Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Book Review: Girl, Stolen by April Henry
Author: April Henry
Author Online: Twitter Website
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: First Edition edition (September 28, 2010)
Format: Hardback, 224 pages
My Rating: 4.5/5
Buy It: Amazon Barns & Noble Book Depository
Summary: (Taken from Goodreads) Sixteen year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of a car while her mom fills her prescription at the pharmacy. Before Cheyenne realizes what's happening, their car is being stolen—with her inside! Griffin hadn’t meant to kidnap Cheyenne, all he needed to do was steal a car for the others. But once Griffin's dad finds out that Cheyenne’s father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes—now there’s a reason to keep her. What Griffin doesn’t know is that Cheyenne is not only sick with pneumonia, she is blind. How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare, and if she does, at what price?
This novel is about sixteen year old Cheyenne Wilder, a girl who is kidnapped—accidentally—by Griffin, a young man who had no intention of taking her against her will in the first place—he just wanted the car!—too bad Cheyenne was asleep in the backseat, hidden safely under a blanket. By the time both he and Cheyenne realize what has happened, it’s too late to turn around, drop her off somewhere, and send her on her way with the promise of hunting her down if she opens her mouth. But Cheyenne tells Griffin something that will either save her, or be her end: She’s blind.
Cheyenne was a strong character despite all her disadvantages, and though at times she seemed whiny, I always understood why, and was able to connect with her and root for her every step of the way. I felt for Griffin as well, even with knowing very little about him. I cared for him as a character and wished and hoped for the best for him, because he, in a sense, was in a situation much the same as Cheyenne.
Girl, Stolen was the first of its kind that I have ever read. I’ve never read a book based purely on abduction, or where the protagonist is blind. I have always felt a little iffy toward books of that subject, just on the fact that I’ve never read anything like it. But when I saw Girl, Stolen while I was browsing Amazon, I just felt I had to have it. I’m so glad I clicked ‘Buy’.
Wow. That was all I can remember thinking as I got through each chapter. Some were better than others, but most had me on edge, not wanting to miss anything that was happening, but not being able to make my eyes stop reading so quickly! But that’s just the kind of book this is. It’s very fast-pace, with something happening in almost every scene that has you thinking you can’t get to the next page fast enough. I think that is why I finished this book in just one sitting! But at the same time, the author knows when to slow it down, explain what is going on so you’re not confused, and then pick everything back up and have you once again dying to know what happens next.
As I said before, I had never read any book where any of the characters were blind, nonetheless being held captive. So I didn’t know what to expect, and I found myself thinking before I picked this up, “How is the author going to explain what is going on, and have the protagonist describe things when she can’t even see? How is she going to try to escape?” I feel almost silly now, having thought like that. The way April Henry has Cheyenne describe things through sound, smell, touch and feel… it was beautifully crafted and enduring.
The only thing that I wasn’t so crazy for was all of the explanations. I’ll be the first one to say I love when authors take the time to slow things down and tell us readers some back story, or something important to the storyline, but during some scenes, I felt April went a little too far in, telling us things that didn’t add to the story; it just filled up the word count. I mean, I love now knowing how to steal a car and get away with it—I’m just kidding—no, not really—but did we really need a step-by-step instruction guide on that? I really hope not…
But like I said, April has a way of storytelling, and I adore her writing style.
This was my first April Henry book, and I’m sure it won’t be my last!
"Please let me go, I won't tell!" -Girl, Stolen