Thursday, August 27, 2009

How to Steal a Car by Pete Hautman

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.

Right away How to Steal a Car captivated me with it's sense of humor. The stuff that comes out of Kelleigh's mouth and the thoughts she has can often times be laugh out loud funny. She doesn't really set out or have a reason to steal cars but somehow it just happens and you can't really hate her for it. I feel like we could be friends but I sure wouldn't have gone on a joy ride with her!

Personally my favorite parts of the book were in the first half. When she was just starting to steal cars because she thought she had a reason, or was spending time with her friends or bumming around at home reading Moby Dick.

Towards the end of the book it becomes pretty focused on the car stealing aspect of the story so it begins to lose some of it's humor from the beginning and all of the other parts of the story not involving car theft sort of fall away. In that way I was a little disappointed with the second half of the book. The book starts to feel more serious at that point. Also the reason Kelleigh steals cars is never really explained to us or to herself and I guess that's ok, not everything needs an explanation but I sure would have liked one. I guess maybe there wasn't really a reason.

But for me Kelleigh's overall hilarious look at life and her interactions with friends, family and the like win out for me and made this book enjoyable and memorable.

How to Steal a Car will be released September 1st.

Genre: Young Adult

4/5 Stars
ARC provided by publisher

Check out the author reading from the book, I think he's pretty funny!


  1. I do think teens do a lot of things that they can't even explain and maybe that's how it was for her and stealing cars. Sounds like a fun book even with the serious ending.

  2. bermudaonion- Probably. I think the book just lost its funny in the second half :/

  3. Sounds like something I would like even with the less humor at the end.

  4. Always love your reviews, Alea.

  5. Beth F- If you read it let me know what you think!

    Beth Kephart- Aww thank you!

  6. funny book? Looks good :)

  7. This book sounds really good. I'm sold w/ ur review & the summary.

  8. Sounds like a fun and light read!

  9. I'm not sure if I want to read this one - the sense of humor sounds great, but if it fizzles in the second half of the book, I don't know! Thanks for this review!


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