Summary: 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.
Told in a letter to her captor by 16-year-old Gemma, Stolen explores the influence that a really wild and remote space can have on the inner development of a young woman.
Gemma, a British city-living teenager, is kidnapped while on holiday with her parents. Her kidnapper, Ty, takes her to the wild land of outback Australia. To Gemma’s city-eyes, the landscape is harsh and unforgiving and there are no other signs of human life for hundreds of kilometres in every direction. Here, there is no escape. Gemma must learn to deal with her predicament, or die trying to fight it.
Ty, a young man, has other ideas for her. His childhood experience of living in outback Australia has forever changed the way he sees things. But he too has been living in the city; Gemma’s city. Unlike Gemma, however, he has had enough. In outback Australia he sees an opportunity for a new kind of life; a life more connected to the earth. He has been watching and learning about Gemma for many years; when he kidnaps her, his plan finally begins to take shape.
But Ty is not a stereotypical kidnapper and, over time, Gemma comes to see Ty in a new light, a light in which he is something more sensitive. The mysteries of Ty, and the mystery of her new life, start to take hold. She begins to feel something for her kidnapper when he wakes screaming in the night. Over the time spent with her captor, Gemma’s appreciation of him develops …but is this real love, or Stockholm Syndrome?
My Thoughts: I loved Stolen. After reading the summary (young girl, kidnapping, stockholm syndrome) I was kind of apprehensive that it would be false, or stupid, or deceivingly and disgustingly-untrue-abuse romanticized and painted over in a Twilight-esque light. You know, where the creepy “love interest” is supposed to be so tragically romantic and possessive and “unique” and she can change his bad ways, really she can!
It was so far from that. Christopher made Gemma’s terror and fear real to me, and it was obvious almost from the get-go that Ty is not your typical dark and brooding bad boy who is supposed to be “saved” by our heroine. Ty has issues. Real issues and a real history that surround the solitary domain he has built in the arid desert of outback Australia, the place he has kidnapped Gemma to.
There are really only two characters in this novel, and therefore we are intensely focused on the psychology and developments between Ty and Gemma. Christopher makes you fall in love with the landscape even as you know, just as Gemma does, that is inescapable, dangerous, and terrifying. There is a sense of building fragile things, anticipation and feelings rising to a point–and then everything topples over so heartbreakingly. You are sitting there at the end, wondering what exactly happened, just as Gemma does–she is no less confused than the reader.
Stolen is one of my Best Books Read in 2011. Beautiful.
Author Website: http://www.lucychristopher.com/