Review: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

A Letter to My Captor
By: Lucy Christopher
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Published: May 4, 2009
Genre: Young Adult

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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.


1thoughtsThis was such and interesting an compelling story. I wasn’t even 50 pages in and I was reading excerpts to my co-workers. Which in turn creeped them out, made them question what I was reading, and then they turned around and added it to their book list. This entire story is written as if she were writing a letter to Ty, her kidnapper. She recollects her time in the airport with her parents, meeting Ty at the coffee shop, being drugged and ultimately waking up in the middle of the desert with nothing in sight.

We relive everything that Gemma went through from start to finish. Everything she thinks, feels and experiences all sort of become a jumbled mess towards the end, which in turn confuses not only Gemma but the reader as well. We start to think, yes Ty’s a bad guy for kidnapping her, no one can detest that, but he’s not so bad. You know the author did an amazing job writing the story when the reader starts to develop Stockholm syndrome as well.

There wasn’t really a point where I thought the story to be unbelievable or that Gemma wasn’t trying hard enough to escape. At first she doesn’t eat or drink, then she tries to commit suicide. She even ventures off into the desert twice trying to find civilization only to have Ty come and save her when she would’ve ultimately died out there. Then there’s this sort of hopelessness that this is it. There’s no hope of escaping because they are literally in the middle of the desert with nothing and no one around.

“I’d always kept a small seed of hope alive, hope that I’d be able to escape. But suddenly I realized something. That view of sand and endlessness… that was it, that was my life. Unless you took me back to a town, that was all I’d ever see. No more parents or friends or school. No more London. Only you. Only the desert.”

This was a thriller and then it wasn’t. At first I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would become of Gemma, then I started to understand that Ty just wanted company in his lonely isolated life and wasn’t going to hurt Gemma but in the back of my mind I knew my softness towards Ty was completely wrong and there was nothing I could really do to think of him as the monster that he was when he showed the softer side of him. And that right there is why this story is amazing. This story was a complete mind game for me. Kudos to the author for writing an awesome story.


1favequote“People should love what needs loving.” -Ty


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