Sunday, September 5, 2010

Review Girl Stolen by April Henry

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sixteen year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of a car while her step-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? (Publisher's summary from Powell's Books)

While I love fantasy and especially the plethora of paranormal stories available in YA books, I am always up for a well-executed realistic fiction read too. Girl Stolen by April Henry is just such a read. Cheyenne’s story is terrifying, suspenseful, and scarily real primarily because of Henry’s brilliant characterization.

From the first moment Cheyenne realizes that someone has stolen her step-mom’s SUV, I began feeling the fear. Cheyenne is blind, which makes her an extremely vulnerable victim. Being inside her head, I was constantly amazed at her ability to use her blindness to her advantage. Even sighted I doubt I could have stayed rational given the initial situation Cheyenne faced. When you add to this the hopelessness of how kidnappings often goes badly for the victim, Cheyenne’s bravery and fight was inspiring.  

The most surprising aspect of this story; however, was how sympathetic I felt towards Griffin, Cheyenne’s abductor. Griffin’s character is revealed to the reader and to Cheyenne through his interactions with her and his father. It becomes apparent that Griffin is a scarred young man both physically (he was burned in a meth lab explosion at a fairly young age), and internally (he believes his mother abandoned him, he is dyslexic, and a drop-out).  Griffin’s life with his father, who is a duplicitous malfeasant, made it impossible not to see him as a victim too, and I could not help worry what would happen to him even as I feared for Cheyenne’s safety.

Henry knows how to build and maintain suspense. Trust me when I say that once you begin Girl Stolen you will be unable to put it down until you reach the end, which comes quickly and is not without some well placed twists and terrifying moments for both Cheyenne and Griffin.

If you are looking for an engrossing realistic fiction story, I highly recommend Girl Stolen, which is scheduled for release September 28, 2010. I know I will be buying a copy for my classroom and nominating it for placement on the 2011-2012 Book Battle list.
Source: ARC copy provided by We Love YA Tours


Mrs. DeRaps said...

I've had my eye on this one. Is it part of the Contemps Challenge? I think it might be...Thanks for your review! Sounds like a compelling read.

Kirthi said...

I've never heard of this book....but it sounds very interesting! Brilliant review!

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

Great review! I have this book on my wishlist and this is the first review of it I've read. I'm glad this is a great read and you make it sound really, really good. I am intrigued by both Cheyenne and Griffin. Thanks for sharing!

Lauren said...

Great review! I've a bit weary of this book since I first heard about, though now with your review, I think I'll definitely be reading it now. Because it sounds like Cheyenne and Griffin are both very interesting and complex characters that I would love to read more about. :)

Melissa said...

Brilliant review! I'm really excited to read this one, and the premise is incredible :)

Dazzling Mage said...

Awesome review. I honestly can't wait to read it.

Sue Jackson said...

This sounds really compelling! It reminds me of a book I read last year, Living Dead Girl. Here's my review:

I'll have to add this one to my list thanks for the great review!


Phantom Paragrapher said...

This sounds like a good read , will have to check it out. Just became a follower of your site.

Nomes said...

wow 0 you really know how to write a good review - so well articulated and succinct and you managed to convey the essense of the book and completely entice me. this looks really engrossing and original and it's jumped onto my wish-list. I'll have to track down when it is available in Oz :)

well done.

(writing reviews that well is hard work!)

thebookfairyhaven said...

Fantastic review. I'm going to add this to my TBR pile asap! I have yet to come across a review of yours where I haven't added to book to my TBR pile - this book sounds so incredible!

Teddyree said...

Great review, I hadnt heard of this book til now but it sounds like one Id enjoy ... thanks!

The1stdaughter said...

Your review was fantastic, but I'm not sure I could handle it. I've always had a huge fear of being kidnapped and now with my own children, it's even worse. (This may be because my best friend in kindergarten was, and I would have been had I not run from the man trying to take us both. Scary.)

But regardless, it sounds like a beautifully written novel and I can completely understand the sympathies you'd have for Griffin, it's hard not to when he seems to have had so many challenges.

Great review. I may pick it up, I might not, but now I know a little more about it. Thank you so much!

Lily Child said...

This definitely sounds like a captivating read! Thanks for the heads up! I'll definitely keep an eye out for it at the bookstore! :)

Design by Use Your Imagination Designs All images from the Keeper Of Time kit by Studio Gypsy