Nancy's Reviews > Stealing Heaven

Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott
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's review
Oct 06, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: 2008

Trust me when I say I REALLY (notice the caps?) wanted to like this book. So much that I broke my biggest rule when it comes to books: Give the novel your attention until halfway through, and if you still can’t tolerate it, just skip over the rest to read the damn ending. Yes, that’s my messy philosophy on intolerable reads. I read Stealing Heaven all the way through, though. Every damn word. It’s because I know other people are so blown away—okay, maybe not blown away, per se—by Elizabeth Scott, and having dismissed her previous two books as utter disappointments (particularly Bloom), I REALLY wanted to know what the fuss was about. And guess what? I STILL don’t get it. There’s nothing special, short for her creative mind. But isn’t everyone creative if they put their minds to it?

I liked the premise. Very catchy: My name is Danielle. I’m eighteen. I’ve been stealing things for as long as I can remember. It breaks another one of my book rules: Don’t even attempt to read a book that starts off with Hello! My name is ____ and I am currently ____ years old!. Desperate, pathetic much? But the stealing part totally caught my attention, so I went and borrowed it.

I enjoyed the first few chapters. They were serious and provided a clear picture of the thief’s path. Even from the beginning, however, I was only able to like Dani a little bit because Elizabeth Scott turned her into an annoying girl who sighed every other page over her mother (was this really necessary?)It’s like this with other Scott’s protagonists: they never really DO anything until it’s too late for me to start liking them. How can I show an ounce of sympathy or appreciation like that? I mean, even if you’re an author taking the long road of discovery for your character, she can’t complain and be a pathetic mess all pages long, right? Another Scott signature: repetition. Maybe no one has told her yet, but the repetition is SO obvious. I didn’t even have to re-read certain parts to see that fault. The words were trying to test my patience again! Important things need to be mentioned, but PLEASE do not make a habit of overdoing it. I have a hawk’s eye when it comes to criticizing people about this—yet, I know I go and do the very same thing when I write my essays and stories. But Scott has an editor and a publisher, right? So, no excuses.

Things went downhill when Greg came into the picture. I liked that he was so casual at first and broke most stereotypes for what a cop represented, but oh my god, he drove me insane. He’s such a plastic cut out character that I rolled my eyes at his entrances. The lines Scott made him say was flat and forced. The latter being the worst problem. Things that Greg said didn’t match his personality—the author put it down just for the sake of strolling the conversation along. Some people WILL notice the awkwardness of the words. Also, I just can’t imagine anyone talking like that. That meaning a twenty-something year old guy trying to impersonate a friendly and innocent ten year old. Because that’s exactly how Greg appeared to me, despite Scott’s intention of turning him into this breezy cop that said what he wanted and did what he wanted. He was just childish. And the fact that Dani got her share of forced lines didn’t help the matter: I could practically see her transforming into this ditzy blonde (no offense to blondes; I’m just going with the wrongly pinned stereotypes here) when they conversed. I’m sure that wasn’t the effect Scott was trying to create. If that was—well, consider me speechless.

I just couldn’t deal after that. It was unpleasant enough with the flawed writing/editing and a protagonist that I didn’t care for (yes, once again)—but on top of it, a failed male lead? That was just too much for me. His childish speech got on my nerves, Dani’s lack of “doing something” until the very end (see the connection to Lauren in Bloom, anyone?) just made me rattle my head continuously, and those sighs that escaped my lungs when I continually flipped the pages just made me more aware of the fact that I was in for major disappointment. The slow pacing—I’ll even give this a title: a la Scott, because it’s yet another of Ms. Elizabeth’s signatures—was just an additional blow to my already tedious day.

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