It took me awhile to finish Girl Stolen by April Henry, but not because it's a bad book. I'm just a slow reader. It's a very good book. Cheyenne Wilder is a 16-year-old still learning to adjust to a world she can no longer see. An accident years ago robbed Cheyenne of her sight and of her mother. Now, Cheyenne has been accidentally kidnapped by another impressionable teenager, Griffin.
Griffin has spent his life under the thumb of his father Roy, who runs the family business --- stealing cars. When his father doesn't get drunk and beat him is a good day. He has physical and emotional scars from his difficult childhood. An Escalade with the keys still in it is an invitation to Griffin, who thinks his dad will be proud of him for making such a find. But that all changes when he discovers Cheyenne in the backseat. Upon discovering that she is blind, Griffin plays on her fears. A cigarette lighter pressed against Cheyenne's temple made a handy weapon, scaring her into submission.
Roy uses Griffin's mistake to his advantage, demanding a ransom from Cheyenne's father, who is the fictitious president of Nike. Roy is angry and rough around the edges, something Cheyenne can sense despite being blind. Griffin, while complicit in his father's crimes, seems more sensitive and a product of his environment, which Cheyenne can also sense.
The chapters alternate between Griffin and Cheyenne's perspectives. You can feel Griffin's guilt and shame. Although Cheyenne can't see his home, Griffin is ashamed at how dirty and disheveled it is. He makes it his duty to protect Cheyenne from his Roy, and his father's friends who get roped into the crime. Griffin is a very a sympathetic character. Badly burned as a child, Griffin wishes people would see him and not the scars. If only his mother was still around, he would have been a better person. If only his father wasn't a criminal, Roy and Griffin would have been better people.
Like Griffin, Cheyenne wishes people could see her and not the disability. What's it like to be blind? I don't know, but this book gives a good insight into people who are. Cheyenne is more in tune with her other senses. Sounds, smells, and touches come through very vividly. Cheyenne is also a very bold and brave character. She is not afraid to take chances to save her life.
Despite the pace I took with it, Girl Stolen is a fast-paced, suspenseful read. Check it out.