Stolen, by Lucy Christopher.
"A girl: Gemma, 16, at the airport, on her way to a family vacation.
A guy: Ty, rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar, eyes blue as ice.
She steps away. For just a second. He pays for her drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what's happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. To sand and heat. To emptiness and isolation. To nowhere. And expects her to love him.
Written as a letter from a victim to her captor, STOLEN is Gemma's desperate story of survival; of how she has to come to terms with her living nightmare--or die trying to fight it."
I recently wandered the aisles of my local Barnes and Noble, with my friend Shawnee (@YA Fiction Review). I wasn't really planning on purchasing any books, simply because I'm working on getting the number of unread books in my shelf down. But after walking through the YA aisle, picking up a few books and reading their synopsis, I knew I wanted something meaningful and powerful.
It's been a while since I've a read book, that truly shocked me or broke my heart. It's been even longer, that a book ended and left me that way. I needed something that would move me, that would make me think in a different perspective and that would leave me feeling something.
After spending an hour or so, I couldn't find too much, and decided to just purchase a book that I needed to complete a trilogy I've been meaning to read for a while. But as I was walking to the register, there was a small table with books displayed for summer reading. I saw Stolen laying right in the front, with the intense black cover, and it's award stuck right on it. As soon as I read the back cover, I knew I had to get it.
Stolen was exactly what I was looking for...it delivered all of the things I wanted, and even a bit more.
The story takes off quickly, a teenage girl named Gemma is at an airport with her parents, getting ready to go to Vietnam. While her parents are waiting for her at the terminal, Gemma runs off to get herself a cup of coffee. She can already feel him, before she sees him. But once she does glance over towards him, he almost looks familiar; as if she knows him from somewhere.
He offers to pay for her cup of coffee, when the barista doesn't accept the cash Gemma has. He even offers to go put sugar and cream in it for her. Which is when he quickly slips drugs into her drink. Before she knows it, Gemma isn't feeling well, and is being dragged out of the airport. She can't really see much, and everything around her is a blur.
He forces her out of her clothes, and into different ones, so no one will recognize her. Then her takes her back inside, and takes her to a different terminal going to Australia.
Gemma isn't fully conscious until she finds herself in the middle of the desert in Australia, in a little shack, living with her kidnapper. She has no idea what he plans on doing with her, but she doesn't even want to consider the possibilities.
She knows its going to be fight from here on out, even if it means trying to hurt someone who is twice her size, or stealing his truck and trying to escape without any knowledge of how. More than a month goes by, and Gemma is starting to feel hopeless. She knows she needs him to get her out of here, there is no way she can do it on her own.
He isn't exactly what Gemma expected him to be like. He shows emotion, and constantly wants to make sure that she's safe. He wants to be close to her, but also doesn't want her to feel uncomfortable with him. He shares some of his favorite things and places with her. He shows her how he survives in this dry and hot land. He shows her things, Gemma wouldn't have otherwise been able to see.
He seems like he would be willing to do anything to keep her safe and alive...even if it means harming himself.
Stolen is a book that takes the reader through the entire journey, through the pain and the emotion. It allows you to feel exactly what the main character is feeling. The confusion of being kidnapped by someone, and then all of a sudden having this weird relationship with them, simply because they "care" about you and you truly depend on them for survival.
When I purchased this book, I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into. Gemma was so strong, and I could never imagine going through what she went through. Ty had a lot of issues, starting from birth with his parents not being the best examples, being left to live alone in the desert, and then being dragged to the orphanage. And then Gemma's parents, and their relationship with their daughter.
There were so many things that made you think, make up your opinion, think again, and change your opinion.
Stolen was absolutely brilliant, and definitely deserved the award it received! Lucy Christopher does have another novel out, named "The Killing Woods" which I plan on picking up soon! I absolutely love her writing, her characters and her story, so I'm dying to get my hands on a copy!
So if you've read Stolen or The Killing Woods, I would love to know what you think!
Thank you so much for stopping by, and giving my review a read!