How To Steal A Car

How To Steal A Car by Pete Hautman
Published: September 1, 2009 by Scholastic Press

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 b**** to other girls.

Not Kelleigh. Kelleigh steals cars.

       I had seen this book around before but only got really interested in reading it after I read The Big Crunch by the same author and really enjoyed it. Pete Hautman is definitely a contemporary author that writes realistic stories and does it well. My only major complaint is that there really isn’t a clear plot at times, which is my main issue with contemporaries in the first place. 
Why I love this book:
  • Kelleigh- her head can be a weird place at times, but she is overall a very unique character with a funny outlook on life
  • Kelleigh’s essay- I’m not sure if her tips on car theft add up to the 500 words she’s supposed to have on how to do something, but these little asides are clever and reflect what’s going on in her life
  • plot- the way the story develops is very realistic. The reason Kelleigh steals cars unfolds slowly. It sneaks up on you and makes you think duh, of course she had a better reason than fun and excitement.
Huh, what?:
  • Kelleigh’s friends- Kelleigh’s friends are lame. Jen is so self-absorbed and dramatic, while Will is just bland. He’s about as interesting as a cardboard cutout.
  • Kelleigh’s dad- Is it just me or is someone way too excited about defending a rapist/possible rapist in court? Especially since he has a daughter around the same age of the victims? I would have freaked like Kelleigh’s mom too if he’d kept updating the family at dinner about his pet rapist’s chances of getting off.
Favorite quotes:
  • The fact that I had-technically-stolen four cars recently was purely a matter of irresistible opportunity, dire necessity, or peer pressure. I mean, twice it hadn’t even been my idea.    – Kelleigh  pg. 76
  • My head was spinning with what she’d said. I mean, I was trying to understand it, trying to make sense of her words. Dad could only say I love you if it wasn’t true? Did that make sense on any level other than the multiple-apricot-martini level?    – Kelleigh  pg. 97
Major Crush
4 Robots
A short contemporary with a realistic main character and clever writing
Acquired: swapped for

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