Book Review: Stolen

Stolen: A Letter to my Captor
By: Lucy Christopher
Published By: Scholastic
Publication Date: May 2010
Page Count: 299
Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Realistic Fiction, Contemporary

This spent 6 months on my 'to read' pile, and I am so heartbroken that I left it there that long. Sometimes, you need something to kick you into starting a book, and this time it was Maggie Stiefvater's recommendation. Credit where credit is due, this was a brilliant recommendation! Lucy Christopher created a book which I found to be completely enchanting and utterly bewildering; I can't believe it is fiction because it all felt so real.

Gemma is kidnapped at Bangkok Airport by Ty, who steals her away to the Outback of Western Australia. She wakes up and there is nothing for hundreds of miles. It's just her and Ty and his delusions that they can live together happily, alone, forever. 

To start with she hates him. She's terrified of what he will do to her, and everything about her harsh environment seems to be tearing at her. She refuses to speak, as it is the only way she can punish him. As time passes, she learns to see the beauty in the Outback and a wonderful description unfolds. Warm red rocks, twinkling stars, darting lizards... I have never wanted to go to Australia until I read this. 

I saw both the light and dark sides of both Gem and Ty; they could both be impossible and also so child-like. All the time I was reading this, I thought I knew what would happen. I thought she'd fall for him and I'd spot when Stockholm Syndrome kicked in. I wanted to be more clever than the book, but it turns out that I couldn't find that moment, and the book was more clever than I was. Before I knew what was happening I had fallen for Ty, never mind Gem. It knocked me for six, because I had been on my guard against it happening. That feeling crept up on me like a master thief, and I still don't know how it happened. From thinking he was a foul kidnapper, I suddenly felt so strongly about him, so much so that I honestly spent the last 50 pages with a huge lump in my throat that just won't go away. There was a wonderful message from Gem at the end of the book, which made my break down and cry. I could clearly understand the sentiments so much myself, I felt like we had shared an experience that was unique. 

Some books you read and put down, never to think about them again. I can promise you that Stolen won't be one of them - it will have you thinking for days. It will mess with your head and heart, and you won't notice it doing so until it is too late.

A girl: Gemma, 16, at the airport, on her way to a family vacation.

A guy: Ty, rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar, eyes blue as ice.

She steps away. For just a second. He pays for her drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what's happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. To sand and heat. To emptiness and isolation. To nowhere. And expects her to love him.

Written as a letter from a victim to her captor, STOLEN is Gemma's desperate story of survival; of how she has to come to terms with her living nightmare--or die trying to fight it.


  1. Wow...this sounds really good. I hadn't heard of this one before. Great review! I love that Maggie recommended this one too! :-)

  2. I also really enjoyed this book. It's unique and emotional. Great review, Jen.

  3. Awesome review! Here's mine if you don't mind:

    Thanks and have a nice day! :)


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