Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

  • Title: Stolen
  • Classification: Young Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Realistic Fiction
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Chicken House; Reprint edition (April 1, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 054517094X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545170949
  • Author's Website:

"You saw me before I saw you..."

A seemingly chance encounter in a coffee shop in the Bangkok airport.

"It's funny, but I always thought I could trust blue eyes. I thought they were safe somehow.  All the good guys have baby blues. The dark eyes are for the villains..."

But their meeting wasn't just by chance.

"We don't take British coins..."

He expertly intervened paying for the coffee and finding the perfect introduction and way to instigate a conversation.

"So what's it like anyway? Australia?"

His response was not what she expected.

"You'll find out."

Then everything changed. Things got blurry and her speech slurred. And life as she knew it would never be quite the same.


Author Lucy Christopher takes us on a journey through the eyes of a victim. A journey in the form of a letter written in the victim's own words to her captor. At the end of the tale the story comes full circle from beginning to end as we discover the letter was the idea of her psychiatrist. A means for her to unload her emotions and deal with all that happened to her. Gemma slowly puts down in writing the how and what of it all in chronological sequence. She reveals her thoughts about things as they happened and how she was affected by all that took place.

What I truly loved about the book was the author's writing style and the way we are immediately ensnared by the story. Her descriptions and comments immediately endear us to Gemma and her situation. We root for Gemma to escape and cry when she fails. We feel her frustration and her fears. We admire her courage and perseverance and her struggle to keep things in perspective and not lose the one thing Ty couldn't take away from her--hope.

One of my favorite points in the book is when they capture a camel...
     "What do you want to call her? you said when you noticed me. 
     "Stolen," I said. It was the first thing I thought of.
     "That's not much of a name."
     "But she is, though, isn't she? Stolen from her herd." I felt bad that I'd helped.
     "She'll learn to love us." You said quietly. 
     "So you're forcing her to do what you want? Breaking her spirit?"
     "It's not quite like that." You clicked your tongue at the camel and moved toward her, head-on. This time when you threw the rope over her back, she didn't move away. Instead she turned her long neck around and sniffed at it. "I'm giving her faith in me," you said. "Once she trusts me, and she's accepted me, she'll like it better this way. Camels work in herds, you know. She'll feel safer once she's got someone to follow, a leader. Then she doesn't have to worry about being scared anymore."
These two little snippets reveal so much about Ty's mindset and about why he took Gemma. Once we learn about Ty's background, it's easy to see how this little incident is so significant to what he did.

What I found fascinating and somewhat disturbing about this books is the number of individuals who read the book and ended up sympathizing with Ty, Gemma's captor. Ms. Christopher does an excellent job of creating a story where the reader succumbs as easily as the victim to Stockholm syndrome. She creates an environment where you start sympathizing with the captor, understanding him and, on some levels, liking him. As Ty, himself states, "Creatures aren't so dangerous when you understand them."  What the reader needs to remember from the very beginning, and Gemma tries to subtly warn us of is not to fall for his trap as she did, when she thought she could trust a guy with baby blue eyes. This is not a story about a romantic love. This is not a story about a girl being whisked away by her knight in shining armor. This is in no way, shape, or form a fairy tale. This is a story about a young girl being stolen from her family and life to be at the mercy of one man. There is no happy ending in the true sense of the word. This is the story about a wolf in sheep's clothing and a poor little sheep caught in his snare, and while he may not be a terrible person overall, he did a terrible thing.

 Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses.A wonderful debut by author Lucy Christopher. I loved the inner turmoil Gemma experiences at the end and the conflicted feelings she has. While not the happiest of endings, Gemma still manages to see a silver lining and continue to hold on to the hope that in the bigger picture they (she and Ty) will both manage to grow from the experience and rise above it. I'm definitely going to have to check out her other novels. One is coming out in September. I can't wait. 

1 comment:

  1. I really wanna read this book right now
    I might try it sometime this week
    Your reader,


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