Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Review: Stolen (A Letter to My Captor)
Author: Lucy Christopher
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd.
Pages: 301
Release date: May 4th 2009
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Bought at The Book Depository
Find out more: Amazon ; Goodreads

Goodreads description:
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.

First sentence:
You saw me before I saw you.

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

I'm split on how to rate this book. I love the idea - it's interesting and unique, an important story. The format (writing this in the form of a letter to Ty) is a great idea, too. I thought it would be hard to read, considering Gemma is addressing Ty, but that wasn't a problem - I got used to the format quickly. For some reason, though, I just couldn't get into Stolen.

The beginning of Stolen, in my opinion, is too slow. Not the very beginning, when Ty kidnaps Gemma - that part is still interesting. But then, in the next 100 pages or so, nothing happens. Of course I understand the development couldn't have started right away - obviously Gemma couldn't develop feelings for Ty right after he captures her. I don't know how you could solve that problem, but that part bored me to no end. So many things happen every day and are described every day, and I think that could have been shortened a bit. The extensive descriptions of the desert are a bit too detailed in my opinion, too.

Later on, the plot picks up, but I still had problems with the characters and the writing. I didn't get the style. I can't explain what it is, but I just didn't like the writing. Maybe becuase this isn't really a novel, it's a letter, but I still thnk it should be written like fiction.There's nothing special, beautiful, or insightful about it, which I think really would have helped the story.

For me, the characters are hard to understand. At first Gemma is easy to relate to. She reacts how anyone in her situation would react - she's scared and angry. But I just didn't get her feelings for Ty, probably because I didn't like Ty. I know he was supposed to grow on me, and I was supposed to feel for him. I did enjoy finding out about his past, but it just wasn't enough to make me understand him or justify what he does. Except for very few scenes, he just stayed the sick abductor, in my mind. What he does is crazy: he stalked a girl for six years, followed her everywhere since she was ten years old, and kidnaps her to bring her to the desert, where he wants her to live with him, alone, and to love him. I just couldn't get over that, even after finding about what happened to him as a child. I still don't get why he would want to force her to live with him in the desert, if all he wanted was company and love.

That made Gemma's character hard to understand, too. Her feelings for Ty, in my opinion, develop too quickly. I know I'm completely contradicting what I said earlier about the beginning being too slow, but I wanted that middle part, where Gemma's feelings change, to be elaborated on more. Like this, as far as I understand, there are only three stages: 1. she hates him, 2. she admints he's hot, and 3. she loves him. That just isn't enough for me to understand their relationship.

I also would have liked to know more about Gemma's life at home. Her relationship with her parents, with Anna and Ben, with Josh - I didn't feel like I got any of them, really.

I feel bad for giving Stolen only two stars, since I really do love the idea. However, I had problems with almost all aspects of the execution, mainly becauseI didn't understand Ty or Gemma's feelings for him. That made the whole book kind of hard for me to get through. But I've read other reviews saying they were able to relate to them and feel Gemma's inner conflict, so decide for yourself whether this is a book for you!


  1. Sorry you didn't like this one! It does sound like the romance was a little rushed. Ty sounds really scary to me! Thanks for the honest review!

  2. Thanks for a honest and frank review. Sometimes a 2 is deserving, it beats getting a 1. It sounds like the characters were one dimensional, lacking motivation as well. Maybe next time, you'll have better luck.

  3. I just wanted to say that I love your honesty. I personally adored the book and I'nm sorry that you didn't.

  4. I didn't mind the romance, if we can call it that, in this book because just from the start this book was so different. I figured it was the Stockholm Syndrome talking. I know Ty was freaky but he's one of the strangest characters I've "met". I specially loved the last pages and I thought the ending was perfect. I didn't know how the author was going to you know, figure it all out and make it okay. I undertand your points and I won't disagree, not at all. I think this book, with this kind of plot, it affects everyone differently. The whole painting part? That was sooo weird! But in a way, I'm glad to have given that book a chance. I think it's a book I would reread but not any time soon. It's still like, there and haunting and creepy but at the same time so unique...I don't know! Ahh!

  5. Awesome review! Here's mine if you don't mind:

    Thanks and have a nice day! :)


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