Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review of Stolen by Lucy Christopher

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.

(Summary from GoodReads)

Stolen is not an easy book to put down.  It's the story of a girl who may or may not want to escape her captor, and there also aren't really chapters or breaks, making it easy to read large chunks straight through.  Christopher has crafted a beautiful, twisted story that stands out in my mind because of the stunning prose.

Without a doubt, my favorite part of Stolen is the landscape. Christopher's Outback is a place that is remote, beautiful, and terrifying with descriptions so vivid that you can almost feel how dry the entire place is. It's the type of place that you almost want to visit to see how beautiful is, yet you don't want to go there for fear you'd become trapped and die.

Reading about Ty and Gemma is hard. We get some backstory on Ty, and it's supposed to help us understand why he might act the way he does. While in real life it seems that a person can have Ty's life experiences and then go on to do the things he does, it wasn't believable in this case.  It felt like Christopher crafted character who is both caring and a threat and suddenly needed to give him a reason to be that way.  Gemma has complex feelings for Ty, and I thought Christopher was going to crash and burn and write a horrid and disingenuous ending to their relationship, but man did she nail it.

At one point Gemma describes Australia as "so different and beautiful. I can never get it out of my mind," which is exactly how many readers will react to Stolen.  It's gorgeously written, but also an interesting, in depth look at two people.  I'm eager to reread this one and continue to pick apart all of its layers, meaning, and beauty.
Other reviews:
The Broke and the Bookish
Clear Eyes Full Shelves
Wear the Old Coat 


  1. I actually have had this book on my iPad for years. Years! Shamefully, I still haven't read it. I thought I had but realized a few months ago that I haven't after going through my old books to pull and read in the coming month. I might to move it to the top if it's hard to put down. I need more of those.

  2. Great review. I unfortunately haven't read this yet, but just like you I've heard a lot of good reviews and feedback about the story so I really need to pick this up soon so I can fall in love with the plot and characters lol


  3. "Stolen" is profound, heartachingly beautiful and deceptively slow (I'd say thorough and exploring) but incredibly rewarding. We are far too desensitized anymore, greedy for empty flash and pomp, that we can't even appreciate works lacking grandiose melodrama. Yes, while it has grand, dramatic elements, that isn't this story at its core.

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