Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Plot Summary:
Gemma Toombs thought she was going on another "family vacation," but her life changed forever when she was abducted by Ty. While waiting at the Bangkok Airport, Ty approached Gemma and won her over with a cup of coffee laced with drugs. Hours later, when she wakes up, she is scared and confused as to how and why someone would kidnap her. However, just when things could not get any worse, she learns that there is no where to escape to--she is smack dab in the middle of the wildest and hottest Australian deserts. As time goes by, at least a few months, Gemma no longer flinches every time Ty comes near her and when she escapes he is always there to take care of her. Not knowing what to expect, Gemma learns a lot not only about herself, but she also learns things about her kidnapper that almost forces her to develop sympathy for him. The most shocking thing about this whole situation is revealed towards the end that leaves the reader feeling uncomfortable.

Critical Evaluation:
I can now honestly say that this book is one of three works that has managed to give me nightmares. Lucy Christopher is a brilliant writer who not only brings this scary reality to life, but her character, even the kidnapper, are very real where the reader develops certain mixed feelings towards both of them. Gemma, in many aspects, is a troubled teenager whose parents are more involved in their own lives than in the life of their daughter. Gemma is actually not a bad kid, just mixed up and waiting for her parents to notice her. As for Ty, well, he is a complex character. As we get through the story, we not only hate him for what he did, but we also feel bad for him at the same time. Readers are given a very real story of a victim suffering from Stockholm Syndrome who is trying very hard to move on with her life.

Information about the Author:
Lucy Christopher is a fairly new author. According to her website, Lucy Christopher has lived quite an exciting life. Not only has she lived in three different countries, she actually grew up in Australia, which is the location of her debut novel Stolen. According to Christopher:

My first published book, Stolen, was also influenced by my life and the things I did.  Thankfully, I’ve never been kidnapped, but when I was nine years old and moving from Wales to Australia, it felt like a bit of a kidnapping.  Suddenly I was in a new country I didn’t understand; a place that was simultaneously beautiful and terrifying.  I’ve always been fascinated by wild Australian land and, when younger, my favourite memories are of camping in the bush and exploring the overgrown creek at the back of our first Melbourne house.  But this landscape scared me too, and I didn’t feel like I fitted in.  I used these feelings of being simultaneously entranced and repulsed by something in order to write Gemma’s feelings for both Ty and the landscape he takes her to (para. 3)
Lucy Christopher lives in Wales where she earned her MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and is  is also working on her PhD. When she is not writing, Lucy Christopher is traveling to her favorite country, South Africa, or she is riding her horse. She is also working on her second novel (due out  this year) and her first book, Flyaway, is in the process of being published in the US.

Teen Suspense, Teen Contemporary Fiction

Reading/Interest Level:
Grades 10 & up

Books Similar to Stolen:
Awards & Recognition:
  • Michael L. Printz Honor 
  • ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults

{ 2 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. It's an amazing tale of a girl who got kidnapped. It's very captivating and you won't want to put it down. Sometimes you may question Gemma's actions and feelings towards the kidnapper but then you have to think, what if you were in her shoes? It's a MUST read, an incredible journey you'll want to follow.

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

    Thanks and have a nice day! :)


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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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