Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Rachel's Poll Winner: Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication date: May 4th 2009
My rating: 4.5 stars 


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6408862-stolen

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.




I’ve wanted to read Stolen for a long time.  Sadly, it was pushed to the side so many times, but I’m glad I finally picked it up because it was a powerful and gripping read.  All my nerves and emotions felt stretched tight while reading this, the tension high.  I felt the zing of excitement as I turned the pages, both hoping for things to turn out one way and dreading if they did, as well. 

Sixteen year old Gemma is drugged and kidnapped from an airport and taken to the endless desert in the Australian Outback.  She’s not familiar with the land and it is brutal and remote which leaves little chance for escape.  Ty, her captor is feels he’s taken her from her materialistic, self-centered parents, to rescue her from the inevitable life she’ll be shoved into if she stays. He wants company in his remote desert “paradise” and somehow he thinks Gemma is perfect for that life,…perfect for him. 

Unfortunately for Ty, Gemma is not at all happy to be taken forcibly from her parents, her life, and civilization, but Ty won’t let her go.  He thinks time will change her mind.

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

*shivers*

There’s something profoundly flattering about another person being obsessed with you.  Well, in theory, anyways.  In real life it is disturbing.  

I was surprised to find that Ty was not overly romanticized, and that I really didn’t like him in the beginning.  He actually creeped me the heck out!  He was good looking, mesmerizing to Gemma when she first meets him, and that’s why he was able to kidnap her.

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.

But her initial feelings are wiped out when she comes to and discovers her situation.  Ty was clearly unstable and socially stunted, but as I continued to read, my feelings softened toward him, much like Gemma’s did, so that we were both confused:

“A part of me understood why you’d done it, too.  And it’s hard to hate someone once you understand them.”

This story felt very intimate as it was told in the second person narrative; Gemma is speaking to Ty, but I felt like the story was being told directly to me.  After finishing Stolen, I have feelings of melancholy and I’m seriously conflicted.  I know what’s right and what should’ve happened.  Did I want it to end like that?  Yes, no,…maybe. *sigh* The story was jarring and left my emotions all over the place.  

Lucy Christopher’s debut novel was captivating, heart wrenching, confusing, with an underlying sexual tension that is palpable.  I read on Ms. Christopher’s website that she may write a sequel to Stolen. I hope she does as I would love to catch up with Ty and Gemma and tie up loose ends. If someone has any news on that, I’d love to know!

I want to thank the readers who picked this out of the poll we put up for last month’s recap!  It probably would still be sitting on my shelf, unread, otherwise.




21 comments:

  1. You have no idea how happy I'm that you enjoyed this one. Stolen was really something else for me and made me feel for some people I never though I would. I agree with you emotions are running wild while reading this one. Great review Rachel :)

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  2. Ooh okay this one sounds insanely creepy in the sense that it was really gritty and all. So glad that you loved this one! I need to pick this one up sometime soon.

    Lovely review, Rach! <33

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  3. Your review makes me want to read Stolen ASAP! I'm a huge fan of unstable guys and I feel like this story has so much angst which I'm also a huge fan of. Hopefully I find a copy of this book soon! Great review, btw! :)

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    1. Thank you, Celine! There was a lot of tension reading this because I was worried how everything would work out. Ty is the perfect anti-hero and I couldn't help but love him in the end! Hope you enjoy it! :)

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  4. I've heard so much about this book and Lucy Christopher's writing, Rachel, but it scares me to even try this one out because it seems so intense. But one of these days, I will give it a try.
    I'm glad that the author did not romanticize the kidnapper. That would have most likely reduced the emotional the impact the book had on you.
    Lovely review, Rachel!

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    1. I understand your hesitancy, Nick. But rest assured this story is wonderful. I'd be interested to see what you thought of it. :)

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  5. STALKER!! Yeah, obsessions are kind of creepy, even when it's in a book (IRL, *shudder* and call the cops). I've heard about this book...but haven't brought myself to read it yet.

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  6. Uh oh Rachel. It sounds like one of those endings I'm going to need to know upfront before I wade into the murky waters of this story. I've heard such good things about it, and you obviously loved it even if you're conflicted on the ending itself. And a possible sequel? That has me even more curious! Wonderful review my friend:)

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  7. "There’s something profoundly flattering about another person being obsessed with you. Well, in theory, anyways. In real life it is disturbing." --LOL!!!!! I agree with the last part of this thought. LOL. It's really, really disturbing. Haha. I have never read 2nd person perspective thus far unless I consider Christina's (Christina Reads YA) blog post about her visit to Lebanon, so this'd be interesting. I don't digest these Stockholm syndrome books that well.. they creep me the fuck out, but since you and Christina both enjoyed it, I'm willing to give it a try. Someday :) Gorgeous review, cupcake!

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  8. I'm really glad that both you and Jasprit enjoyed your poll winning books! Having a poll is such a good idea and I can't wait to see the choices for next month. I just finished reading The Killing Woods by this author and I think you'd really enjoy that one too Rachel!

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    1. I'm excited to hear that, Jess, because Jasprit sent me a copy! I love mysteries, so I have high hopes! :)

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  9. I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Rachel! I read it after the initial hype as well, but was still blown away. I cannot wait to read The Killing Woods now - I'm sure Christopher will stun yet again!(:

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    1. Same here, Keertana. I'm always worried about that when I pick up a book that's been praised so highly. I can't wait to read The Killing Woods, too! We'll have to compare notes. :)

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  10. I've heard so many wonderful things about this book! I had it out from the library once and had trouble getting into it because of the writing style/POV, but I definitely want to give it another chance sometime. I'm glad you connected with it, Rachel.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  11. I am like you Rachel I have so many good books in the pile and I am tired of them languishing I need to do like you and Jasprit and poll and read them. This sounds amazing and creepy

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  12. Oh man I felt the same way as you... I was so conflicted by the end, and then the end came, and I was like, "Wait, no no no!" *all the sads*

    I couldn't believe I felt the way I did; in fact, had you asked me before I read it how I would have felt, I would have sworn a completely different opinion! UGH! She definitely accomplished exactly what she was trying to with this!

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  13. Wow, Rachel. This is the type of story I tend to avoid, b/c I feel weird about romanticizing a captor. You've convinced me, though. Stolen is definitely going on my to-read list!

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  14. Sounds like an intense read, but I love books like that. It's fascinating to read about topics that you THINK you have a clear point of view on, and then realize that can be changed or bent.

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  15. This is something different compared to the books that I usually read. I'm not sure if I would enjoy it but you gave convincing points on your review that made me decide to give this a try. It's really creepy. I mean, with the stalking and stuff. Great review Rachel :)

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  16. This is one of my favorite books and I'm so happy that you finally read it.:)
    I know how you felt after reading it - I was so confused, I didn't know should I hate him or feel sorry for him. I'm not so sure about sequel. It would be nice to see what happened later, but this ending is kind of perfect. I love when authors decide to leave things open and you're can't stop thinking about it and guessing about outcome.

    Great review, Rachel.

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  17. Ty sounds totally creepy but I like the sound of Gemma - she seems sensible despite being forced into such a conflicted situation. Lovely review :)

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