Stolen by Lucy Christopher

I picked up Lucy Christopher’s Stolen after reading Kate Messner’s rave review.

A psychological thriller, this is not a book to pick up unless you are ready to sit down and read it straight through.  Sixteen-year old Gemma is in the Bangkok airport with her parents when she meets a man who seems to actually listen to her.  However, things are not as they seem.  Ty is rugged, strangely handsome, too old for her,  and oddly familiar.  He pays for Gemma’s drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what’s happening, Ty takes her.  In and out of consciousness for an unknown amount of time, she finally wakes up in a house, with Ty.  She eventually figures out that the house is in the middle of the Australian Outback, hours or even days from the closest town.  And Ty  loves her. Wants her. Only her.  She is held prisoner with no chance of escape.

The story is incredible.  I was constantly on the edge of my seat as I read.  However, the writing style jarred me at times.  Written as a letter to her captor, Gemma constantly refers to Ty as “you”. This use of second-person was constantly pulling me out of the story as I had to consciously focus on you=Ty.  It’s not often that “you” is used in a novel, and when it is it usually refers to the reader, a la Lemony Snicket’s books.  However, other than this small personal issue, I loved the book.

Readers should be aware that this isn’t an action-packed story.  Much of the day-to-day storytelling is mundane.  However, it’s the emotional journey that draws you in.  Gemma isn’t ever really sure how she feels, and you are right there with her. The ending is left open, and while this usually annoys me, I was glad to see it in this book.  This isn’t a story you can wrap up neatly at the end.  Once the story was over I found myself still thinking about it.

Perfect for fans of TV crime shows, mysteries, and realistic fiction.  Highly recommended for high school classrooms/libraries.

*review copy courtesy of publisher