Girl, Stolen is an excellent book by the author April Henry. It is a young-adult crime novel with a fascinating storyline and exciting characters. It is about an accidental kidnapping of a 16 year old teen, Cheyenne, who is not only young but she is also blind. After she is kidnapped by Griffin, his dad finds out there is a reason to keep her after all. She doesn’t know how safe she is and trying to escape is a lot harder without any sight. I think that this is a good story as the central character Cheyenne is blind and ill which gives the character a bit more depth; you sympathise with her situation and connect with her quickly. You understand that potentially someone with sight and is well has much more chances to escape, not only is she a lot weaker but she is never sure of how much danger she is in. If she did get away, she would even be able to tell anyone what the perpetrators look like. I love the way that yes, Cheyenne is blind but that doesn’t control her. It is merely a difference but not a bad thing. I think the character Griffin is also an interesting read as yes he may be a car thief but he never intended to become a kidnapper. To see how he reacts to the situation and is desperate to make sure that Cheyenne isn’t hurt is fascinating as it also allows you to connect with him. You want to help him stand up to his dad and help Cheyenne. I think that this book focuses more on the relationship between kidnapper and kidnapped, Griffin and Cheyenne and less about the psychology of being kidnapped which I enjoyed. It showed a different side to the traditional storyline and allowed you to believe in the characters more. I would highly recommend you to read this as it is incredibly engaging.
April Henry is currently writing a sequel to this novel which is due to be released
April Henry is a crime/thriller novelist from Oregon, USA who has written 20+ novels for a variety f readers. She was kind enough to answer some questions I submitted her which I have inserted below:
April Henry Q&A
- What made you want to become an author?
I have always loved to read, but no one will pay to read and eat Doritos, which I think we could all agree would be the best job ever. Writing stories that make people want to read is definitely the next best thing.
- Were you ever inspired by any other authors?
I have been inspired by every author who made me get lost in their story, from Robert C. O’Brien who wrote The Silver Crown to Gin Phillips, who wrote Fierce Kingdom.
- Why did you choose to write in the crime/mystery genre?
I like to read that genre. It also has built-in high stakes. I’m never going to write about the girl who can’t decide who to go to the prom with.
- Regarding your book, Girl, Stolen, why did you choose to make one of the main characters (Cheyenne) blind?
It was inspired by a real-life event. A real blind girl was briefly kidnapped after her mom left the keys in the ignition. I watched her on TV and thought it would make a great beginning to a book.
- Why did you choose to revisit Cheyenne’s story in its sequel, Count all Her Bones?
I always said I wouldn’t write a sequel, but then I became fascinated by how self-driving cars will change so much for the blind.
- Do you follow a certain process whilst writing and does that involve a lot of research?
I usually research before I even start writing and then research more as I go along. I try to make everything as accurate as possible.
- What would you say is your favourite every book?
I’m not sure I have one. I really liked Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer.
- Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors or avid readers of crime fiction?
No matter what you want to do in life, you’re the only one who can say you can’t do it, by giving up. The secret to success of almost any kind is perseverance. Of course, it’s great to be naturally talented, but even that won’t take you all the way without hard work.
April Henry 2018
Many thanks, Caitlin x
(PS please comment if you have ever read this book or another by April Henry)