STOLEN by Lucy Christopher – A review…

I read so many wonderful reviews of STOLEN that I knew I had to read it. However, I never got around to it. Until, it stared at me at Barnes & Nobles while vacationing in the US. Once I dove in the story, there was no turning back.

Summary from Goodreads: 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

It´s a tough book to review because how does one explain developing so much empathy for a kidnapper, so much that he´s no longer one label but a person of his own, someone I wanted to save from himself? I´ll try my best to tell you why I think this book needs to be read by writers and readers alike, by anyone who likes to step back and think after closing a book, by anyone who loves being so immersed in the story that the smells of the settings become real.

  • The voice.

Every writer has heard this before. The voice in a book is what can make or break an entire novel. I believed Gemma. From the get-go,I was with her, despite the fact that some of the sentences were short and felt almost clipped, I felt with her. The way the sentences were formed was one more way for the reader to understand the way Gemma felt, how she was coping with her ordeal.

“You saw me before I saw you. In the airport, that day in August, you had that look in your eyes, as though you wanted something from me, as though you’d wanted it for a long time. No one had ever looked at me like that before, with that kind of intensity. It unsettled me, surprised me, I guess. Those blue, blue eyes, icy blue, looking back at me as if I could warm them up. They’re pretty powerful, you know, those eyes, pretty beautiful, too.”

As the story develops, as Gemma loses herself in the writing, the reader loses itself in the story. Completely.

  • The writing: simply beautiful

Lucy Christopher´s writing is gorgeous and becomes part of the story, making it even more alive. The writing mixed with the voice simply grabs your heart and doesn´t let go, even after you read the last word of the novel.

There were tiny stars behind my eyelids, a whole galaxy of tiny, spinning stars

and then there were the moments that relieved some of the tension without letting go of the tension.

“You’re right, he’s a killer,” you said. “A rooster with some serious issues.”

  • The setting comes alive

The Australian Outback isn´t just a setting, it´s alive. It brings fears and hurdles. It brings beauty and relief. It brings new beginnings and endings. Gemma hates it but loves it. It reminds me of the way she feels about Ty throughout the book, not sure which way to go, not sure to give in or to fight. Not sure what to believe anymore.

  • The relationship between Ty and Gemma

We know what Ty did is wrong. Gemma knows it. But during the time they spent together, the frontiers got blurred and there were moments where Ty showed such a human side that I wanted him saved. Because he had a history too. Because he wasn´t just evil or bad or crazy. He had dreams, hopes and a past. I wanted him to have a future too. Sometimes I even wanted them to have a future together.

Lucy Christopher manages to instill these moments and to show us how Gemma gets attached to Ty without wanting him, how conflicted she is, how unsure she is. She´s attracted to Ty. She feels for him. But then she also knows what he´s done to her by taking her away is wrong.

Maybe it´s Stockholm syndrome. Maybe I have it too.

“And it’s hard to hate someone once you understand them.”

And I had tears in my eyes reading this book, yearning for a resolution that simply couldn´t be and like Gemma, not sure why I would even want something different.

Oh and right after I was done reading, I talked on Twitter how weird I felt about wanting a sequel but how I really would love to know the rest of the story for both of those characters.There are so many questions I still need answered.

Lucy Christopher mentioned on her website about a sequel.

I certainly would like to revisit Gemma and Ty’s world one day, and yes, I do have a plot for a book related to Stolen all worked out in my head, ready to go. However, at present I am working on another novel for young people that is not related to Stolen to Flyaway. My advice though….stay tuned. It won’t be today or tomorrow, but maybe soon, soon, soon…..

If you haven´t read STOLEN yet, please pick it up so we can talk about it together 🙂

3 Comments

  1. katyupperman says:

    I adored this book, and I’m glad you did too. I love when a story gives me drastically conflicted feelings, and I always think it’s amazing when I come across an antagonist who is both sympathetic and relatable. Ty is such a complicated character, and I still think about his complexities when I’m trying to craft my own “bad guys.”

    I hadn’t heard anything about the possibility of a STOLEN sequel, but that news makes me so incredibly happy. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Victoria says:

    This was one of the most….heart wrenching books I’ve ever read. I cried so hard at the end. I cried doing the dishes, taking a shower, in my sleep, and over my bowl of oatmeal the next morning. I can’t explain it. I felt the same way Gemma did, I really hated to see all the stuff happen to Ty at the end, but he kidnapped her. It didn’t just affect her, it affected everyone around her. Never once did I think he didn’t need to be punished. He needs to be locked up…but…but…I don’t know. It hurts too much to think about. Every time I read the book I only go as far as the part were they’re talking about the stars that night. My favorite. The rest just hurts too much to read.
    Anyway! Sorry for my little feels rant (: I just really loved this book and I could talk about it all day. These characters are like family too me. I’m super protective of them in my on crazy, bibliophile way. I love them both.

Comments put a smile on my face :-)

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