until the last two pages!

I wonder sometimes why I read Appelt's books. I already have a problem with anxiety and she is such a master at building tension that, as the story progresses, I become a nervous wreck! In this particular book she excellently builds the framework involving people and places, and a wild animal, and then starts bringing those individual stories into focus. Characters spin into each other and generations are sp
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Goodreads Librari...: Page Count Correction - Angel Thieves 2 16 Feb 01, 2019 12:34PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Wrong Cover - Angel Thieves 1 14 Jan 12, 2019 11:51PM  

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Lives in College Station, TX with husband Ken and four adorable cats.

Two sons, both musicians.

Serves on the faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts in the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults Program.

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