Monday, 12 November 2012

Review: Stolen

Title: Stolen
Author: Lucy Christopher
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Publication Date: May 4th 2009
Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction

Taken from her family in a Bangkok airport, Gemma finds herself kidnapped by Ty, who has been watching her from afar for years and even knows things about her life that she doesn’t. Drugged by the coffee he bought for her, Gemma finds herself in a dessert in Australia, surrounded only by wilderness. Although she is fearful of Ty, he swears that he just wants a companion and someone to love and be loved by. Although Gemma sees herself as being stolen, Ty believes that he saved her. As time wears on, thoughts of escape occupy Gemma’s days. Unfortunately, the compound where they live is only surrounded by a dangerous wilderness, and there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to run to. When Ty makes a deal with Gemma that if she stays for another six months and still wants to leave he’ll take her to civilization, she gladly agrees. While Gemma cannot imagine not wanting to leave and return home, Ty has hope. Could Gemma actually come to love the man who kidnapped her?

Stolen is told as a letter from Gemma to her captor, written with a raw and honest beauty that makes this book so special. I think anyone who starts to read this book can expect that Gemma will experience some variety of Stockholm Syndrome, but no one ever expects to feel it themselves. Not to say that I was in love with Ty, but I did understand and sympathize with him. This is just a sign of how strong a writer Lucy Christopher is. The fact that Gemma’s kidnapping is more complicated than it seems, that is was premeditated, is one of the things that makes this so interesting and thought provoking. Everything in this novel, from Ty to Gemma, is more complicated than it seems. The fact that the vast majority of the novel is spent in the isolated compound where Ty and Gemma live might make this novel sound boring, but it was anything but. My one criticism is that it was a bit predictable. However, this book is the kind that will make you think and will stay with you even after the last page, which should be the goal of every writer.

4/5

“When the darkness gets easier, you know you're sinking deeper, becoming dead yourself.”

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