REVIEW: 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.

Title: How to Steal a Car
Author: Pete Hautman
Format: hardcover, 176 pages
Genre: young adult
Source: library
Published: September 2009
Buy the book:
The Book Depository | Kindle

Kelleigh is your typical teenage girl. Well, except for the fact that she’s a grand theft auto artist.

The first time Kelleigh steals a car, it happens by chance. She’s at the mall with a friend when she sees a guy drop his keys in the parking lot. Instead of telling him, she picks up the keys and puts them in her purse. The idea of stealing his car is swimming around in her brain but she doesn’t act on it - yet. She later sees the guy’s BMW in her neighborhood and remembers that she has the keys. In the middle of the night she takes it for a joy ride with her friend. She returns the car and goes home. You’d think that would be the end of her car boosting career but it’s actually just the opposite.

The ease of stealing a car appeals to Kelleigh. The opportunities keep presenting themselves to her and she just can’t resist. The thrill and rush she feels from stealing cars fills a void. It’s like an escape for her.

The title and cover of this book caught my attention. After reading the book blurb and finding out that it was about a girl who steals car, made me want to read it that much more. At just under 200 pages, How to Steal a Car is a fun, fast and intense thrill ride. The storyline carries ahead at a steady pace and had me turning page after page. I wanted to know what Kelleigh would do next and how the next opportunity would present itself. I wanted to know if she’d get caught, how and what would happen to her.

The Book Vixen’s Rating

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


  1. LOL, I love the title! It sounds like so much fun. :D

  2. This sounds like a great read! I gave you the Versatile Blogger Award on my blog

  3. So you liked it? I know the book definitely caught my eye, but I found myself wondering 'why?' at about the midpoint. I finished it and gave it three stars, too...but I'm not sure I'd pass it on to anyone. Interesting, eh?

  4. @celi.a - I liked it :) It was a thrill ride. Fun, fast read.

    Why? I think I wanted to know what she was going to do if the opportunities kept presenting themselves to her. It's one of those things that you don't plan on doing but when the opportunity arises, you take it. Not that I would steal cars ;)


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