Review

Stolen

Stolen

Stolen

by Lucy Christopher

Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: Febuary 1st, 2011
by Scholastic

three-half-stars

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Summary:

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.

Review:

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.

I’m honestly not sure what to think of this. One part of me absolutely adored it, but the other side of me just didn’t click with it as much as I would have hoped I would. The hype for this is certainly not unwarranted; I suppose I just simply expected something more from this and was disappointed when I didn’t get it.

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.

One day, while on her way home from a vacation with her family, 16-year-old Gemma she is kidnapped, drugged, and – against her will – brought to the vast wilderness of Australia – where nothing is in sight for hundreds of miles.

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

Gemma’s kidnapper – Ty – isn’t your typical kidnapper. He’s young, he’s fit, and he’s completely gorgeous. And all he wants from Gemma is her love. Despite his mistakes, can the power of Ty’s love make Gemma love him back?

I think my biggest problem with Stolen was the characters. This is a story that is NOT action-packed, and thus is relies on a strong cast of characters to move it along. While Christopher’s characters were certainly well-developed, I just didn’t feel they were well-developed enough to do something as huge as move the story along.

Gemma is not a character who is especially unique or special, but you’ll admire her all the same. She’s your typical teenager; and Lucy Christopher writes her in a highly relatable way. She may not be a kickass character who defeats the bad guy, but her inner determination and strength makes her just as wonderful.

Ty, however, was much different than Gemma. I spent the whole story in disgust at how he kidnapped Gemma without any remorse or thought to how Gemma would feel about being taken away from her family and friends. Lucy Christopher tries to go about the story by making up excuses for him, and I just couldn’t buy them. When Gemma (and, in turn, most readers) started to fall for him, I just couldn’t follow that lead as I was still in disgust at him for what he did. And since the story focuses so much on Gemma and Ty’s relationship, it’s quite difficult to enjoy the story considering my bitter feelings towards him.

I’m definitely a black sheep here; but I will say that Lucy Christopher’s writing – from a technical aspect – was fabulous. It’s not easy to nail second person POV, but she did. While the characters and overall concept might not have been my cup of tea, I do see what Christopher was trying to do with this and I admire her for it.

Lets face it, you did steal me. But you saved my life too. And somewhere in the middle, you showed me a place so different and beautiful, I can never get it out of my mind. And I can’t get you out of there either. You’re stuck in my brain like my own blood vessels.

three-half-stars

13 thoughts on “Stolen

  1. Okay, I admit. I’m disturbed. 😉 But the whole kidnapping-someone-and-then-falling-in-love-with-them kind of freaks me out. BUT. I totally trust your reviews. So I’m looking this up. Plus, it is set in Oz, and that’s just freaking awesome. And the outback is totally a person! I mean, in a really weird way. I don’t live in all the red desert stuff (not many people do), but I’ve been there and it’s really mesmerising. So yes. I’m getting this if I can. I blame you.

    1. Yeah…I keep shuddering just thinking about it!

      Muhaha…let me know when / if you decide to start it. (Although I’m still making you read Tiger Lily before you read anything else. EVER.)

      It’s awesome to have experience with / for a setting – especially if the setting plays a huge role in the story – as it does here. To be honest, I think you’ll like it 10x more since you’ve actually had experience with the setting and you know what it’s like. I haven’t been to Australia (yet!), but it seems so beautiful and breathtaking! It’s definitely on my bucket list!

      Hehe! Let me know! xD

  2. Oh wow!! I have heard about this book before. I feel like I would be crying when reading it. I tend to stay away from those books… you should read When A Monster Calls . I think you will really like it. The books that make you think of what the ending is can drive me nuts. My mind usually thinks the best happened to the characters.

    1. LOL…yeah, I’m typically the same way (it took a lot of convincing from my friends to get me to read The Book Thief – but it ended up being one of my favorite books of 2012!). Ooohh…thanks for the recommendation! I put it on hold at my library, so I can’t wait to start it soon!

