Thursday, October 15, 2009

How to Steal a Car Review

How to Steal a Car by Pete Hautman
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release date: September 1, 2009
Source: Contest Win

Some girls act out by drinking or doing drugs. Some girls act out by sleeping with guys. Some girls act out by starving themselves or cutting themselves. Some girls act out by being a bitch to other girls.

Not Kelleigh. Kelleigh steals cars.

In How to Steal a Car, National Book Award winner Pete Hautman takes teen readers on a thrilling, scary ride through one suburban girl's turbulent life - one car theft at a time.


How to Steal a Car was an exciting read that left me breathless. It was exciting to read from Kelleigh’s point of view and the rush she got from stealing cars was contagious. When I first started reading I was wondering what was going to happen, and if I was even going to enjoy a novel about stealing cars, well I really did enjoy it. It was one of those books that I had to keep reading it find out what was going to happen. I liked that Kelleigh was just a normal girl, not a gang member or whatever that you would assume would steal cars. Surprisingly, I learned a lot about stealing cars- it’s easier than it looks (if you have the keys). While the setup of the book was great, I really liked the “how to guide” part of the story, sometimes it seemed like there was no end since there weren’t chapters, it just kept going from page one to page 170 (in my ARC). Although I didn’t care for some of the characters, I really liked Kelleigh and I even liked Deke, the guy that roped Kelleigh into stealing cars for money. Some of the characters weren't my favorite, and I think a lot of the characters weren't needed in the book, but all in all it was an exciting book, that will keep you reading until the end.

I think the main character being a girl added a whole new dimension onto the book. I could almost connect with Kelleigh, not with what she was doing, but at points I felt like I knew her. Some parts of the novel were a little confusing, as it kept switching to different scenes and flashing back randomly. It was fairly easy to catch on quickly, but some people might not like it. Hautman’s writing style was great, and Kelleigh’s story was really believable. Her stealing cars was even believable, since it wasn’t taken to extremes. I also really like the cover- it’s cute and exciting at the same time. The toy cars stand out against the blue background and I just overall really like it.

In the end, I would say both boys and girls would enjoy How to Steal a Car, it’s exciting, refreshing, and a great book for teens. It’s a great look at how good contemporary fiction can be. It’s a fast read, too- under 200 pages, so I would definitely recommend you pick up a copy.

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

PS: My contest to win a signed copy of The Ex Games by Jennifer Echols ends tonight! Click here to enter.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds great! I've never read a book about anyone stealing cars though, so it'll be a first for me. Thanks for the review! :)


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