April Henry Girl, Stolen
213 pp. Henry Holt and Company 2010 ISBN: 978-0-8050-9005-5
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?
The summary for this one instantly grabbed my attention when I was choosing my books for the Contemps Challenge. The idea of a blind girl being stolen holds such potential for a thrilling read! And even though we “shouldn’t judge a book by its cover”, I totally did! However, seeing the cover online and in person are two completely different experiences. I like that the girl’s hands are covering her face. Not until the book’s in your hands can you see the chipped nail polish and the delicate ring she’s wearing. The back cover is detailed in broken glass; the glass pieces have a smooth texture different from the book jacket. Very cool all-around!
Girl, Stolen starts out strong with the kidnapping happening within the first chapter. Griffin doesn’t know that Cheyenne’s in the car, let alone that she’s blind. The things we learn about the blind through this book are incredibly interesting. Cheyenne has ways of tracking how long she’s in the car. She ‘s extra sensitive to inflections in voice. Her sense of direction has grown.
The story, however, is told in third person, and it didn’t really work for me. I wanted to connect with Cheyenne more than I was allowed because of the point of view. The story would have been stronger if I could have felt more of her fear and anguish. The story also switches to Griffin, but the transition isn’t always smooth. Sometimes I had to re-read a section to decide if the point of view was from Cheyenne or Griffin.
The story moves quickly, but it was easy for me to put down and move to another book. Once I sat down to finish the last 60 or so pages, the story took a turn for the better. The intensity picked up and provided an exciting twist toward the end. I’m sure others won’t be bothered by the point of view and will thoroughly enjoy Girl, Stolen. I know a few of my students are interested in reading this after seeing me reading it during SSR.