Sunday, October 24, 2010

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

No connection to Girl, Interrupted.

Griffin was only thinking of how proud his father would be when he stole the fancy Escalade from the mall parking lot. Unfortunately for him, he didn't realize there was someone sleeping in the back. Now Griffin doesn't know what to do. He only meant to take a car, not kidnap a girl. The girl, Cheyenne, turns out not to only have pneumonia, but is blind. Griffin's father plans to get money from Cheyenne's father to give her back safely, but Griffin is beginning to wonder if giving Cheyenne back is part of the plan at all.

So I got all judgy on this early on because the back cover was so melodramatic. "How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare? She's not only sick - she's BLIND!" And then the beginning seemed so far-fetched. When the kid realized there was someone in the back of the car, and that she was blind, wouldn't he just bail? But as it went along I bought in more to the "in over your head" place it was going to and how one bad decision forces a whole bunch of other really bad decisions.

I found Cheyenne to be a fairly believable character. There was enough information about the strategies she uses in her day-to-day life as someone with very limited sight for the reader to be impressed with her fighting back and being determined to escape. Being kidnapped would horrifying enough, being kidnapped when you're blind and are therefore in a totally new place you have no sense of makes a horrifying situation that much worse. Griffin too I found believable after the initial not bailing when he realized there was someone in the car. He went home hoping his day would fix things, only to find things become even more of a mess until he ultimately has to make his own decision, apart from his father.

I did not care for the ending. I don't really care for endings that don't actually tell what the characters decide to do. Maybe April Henry wanted you to come to your own conclusions. Maybe she wants to keep things open for a sequel. I don't know. It feels kind of lazy to me, like they didn't want to have to make a choice. That's probably totally off base and there's a sound reason behind the choice, but I don't really like it.

The book was not long, and moved along quickly with lots of adventure and high stakes to keep things rolling. This would make a good choice for reluctant readers.

Girl, Stolen came out on September 28th.

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