Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Review: Stolen By, Lucy Christopher

From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up While 16-year-old Gemma is en route to Vietnam from England with her parents, she is drugged and kidnapped from the Bangkok airport. She regains full consciousness in a rustic house deep in the Australian Outback with a 25-year-old man who is going to keep her forever. Ty never sexually abuses her, but she is truly a captive. Little by little, Ty wears down her defenses as Gemma realizes that escape is impossible. Soon she discovers the stark power and vibrancy of the wilderness and becomes absorbed in it. She also learns that Ty has been stalking her for years, devising a crafty plan to steal her away to make her love him which she ultimately believes she does. Ty's capture, taming, and release of a female camel effectively parallels Gemma's ordeal. Her unique first-person narrative is written to Ty after her release. Both characters are as vivid as the desert setting in which they are immersed. Despite the fact that Ty is a kidnapper, the revelations about his difficult youth and his usually caring behavior allow readers, like Gemma, to eventually care about him. Disturbing, heartbreaking, and beautiful all at once, this book is the antithesis of the situational horror in Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl (S & S, 2008). Diane P. Tuccillo, Poudre River Public Library District, Fort Collins, CO
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I first read stolen last August while on vacation. (I had won a signed copy from Eve's Fan Garden) and fell in love with it. So, I decided to read it again so I could include it in my 100 Books in a Year Challenge and review it. In the course of the book I felt myself caring for Ty much like Gemma did. You don't want to, but he draws you in and you find yourself realizing there are motives behind all we do. The good and the bad. At one time I had to remind myself that Gemma was the victim, because you feel that Ty needs as much saving as she does. The unique telling of the story, as a letter to Ty from Gemma, allows you to get all Gemma's feelings after she has had time to process them. And her conflict is so real. At the end you know Ty needs to be punished for his actions and get help for his psychological issues, but you also hope, like Gemma, that one day he returns to the land he loves and is able to be fulfilled. The story is both simple and complex at the same time and I highly recommend it. Stolen was just also recognized with the Printz Honor Book award.

1 comment:

  1. This is going on my wish list. Thanks! I'm reading a James Patterson series now, the first book is called Which and Warlock - it has promise. But geesh your already two down and it is only the 11th! WTG!

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