Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review: Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Girl, Stolen
: April Henry
Release date: 9-28-2010
Author info:

Summary (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?

Review: I found this book through the Contemps reading list. I have to admit I was a little hesitant to pick it up. I'e read several books on kidnapping this year, incliding The Lovely Bones, Stolen (Lucy Christopher) and Living Dead Girl (Elizabeth Scott) and I was left emotionally drained after reading all of them. They are important books, but feel-good reads they are not. I really wasn't sure I was up for another emotional tko. I'm glad I grabbed it though, because for me this book was less about the kidnapping and more about the choices we make. There are always choices, and this book really showed you how those choices really shape who you are.

The main character, and the girl who is kidnapped, is Cheyenne, 16 blind and suffering from pnuemonia. Throughout the book we see the consequences of her choices. Her choice to stay in the car and sleep as her stepmom goes into the pharmacy. Her choice to continue to live her life after an accident leaves her blind. Her choice to survive her ordeal, even if it means people will get hurt. Her choices reflect the person she is. Strong and independent, but still trying to find her way in a world that is no longer the same for her.

Griffen is a lost soul. His father is a druggie, a drunk and a car theif, and Griffin doesn't know any other lifestyle. So when he see's the keys in an empty car, he makes an impulsive choice to take it, not realizing there is a girl in the back seat. Even though Cheyenne is the lead here, I felt like this story was really Griffin's. He was the one that needed to grow up, decide who he is and who he wants to be, and take a stand against the men who surround him, who are really bad guys. His choice to align himself with Cheyenne, even in small ways really show the person he can become.

I really lvoed how the story unfolded, mostly through small moments between Cheyenne and Griffin as they try to connect to eachother in a serious situation. At times they are playing each other, looking to gain information that will help their own plan. Other times you can see that they are two very lonely kids, who finally have a sympathetic ear to speak to. That relationship was interesting to read.

I wasn't sure whether I wanted them to become friendly or not. Even with the story being finished I'm not sure how I feel about it. Here's what I mean. Could they be friends as the book hints they could be? I don't know. Althought Griffin is technically a criminal (he did after all steal a car with a girl inside), I don't think he wants to be that way. He's very similar to the dog, Duke, that is chained up in the yard. His life has always been rough, and this may be the first time someone has expected more from him. Petty crimes is one thing, but with the introduction of Cheyenne Griffin ahs to choose. Follow his father down a path into a criminal life, or stand up to them and make his own choices. He wants to save Cheyenne, but I think in a very real way Cheyenne ends up saving him. I really, really liked that idea.

So long review short here. This is a good book. It takes a very different view on a very scary subject. The underlying theme of the choices that we make being important reach far beyond the pages of the book. Definitly worth the read.



  1. I read this one a while ago and didn't like it as much as I thought I would. It's not that I hated it or anything, I just didn't like the way it was played out. I think I ended up giving it two stars as it read more like a manual to me but I did learn a lot.

    Attack of the Book!

  2. I loved Girl Stolen, actually. I found the characters relatable and the writing gripping. Griffin (with a bit of Ty from Stolen) was the inspiration for my WIP's MMC. It's the darker side of life, but everything plays out in a realistic way.