Thursday, 31 December 2015

Review: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Stolen: A Letter to My CaptorTitle: Stolen
Author: Lucy Christopher 
Publisher: Chicken House
Published: May 4th 2009 
Paperback 301 pages.

Gooodreads summary; 

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.
How can I review this book? Its 8.25pm on a cold December night, three days away from Christmas and all I can think about is the story that Lucy Christopher just shared with me. I feel like I was given this precious gift, a part of her soul really. It’s like this with every book I think, especially the very good ones. But this is different, this is a first for me.

Gemma is only sixteen when she is taken away from her family, from her friends and her entire life into the hands of a horrible monster. She is picked up from an airport and plucked into a hot desert where the land wants to kill you, with the fear of what her captor will do to her.

“How long will you keep me?" I asked.
You shrugged. "Forever, of course.” 

There is nothing out there like this story. Nothing. This book captures the true essence of what it’s like to fear somebody and to be scared for your life.

Gemma is a very strong protagonist, she was scared, even ready to die at the hands of her captor but she had hope.
Ty is a troubled man who had a hard life, he’s strong physically but emotionally he’s damaged.

I still can’t believe just how great Gemma’s character was! I can already imagine more than half of the female characters in young adult books now and how they could react in this situation. Gemma was different. She was scared but she willed herself to try and run away. She wanted to escape even if it killed her.

This is a letter from Gemma to her captor; written in detail of everything she experienced and felt throughout her time with Ty and honestly how much can you write about a month or so? How long can you make a letter out of this? I was incredibly sceptical of the format that it was written in, I mean it shows Gemma’s true feelings but how much can really happen in a sunny desert with nobody else around? Apparently a lot, this was a fantastic idea, especially for the beginning and the end of the novel.

My mind couldn’t keep up and my heart never settled on what I thought of Ty, just like Gemma. There was this character who has done wrong but is so hurt and is so delusional that you cannot help but forgive him for his wrong doings.

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

My heart was in my throat until the very last word on the page. What does Gemma think of this and what do I think of this. I was so conflicted because I wanted Gemma to love him. I wanted her to forgive him, to somehow be with him?! I think I was the one suffering through Stockholm syndrome. I was never nervous when Gemma was scared of Ty, I was never scared for her when she was trying to escape him. I always had hope.

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