Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Review: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Author: Lucy Christopher
Publication Date: 05/04/2009
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere.

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back?

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost.

Summary from Goodreads


Stolen was such a provocative, captivating read.  It's not often that I come across a book with absolutely no action or romance and still find myself engrossed in the story.  We listen to the story told from Gemma in a letter to Ty, her kidnapper.  Because of this intimate narration it's easy for readers to put themselves into Gemma's shoes, to understand her fear, her panic, her pain, her loneliness, her hesitant feelings for Ty.  It's easy to see how someone could develop Stockholm Syndrome when you put yourself in their place, see their need to survive in any way possible...even if it means putting their trust in the person who is responsible for their situation
One thing I wish we could have seen is a glimpse into Ty's mind.  We get a little insight from what he tells Gemma but I still want more.  Ty seems like such a troubled boy/man, his background makes it easy to see why he becomes so fixated on Gemma and why he feels the need to "save" her.  Throughout the whole book I thought of Ty as an evil entity and had a hard time when Gemma started to get confused about her feelings towards him, but having had some time to reflect I feel like I have a case of Stockholm myself and it's left me feeling sad for Ty.  I wish we could get a second book, one that shows healing on his part.  That leaves him at rest.
Lucy Christopher also does an excellent job of describing the Outback.  I've never been but thanks to Christopher's descriptive details it was like I could feel the heat on my skin, the dryness in my throat, the sand in my eyes. 
I highly recommend Stolen.  I really can't even think of anything that I have against it, but I do believe it's one of those stories that will hit everyone differently.  

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