Tuesday, April 25, 2017

BOOK REVIEW | Stealing Candy by Stewart Lewis

Title: Stealing Candy
Author: Stewart Lewis
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Pages: 288
Source: I received Stealing Candy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! Thank you Sourcebooks Fire!
Dates Read: January 20-24, 2017
Candy hates boarding school. As a junior, graduation is still eons away, and making films is the only way to survive the boredom. Until she is kidnapped.

Candy panics. Along Came a Spider, Ransom, Taken, Cellular… Candy knows how these movies end. The only reason anyone would abduct her is to get a payout from her rock star father. Except Candy and her father are estranged. There’s no way he’s going to pay.

But with every hour that passes, Candy’s fear slowly recedes. Being on the road is freeing, not to mention great material for a new documentary. And the more time she spends with her handsome captor Levon, the more she learns the whole scheme is not just about ransom. It’s about revenge. What began as a kidnapping is spiraling into a crazy road trip adventure as Candy and Levon find a lot of wrong ways to do the right thing.

For me, Stealing Candy had a rocky start. The book begins with Candy being kidnapped quite early on (Chapter 2) and I couldn't connect with her at all at first. In fact, I had trouble connecting with her the whole time, which I talk in depth about later. I can say she did get better, as did the book, as it progressed.

My least favorite thing about this book was the romance. It is supposed to be one of the selling points of the novel, and it fell really flat. I felt as if the interaction between Levon and Candy were awkward and scripted. And though obviously they are "scripted," the conversation should still be able to flow naturally. I didn't believe in it, and whenever the romance was mentioned, I was just taken out of the story.

What really saved this book for me was the pace. Stealing Candy was so fast paced that even when I didn't like it, I kept going. From what I remember the chapters are relatively short or have breaks in them. Another thing that I really liked was how big family was in this book. My favorite moments were by far when Candy was reminiscing about her mother, or even her father. My favorite scene is when Candy is telling a story about her best memory with her estranged dad.

However, Candy's dad is where things began to go awry. This book takes a completely different turn than the synopsis. Pretty early on Candy actually starts to help her kidnapper, Levon, take down her estranged father. I wanted a gritty kidnapping novel and I got something else in its entirety. So though I like the interactions between Candy and her father, the whole sabotage thing was out of left field for me.

Candy's character herself was very contradictory. She was selfish in the way that she was always complaining about how hard her life was, but then she was able to put morals above family, which is hard even if you are estranged. I didn't agree with her actions, but at times she was poised. Basically, half the time I hated her, and the other half I respected her.

Stealing Candy is nowhere near perfect. I definitely had my flaws with it, but overall I had a good time. Candy is an annoying protagonist, as is the romance. However, the fast pace and general plot of the book saved it for me, even if things went a bit sideways. Friendships and family are portrayed in a really great light here. I love how Lewis contrasted family, who you can't choose, with friends, who you can. 

With that, I give this book 
3.25 out of 5 Stars!

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