Author: Lucy Christopher
Release Date: May 2009
Publisher: Chicken House
Pages: 301 pages
Goodreads Rating: 3.99 stars
Review: Gemma is a regular sixteen-year-old with her parents at the Bangkok airport. That is, until she's stolen by Ty, a handsome young man. He kidnaps her and brings her to the middle of an Australian desert, far from other civilization and life, telling her he did it to help her, that it was for her own good. He tells her he did it because he loves her, and he will do anything to make her love him back. The problem is, Gemma's starting to lose it after being separated from other life and suffering in the desert, and she just might start to delude herself into loving him back.
STOLEN was a difficult book to read not because it was badly written - on the contrary, I found the writing to be excellent - but because of the subject matter. Although Gemma started to find herself enraptured by Ty once she got over her initial anger and fear, I felt physically sick reading about him and his twisted, stalker tendencies. When she developed Stockholm's syndrome, I couldn't really understand how exactly she came to care for him because I had such a strong negative reaction to him. I did wish that I could understand her conflicted feelings with him more.
This wasn't quite a suspenseful read, even during her many attempted escapes. It flowed slower for me, much like the desert of Gemma's surroundings, but that's not a necessarily bad thing. Speaking of which, the desert was gorgeously described. I felt like I was there in the sweltering hot weather, the beautiful yet miserably hopeless empty expanse stretching out to reach nowhere at all, like I was seeing the stoic, tough desert plants scattered around. It's been a while since I've read a book with such vivid description, and that combined with the intense emotion made this a powerful book.
Although I wished the kidnapping was portrayed more realistically and that we got to understand Gemma's feelings for Ty more, I overall found this to be an excellent if wrenching read. STOLEN isn't for the weak of heart - in fact, I consider myself to be very good at reading tough books and yet I felt a bit ill going through this. If you can handle it, though, this is an eye-opening, intense book that will make you want to read even more of this author.