by Lucy Christopher
I picked this one up.. well because I loved the cover. Plus, there's been some pretty good buzz about it, and it's by an Australian author (which are people who are seriously talented authors).
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.
My Expectations: I've read plenty of good things so I thought I would definitely like it.
Delivery: a bit like how I would imagine the YA version of John Fowle's The Collector, but still, enjoyable. I never really fell for Ty though..
I never warmed to Ty. I know I was probably supposed to, but it must be the whole "kidnapping a girl and taking her to remote Australia where he will never let her go and they will live there forever" deal. This aspect did affect my enjoyment a tad because I do believe I didn't take as much away from this book as most people. I have read a few reviews where the reviewer really connected and loved Ty's character, but too bad it just wasn't the case for me.
What I did love about the book were the development of the two characters. I really liked Gemma and the way she was written, and I also liked the way Ty is portrayed completely from Gemma's point of view (man, I loved the idea of "a letter to my captor"). Character growth is tricky and crucial for this story, and in this aspect Christopher navigated through unscathed. Gemma's voice is engaging and distinct as she evolves during her captivity. I also liked how she never gave up about getting away, I think I expected more Stockholm Syndrome in the novel and for Ty's fantasy to take over. That totally would've killed the book for me had that happen.
Another wonderful aspect of the novel was the setting, a barren desert in Australia with endless sand and a lack of life. It totally sets the tone at the beginning, but as Gemma and Ty's relationship evolves (well, as much as it could anyways) the views on the land changed as well. PS- loved the camel, don't even know why, just awesome.
As most people have commented, the second-person POV is unique and sets Stolen apart from others. I personally loved the use of "you", I found it both strange and attention-grabbing which made for an engrossing ride. Writing in general was smooth and confident, which easily sucked me into the story. While this may not be in my pile of 'favourite books ever', I'm sure it (and Ty) is a story that will greatly appeal to legions of readers. Lucy Christopher has easily carved her niche in the YA world.
Rating in HP Terms: Acceptable
Recommended for: People looking for a switch-up of YA, it's a different style but nevertheless good.
Acknowledgments: I returned the book to the library! ahah sorry, no comment today :(
8/10 - because it truly is a wonderful book, I just found it difficult to sympathize with characters I think I was "supposed" to. The writing is different but fantastic, and the story itself was well executed. Character development was great, I cared for Gemma and I'm pretty happy with the ending. Lastly, I especially loved the setting because not only did it set the tone fabulously, it was also educational!