Publisher: Chicken House
Publication date: May 4th 2009
My rating: 4.5 stars
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."
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.