Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Review: Girl, Stolen by April Henry


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?


The Short Version:
Intense and focused, Girl, Stolen does a striking job showing the determination of one girl to survive, despite her fear and handicaps. Choosing the right moments for shocking reveals, showing deep into the mind of not only Cheyenne but giving strong insight into Griffin as well, this book doesn’t make excuses but still gives understanding to the entire situation. Shifting between pulse pounding and lags, the true nature of Cheyenne’s entire experience is portrayed in a very blunt manner, written in a way that pulls the reader in while still leaving a clear boundary with Cheyenne.

The Extended Version:
Cheyenne has a strong personal strength that has nothing to do with her lack of eyesight. The reason for her blindness is saddening, but the way she manages it and the way she learns to get past it, even in this situation, is emboldening. Though her reactions seem off when Griffin first takes off the in the car, it isn’t a turn off as a reader and it quickly becomes clear she is just trying to figure things out, almost too stunned to be “normal.” As things progress, her sympathies towards Griffin are both frustrating and understanding, particularly when his situation starts to be revealed as well. There is a softness that forms between the two, tugging at the reader as well, while still making it clear Cheyenne won't let that sympathy interfere with an escape.

Griffin is a highly sympathetic character despite his actions, the perfect example of the victim of circumstance and a product of his situation. His interactions with his dad and the men who work for him are hard to read and intense, and the boy who comes out of it as a result is easy to side with until its thrown back into perspective that he’s the reason Cheyenne is being held captive. This constant battle for the reader is well handled, and reignited at the right moments, even in the lulls in action.

Though I did have a bit of a harder time connecting to the characters because of the third person perspective, it did give the sense of watching and observing while still being involved in things. Primarily focusing on Cheyenne and giving insight to her thoughts, Griffin and his father were showcased as well, building all of their characters strongly. Cheyenne’s cunning and impressive problem solving skills helped drive much of the plot, and everything was completely realistic for the situation.

There were a few surprising twists, and the majority of the book was by no means predictable. After coming to an adrenaline rush of a climax, everything is tied up and ends on a very fantastic note, given the scope and events of the story. Nothing is rushed, holding nothing back about Cheyenne’s particular captive situation. The lingering impact of this book is impressive and intense, and certainly well worth the read and highly recommended.

Source: Received for review from publisher
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (September 28, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0805090053
ISBN-13: 978-0805090055


  1. Hopping through. Great review. I've always mean to say how I love that you provide a short version of your review.
    Do you generally not like third person perspective or was this one just not done well? IMO, sometimes 3d person gives you just as good an insight as 1st person, but other times it doesn't.

  2. Great review! The premise of this sounds really good, and I love that it's not predictable. Though, I'm kind of hesitant to pick it up, because I'm not really one for third person perspectives.

  3. This books sounds SOO good. Thanks for the review. :)

  4. I a little more than halfway through this book. I can't wait to find out what happens, but I must say I haven't been sucked into the characters as much as I wanted to be.