Katie(babs)'s Reviews > Stolen

Stolen by Lucy Christopher
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Jul 01, 2010

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Sixteen year old Gemma Toombs is not thrilled to be leaving her settled life in London, England and heading off to Vietnam with her mother who collects arts. While she has a layover at Bangkok airport, Gemma goes for some coffee and ends up meeting an older, handsome man with intense eyes and a face that seems familiar to her for some reason. Thinking nothing out of the ordinary, Gemma invites him to chat with her, especially since he pays for her coffee and offers to make it the way she likes it.

The moment Gemma lets her coffee out of her sight, her entire life becomes a nightmare. The friendly stranger drugs Gemma's coffee and kidnaps her, taking her to the Australian wilderness where Gemma has no where to turn to. Her kidnapper Ty has watched over Gemma since she has been ten, and has decided that she was being suffocated by her life back in London. He has been planning this for years, building a home where it will just be them together and where he'll keep Gemma with him forever.

Gemma tries her best to escape, but it's useless because the Australian tundra is relentless with poisonous snakes, deadly heat and temperatures that dip below freezing at night. Gemma pleads and begs for Ty to let her go, but he won't listen. He really believes he is saving her soul and feels if he teaches Gemma to love the land like he does, she'll want to stay and start fresh.

Stolen at times was very haunting. Not only is Gemma kidnapped be an unstable man who has been obsessed with her since she was a little girl, but has been watching for years, waiting for the right moment to strike. And since Gemma is a true city girl with no true wilderness survival skills, she has to rely on Ty for everything. The way Gemma reacts to her situation is perfect in its telling. She refuses to be a victim and tries to outwit Ty from escaping by any means necessary. Ty humors her because he knows she has no way out. And because of that, Gemma places herself in some very precarious situations.

Ty's reasoning for everything makes sense to him and at times it may make sense for the reader. He is a product of his upbringing and a very emotionally unbalanced individual. He treats Gemma with respect in regards to her welfare and never forces himself on her. He thinks he's Gemma's knight in shining armor and because of his subtle manipulative nature, Gemma begins to accept the life he forces her into.

At times I couldn't put Stolen down and Lucy Christopher's writing is very engaging. But I really couldn't get the full sense of Ty's motivation and why he felt Gemma would be his perfect mate. There are some explanations why, but it comes across a bit implausible. At times Ty seems harmless and overall lacking in personality. He doesn't really come across as dangerous, and when he does get riled up, it's more of a pop than an explosion.

Stolen is one of the better psychological young adult novels I've read even though towards the end, I found my attention going elsewhere. I did find myself sympathizing with Gemma and saddened over how her spirit was slowly fading away because of Ty's destructive idea of what a wonderful life should be.

Stolen gives readers an inside look on how a victim can undergo a type of Stockholm syndrome and form a bond with their kidnapper.
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