Thursday, June 03, 2010

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Gemma, 16, is on layover at Bangkok Airport, en route with her parents to a vacation in Vietnam. She steps away for just a second, to get a cup of coffee. Ty--rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar--pays for Gemma's drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what's happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. The unknowing object of a long obsession, Gemma has been kidnapped by her stalker and brought to the desolate Australian Outback. STOLEN is her gripping story of survival, of how she has to come to terms with her living nightmare--or die trying to fight it.

The best way I can think to describe this book is this: powerful, well-written, vivid, riveting, gritty, and heart-wrenching. It’s an amazing, in-depth exploration of Stockholm Syndrome that will leave you feeling just as confused, scared, and frustrated as Gemma does.

On the surface, the story looks like this: boy loves girl, boy steals girl, girl grows to love boy. If it had gone this way, I would have hated it. Fortunately, it didn’t. It’s a more realistic view of a disturbed young man and a terror-stricken teenager.

Gemma doesn’t start out as completely likeable, but her confusion and fear are palpable. I connected with her through those emotions, and cheered her on each time she tried to escape. Her will and determination are refreshingly strong, and she doesn’t give up even when her attempts fail.

Ty is also a vivid, multifaceted character. He is clearly disturbed and delusional, but he’s also beautiful, gentle, and loving. He goes out of his way to keep Gemma from harm, even though he won’t let her go home. These traits show how he isn’t evil. He’s just a person with major problems who is trying to deal with them the best way he knows how. I found myself understanding him, even if I couldn’t agree with him...

The ending is the best part of the whole story. And that’s all I’m going to say about that, because I wouldn’t ruin it for anything. :)

This isn’t an action-packed adventure, even with the dangers in Australia’s Outback. Instead, it’s an intense, psychologically twisting story that kept me reading until two in the morning. Definitely recommended.

14 comments:

Nomes said...

Oh - I so can't wait to read this book -ever since I heard about it - and your review is just so fab, it's killing me.

It's actually in my library's catalogue, but b/c it's been short-listed for CCBA (Australia's biggest book awards/honour) the librarians have squirrelled it away to read amongst themselves and I have to wait until the book award week in August :(

Anyway, great review. And I <3 Aussie YA :)

Jill Wheeler said...

I appreciate this review. I've been eyeing the book... it looks so good! Definitely on my summer reading list!

Ella Press said...

I've never read anything of the sort. It sure looks interesting. Thanks for your review, it was my first for this book :)

Mary Witzl said...

I've already read two reviews of Stolen, but your review has bumped it up to my top five Got-to-reads. I'm so glad there's a satisfying ending.

KM said...

Wow. This sounds awesome! It'll be hard for me to find this anywhere in the US, I'm assuming, though. Oh well. I'll search. Sounds like it's worth the wait. :)

Tere Kirkland said...

Wow, what a story. Thanks for telling me the ending makes it worthwhile, because the subject matter might have kept me from reading. Sometimes I just can't handle books like that.

Thanks for the review. I'll have to pick up Stolen.

Tabitha said...

Nomes - it's a great book, and definitely worth the wait!!

Jill - I was unsure about this book until I got to the end. The premise intrigued me, but I was guarded just in case the end went in a creepy direction. Thankfully it didn't, and I ended up loving it.

Ella - I hadn't either. I can't think of any other books out there that deal with this subject matter, and this one handles it extremely well.

Tabitha said...

Mary - it's *definitely* a got-to-read. :) I hope you can get your hands on a copy!!

KM - actually, this book was released in the US on May 1st, so you should be able to find it most anywhere!

Tere - I was so cautious about this book because I didn't know how it was going to end. I am *very* glad it ended the way it did.

PJ Hoover said...

Wow, it sounds fantastic, Tabitha!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for telling me about it. It sounds super intense. Your worst nightmare for your kid. It sounds great though. I'll have to see if I can read it.

Sliding on the Edge said...

I love these kinds of books. Thanks for posting the review.

Anne M Leone said...

Yay! A very well written review of this FAB book. I hope the rest of you can get your hands on a copy soon--it's well worth the money!

Nora Maeve Downing said...

I love your blog! and am putting this on library hold immediately!

Loraine said...

Awesome review! Here's mine if you don't mind: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/12/stolen-by-lucy-christopher.html

Thanks and have a nice day! :)