Friday, November 19, 2010

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (September 28, 2010)

Summary: 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?

Our review: Imagine you're sick, just diagnosed with pneumonia and on the way back from seeing your doctor. Your mom has the prescription and stops at the drugstore on the way home. You're not up to going inside with her so you wait, huddled up under a blanket on the middle or back seat of the car. 
With tinted windows who knows you're inside? It's winter so she leaves the keys in the ignition, just in case you get cold. Suddenly someone gets in, starts up the car and you're moving. Except your mom isn't the one driving.

Can't you picture that happening to you? Girl, Stolen takes this scenario one step further--by making her main character, 
Cheyenne Wilder, 16, blind. Henry's novel is creepy, totally scary, and fast moving. This book has it all, especially that something like that could really happen vibe. Told from the alternating third person point-of -view of both Cheyenne and Griffin, the car thief, Girl, Stolen is a gripping, intense read. The book takes place over the span of a few days, the scariest in Cheyenne's young life. Griffin steals the Escalade and brings it back to his father's chop shop. His dad is ticked off to find an unwanted passenger in the car. Until he finds out Cheyenne's dad works for a huge corporation and is rich.

Henry did a great job conveying Cheyenne's fierceness of spirit and her desire to live, while showing how she handles her blindness in this terrifying predicament. We're always aware of how she figures out her surroundings, by the smells, the sounds, the distance by the amount of steps she takes. Making Griffin sympathetic, our heroine still never falters in her decision to plan and fight to stay alive. I found Girl, Stolen engrossing and realistic and recommend it to everyone.

Rating: ++++

Favorite quote: From page 171, ARC:

"It was so hard to hold absolutely still while every molecule of her being screamed that she should run away. How much snow was on the ground? Did her footprints lead straight to her, like an arrow? She was barely breathing.

And then Cheyenne felt it. A cough. Forcing its way out of her throat. Her eyes watered. She bit her lip. She couldn't cough. She couldn't. A cough would be her death sentence. The coppery taste of blood washed across her tongue as she bit down harder and harder.

Then the cough pushed its way up out of her chest, tore through her throat, and shattered the silence.

And the footsteps charged toward her."

Cover comment: Great. Just the right combination of teasing the reader by not showing the girl's face but showing it's a girl and she's hiding behind her hands.

Book source: We Love YA! tours


  1. This sounds interesting, and different from a lot of what I'm seeing on the market lately. In a good way!

  2. Received this one in the mail the other day - can't wait to read it!


  3. This book has been near the top of my wishlist since I read the first review! Thanks for a wonderfully thought-out review!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

  4. This book is absolutely amazing! I've read it 4 times :)