For What It's Worth

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ultimate Reviewers Challenge Review Spotlight: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

I hope people are getting a chance to read the reviews that are being linked for the challenge as well as linking your own. I'm doing my best to read ALL of them and since there are so many great ones, I'm trying to post a few of my favorites. This one caught my eye since I had never heard of this book or author. The review of Stolen by Misha at My Love Affair With Books was so well written, it really made me want to read this book even though it looks well outside my comfort zone. Hope you agree.

StolenPaperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Chicken House; 1 edition (4 May 2009)
Language English
Genre : Young adult, realistic fiction, thriller, psychological
Source : Personal Copy
Audience: Young Adults

Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis : Goodreads
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.

Stolen is written as a letter by Gemma , a teenager living in London, to her captor , Ty. While traveling to Vietnam with her parents , Gemma meets a handsome stranger at the airport and is immediately drawn to him. She is drugged and taken captive. When she awakes she finds herself in a secluded land in Australia.
As we proceed through the gripping novel, we discover that Ty had known and watched Gemma for years. At first it seems disgusting , but then slowly you develop an understanding of Ty's intentions.
Gemma is at first very afraid , we can almost feel her fear..she fights to get out. Later , as she comes to know more about Ty , she starts to like him and feels that strange attraction again. There are two sides of Ty - one violent and frightening and the other innocent , affectionate and lost.
I was so confused about what to feel about Ty. I knew he had done something wrong . But as I knew more about him, I could not hep but like him and empathize with his situation. Even Gemma grapples with her feelings for him....unable to understand what to feel. Was her previous life an illusion , as Ty said? Is reality an illusion?
Though I hated Ty in the beginning , I came to agree with his thoughts more and more. I have always found the concept of existentialism fascinating and this book has quite a bit of existential element to it.
This is a very haunting novel. Lucy Christopher has tackled a very disturbing topic with much elegance. Stolen, being a very scary and emotionally harrowing novel , should not be read by those expecting a light fun YA novel.
The writing style was lyrical and beautiful. The depiction of the desert was vivid and visual. It painted a very real picture of the Australian landscape. Both the characters were very well defined.There was nothing left unclear.
The book held my attention right from the start mainly because of its originality and uniqueness. It evoked so many emotions - that of hatred, love, sympathy, disgust , fear and desperation. Its the great talent of the author , that made all of these emotions so real.
Stolen was a very painful and heartbreaking , at the same time an enchanting ride for me.
I found myself breathless and near to tears in the end. I wanted to find out what happens next ..but the ending is mostly left to our imagination. This adds to the novel's haunting quality.
Stolen is not just another hyped up YA novel. It can be read by anyone , adult/young adult. It is a work of literature according to me.
I truly believe this novel will stay with me a long time. It's one of those books , which you cannot forget.

Overall :
Alluring and haunting, at the same time intelligent and realistic.

Yes! To anyone looking for an intelligent emotional read.

About the author:
Lucy Christopher was born in Wales but grew up in Australia. She obtained an Undergraduate degree at Melbourne University. She moved to the UK to earn a distinction in a Creative Writing MA from Bath Spa University. The novel she wrote for this class, The Long Flight, was picked up by a publisher under a new name of Flyaway.

Buy the Book! Stolen


  1. sounds like a good book ..pretty cover

  2. Thanks for the great review! I had this one marked on Goodreads, but now I might actually head over to Amazon and try to get it. ;-)

  3. Thank you so much for posting my review!!!!

  4. Just added this one to my to read list. Shari