Stealing Candy by Stewart Lewis
Received an ARC from SOURCEBOOKS Fire via Netgalley for a fair review.
Publish date: May 2, 2017
“I should be freaking out. Crying or shaking like before, or screaming for help. I’m being kidnapped. The wild thing is, my heart is not only pounding with fear, but also with a twisted freedom.”
To say this book was awful would be an overstatement. To say it was good would, again, be an overstatement. As a YA contemporary with coming of age & romantic themes it falls into the I can read this easily in a day or two category. Unfortunately, the actual content seemed absurd to subject to a YA audience. This book paints a romance and justification through Stockholm Syndrome.
Stealing Candy is about a rock star’s daughter, Candy, being kidnapped outside of her school. Right away she notices that only one of her captors is a psychotic druggie (she calls him “Cancer Stick”) while the other is an attractive young man who doesn’t tend to be as violent (she calls him “Half Smile”). In the duration of her kidnapping Candy learns about the reasons behind her kidnapping and starts to just go along with it.
***Spoilers from this point on.***
Okay, WHAT THE FREAKING HECK. This chick is so dumb. Before she even gets to the whole “swooning over half smile kid” she has plenty of opportunities to run away from the people who are kidnapping her. Screw the fact that only one of the guys beat her over her head and duct taped her and shoved her into the back of a junky Toyota. Here’s the facts- it was Half Smile’s idea in the freaking first place! I know, I know. She lived a sheltered life and has her daddy issues to top all of this. But really? Hi, yeah, I got kidnapped…2 hours in I decided it felt like an adventure. WHAT THE F!? This entire time you are running all the scenarios from movies of kidnappings.
So not only does Candy screw her few opportunities to escape from her captors, but she totally falls for one of them. So within reason, with SS typically there could be a traumatizing situation (kidnapping/rough captor) followed by someone who is gentle (half smile is nice to her). I don’t see how that constitutes having sex with the guy like2 (I think? I wasn’t exactly counting) days later.
So here’s the few reasons why I hate Candy, and have zero sympathy for her crazy ass:
1. She talks about her classmates in shallow and cliché categories: The Borings, Max the Goth
2. She bitches about her dad, all the while living off the cushy living he provides for her (typical teen)
3. She thinks getting kidnapped is an adventure ( I STILL CANT GET OVER THIS)
4. She has sex with a captor, who also has a girlfriend that she’s aware of, and doesn’t feel any remorse for her action
5. At the end, after time being apart from Half Smile she still decides to go back to him. Like shit girl, meet a new guy! If he wanted you around, he would have emailed more in year since you had seen him…
6. We are somehow given a personality with her because she’s super into film, and all I could think of was that scene in American Beauty with the floating trash bag.
Okay so Half Smile. The entire reason why he does all this was to get his dad some retribution. 1 million dollars from the guy who framed him – Candy’s dad. So after finding out about the framing and not receiving the payout. He decides to save a ton of money to drive up the Eastern seaboard kidnap a girl and spend all that money driving back down to Florida to a concert where her dad is playing so she can be used for ransom….How he was going to complete final task he hadn’t planned out. Just took all the time to save enough money from mowing lawns to make this trip (I mean, that’s a lot of time saving money…how had he not thought it through?!) Also, towards the end, they end up just letting a detective know that it was this famous rock star not Half Smile’s dad and of course he looks into it because dang it’s this famous rock star! This kid is dumb too.
Moral of the story kids? Don’t be scared or try to escape if you’re kidnapped? They might have some reason for the awful act, and they might be the love of your life….
So many nopes.