Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

I picked this book up from Scholastic about a year ago.  Published in 2010, it is on an award list for Iowa this year and the premise had me intrigued. Also I was fascinated by the fact that the author wrote it as part of her doctoral program.

It proved to be as interesting as it's synopsis led me to believe.  Written as a letter to her captor Gemma pulls us directly into her story.  Frustrated with her parents as they prepare for an international flight,  Gemma takes off to buy herself a cup of coffee and gather her thoughts.  While searching for the right change to hand the barista a stranger comes to her rescue offering to pay for the coffee with the right currency and fixes her cup up with a packet of sugar.  By taking charge of the situation he wins her over with a few soft words and a drug in her drink.  She is swept literally off her feet by Ty to a lone cabin in a remote Australian location.  Gemma attempts to escape several times only to be brought back by Ty because nothing is near.  He has the cabin stocked up with food and he plans to hide away from the world with Gemma by his side.

She's never had a boyfriend and is not real close to the few friends she had back in London so Ty is able to pull her in because she's not sure of her own emotions.  There are parts of him that she is attracted to and yet she never fully forgets that he is her captor.  I thought Lucy Christopher did an amazing job of portraying this precarious relationship with glimmers of kindness mixed with Gemma's true reality of being stolen from her life; bad or good it was still her own life.

"So I followed you.  I don't know why really.  I could say it was because I had nothing else to do except stare at four walls, or that I wanted to try escaping again, but I think there was more to it than that.  When I was trapped in the house, it felt like I'd already died.  At least when I was with you, it felt like my life mattered somehow...No, that's not really it; it felt like my life was being noticed.  It sounds weird, I know, but I could tell that you liked having me around.  And that was better than the alternative, that feeling of emptiness that threatened to drown me every hour of being in that house." (96)

The cover for this book and even the few inside illustrations that lead into the story are really well designed and make perfect sense once you turn the last page. My copy of Stolen has a nice award sticker on the front for the Michael L. Printz ALA honor book. If you haven't picked this one up yet I recommend it.  At 299 pages it won't take you long...

Click her name to find her website:  Lucy Christopher and see news about her new title, The Killing Fields.

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