Monday, August 10, 2015

Stolen by Lucy Christopher Book Review

Title: Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
Author: Lucy Christopher
Publisher: Chicken House
Date of Release: April 1, 2012
Pages: 320
Received From: Purchased
Purchase at:

A girl: Gemma, 16, at the airport, on her way to a family vacation.

A guy: Ty, rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar, eyes blue as ice.

She steps away. For just a second. He pays for her drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what's happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. To sand and heat. To emptiness and isolation. To nowhere. And expects her to love him.

Written as a letter from a victim to her captor, STOLEN is Gemma's desperate story of survival; of how she has to come to terms with her living nightmare--or die trying to fight it.

A Michael L. Printz Honor Book * ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults * A 2011 USBBY Outstanding International Book

*"An emotionally raw thriller."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Disturbing, heartbreaking, and beautiful all at once." --School Library Journal

My Review

When we were at Barnes and Noble the other day, looking at books, this one was up in front. It was with some other books that were labeled shocking, and while this word doesn't necessarily mean I will be shocked (face it, I've read some REALLY shocking books in my time), after reading the synopsis I was intrigued.

This book is about Gemma, a 16 year old girl who is traveling with her parents, from London but in the Bangkok airport, and Ty, and intense young man she meets while in the airport.

The writing was effortless in this book and I really enjoyed the characters. Could I relate to them? Well obviously not, as Gemma suffers from Stockholm Syndrome and Ty has issues of his own. But, could I relate to the book? In a weird way I could. I have read some other reviews saying they though that Ty was creepy ***Spoiler***, somewhat stalking in nature, following Gemma from the age of 10. I felt quite a bit different about his feelings for Gemma. I never really got a sexual vibe from him, more of a nurturing tone, as strange as that may sound. When Gemma was 10 she was in a park with her parents, talking to the 'fairies' in the flowers. Behind the flower bed was Ty, a young man of 19, addicted to alcohol and drugs, an orphan with a tragic story of his own. But Gemma's words woke something in him and from that day forward he kept a close eye on her.

At 16, he finally sees the opportunity to take her away from a harsh world - at least that is how I read the story. Twisted, sure, but he never intended to hurt her, just bring her to his world and save her, just as she had done for him. As you read and see Gemma's feelings struggle between hate, appreciation, and maybe even a little bit of love, you are right there with her. He never hurts her, in fact quite the opposite. He does everything he can to help her. And he changes her too, whether for better or worse, that is for you to judge.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend it. A quick read and a very interesting take on the captor/hostage story.

4 stars

Lucy Christopher, author of Stolen and Flyaway, was born in Wales but grew up in Australia, living in Melbourne from the age of nine until she completed her undergraduate degree at Melbourne University. After various attempts at being an actor, a coffee maker, a waitress and a nature guide, she moved back to the UK to earn a distinction in a Creative Writing MA from Bath Spa University. Lucy took on part-time work as a university lecturer at Bath Spa University, teaching on the undergraduate and the MA creative writing courses, and is currently undertaking a PhD to explore the ways that Australian literature represents wild places, particularly in its writing for young adults. Lucy's debut novel, Stolen, was written as part of this PhD.

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