  3. Sounds super beautiful, but yes like Cait I’m super disturbed as well. It kind of sounds like it’s romanticising a horrible crime. I’ve read Lucy Christopher’s newest book, The Killing Woods which is also disturbing but I can see what you mean with the beautiful writing. Being stuck in the Aussie desert would definitely be traumatising!

    1. It is VERY disturbing!
      In terms of it seeming to romanticize a crime, it’s not. At first that’s kind of what I thought too, but it really isn’t. It’s hard to explain, but it’s more of a genuine Stockholm Syndrome response versus a romantic response if you get what I’m saying.
      That it would! I haven’t read The Killing Woods yet, but it’s definitely on my TBR list!

  4. This is indeed slightly disturbing…I have this itchy feeling in the pit of my stomach at the moment and I’m not sure what to do with it.
    Though-kidnapping-and-then-falling-in-love-with-your-kidnapper is actually quite common… as utterly weird as it may seem.
    Your review definitely peeked my interest, I love writers that think out of the box and the Letter-type story is just that. Ugh! I am confused! *sobs* Your review confused me and now I have to read it! (and I already have so many books to read! haha).
    Okay, I’ll read it!

    You know I really enjoy talking to you! 🙂 I just love blogging especially because I keep meeting new -awesome- people! You have a great blog and I really enjoy reading your reviews!
    x Iris

    1. It is VERY disturbing! I keep shuddering even thinking about how disturbing the whole scenario is!

      Really?!?! I never knew that!

      The letter format the story is written in is really outside the box. I’m definitely with you on how it’s awesome that an author is able to be so original while still being able to share her story and her ideas so well!

      Yeah! I’m so glad you’re able to squeeze it in to your TBR pile! 🙂 I hope you like it as much as I did! I’m really glad you’ve decided to read it though!

      Aww…thanks so much Iris! That means a lot to me! I enjoy talking to you as well! You’re one of my favorite people in the blogosphere and your reviews and your blog are super epic! You’re so passionate about reading, and it really shows! Plus, you’re really nice! Thanks for being awesome! 😀

  5. Incredible review, Zoe! I actually have Stolen in my possession, but I have yet to get a jump start on it. I think I have to be in the right frame of mind for something as haunting and heavy such as this. I like how you point out the simplicity of the storyline, but go on to say it’s the execution that makes it such a standout in YA. I’ll have to remind myself that this story will make me feel all types of emotions, and I won’t come out of my reading experience the same way I did going in. Thanks for the review, Zoe. I just pushed this one up my TBR. 🙂

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

    1. Yeah…I definitely agree. If you’re not in the right “mindset” so to speak, I don’t think this book will be as powerful and purposeful as it could have been. I think it’s a really smart idea to wait until you’re in a “contemporary mode” to start this one.

      Thanks! It definitely does have a simple plot, but sometimes simple things rock, right? 😉 Plus, the execution and the beautiful writing and the super well fleshed-out characters are what really made this story so enjoyable and breathtaking.

      No problem! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I’ll definitely be on the lookout for your review! xD

  6. The premise of Stolen sounded creepy to me too, a romanticized kidnapping essentially. But I absolutely loved it. It’s a mental battle to try to extract yourself from Gemma’s mind, because you find yourself feeling what she’s feeling. It’s almost Stockholm by association. It’s one of those books that stays with you and I actually felt depressed after it. It really messes with your mind.

    1. I’m so glad you loved it too Kelly! Like you said, it wasn’t necessarily an action-packed novel, but the way Lucy Christopher just develops her characters is so pheonominal! I definitely agree with you in terms of it’s like you’re in Gemma’s mind. It’s so creepy because – like you said – it’s as if you have Stockholm syndrome! I definitely agree that it’s definitely a book that will touch your heart and stay with you for a very long time.

  7. Great comment about the author, and very strong quote by Christopher. A super insight into the characters, many honest thoughts about the characters. You did a super review, very well explained about the book. Appreciated!!!!!!!

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