Stolen

Stolen

4.3 554
by Lucy Christopher
     
 

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Gemma, 16, is on layover at Bangkok Airport, en route with her parents to a vacation in Vietnam. She steps away for just a second, to get a cup of coffee. Ty--rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar--pays for Gemma's drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what's happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. The unknowing object of a long… See more details below

Overview

Gemma, 16, is on layover at Bangkok Airport, en route with her parents to a vacation in Vietnam. She steps away for just a second, to get a cup of coffee. Ty--rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar--pays for Gemma's drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what's happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. The unknowing object of a long obsession, Gemma has been kidnapped by her stalker and brought to the desolate Australian Outback. STOLEN is her gripping story of survival, of how she has to come to terms with her living nightmare--or die trying to fight it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Christopher’s debut is an emotionally raw thriller that follows the abduction of 16-year-old Gemma by Ty, a gorgeous, 20-something Australian who is in love with her and hopes to win her love in return. The fast-paced novel is written in the past tense as a sort of diary from Gemma to Ty, suggesting that she has escaped, though this makes the story no less suspenseful. Ty drugs Gemma in a Bangkok airport and transports her to the home he has built in the isolated Australian outback, believing he’s rescuing her from shallow parents and a city life in London she never really fit into. Clever and determined, Gemma gathers her strength and plots numerous escapes to no avail. In the process, she encounters the wildness of her desert surroundings and carefully digs for Ty’s weaknesses, patching together his complex history, including the extent of his six-year obsession with her. Gemma’s fluctuating emotions are entirely believable—she’s repulsed by Ty, but can’t help recognizing the ways in which he’s opened her eyes. It’s a haunting account of captivity and the power of relationships. Ages 14-up. (May)
Children's Literature - Lauri Berkenkamp
This remarkable novel begins with a chilling premise: Gemma is in a Bangkok airport with her parents, waiting for a flight to Vietnam, when she meets handsome, blue-eyed Ty at a coffee stand. Ty offers to buy her a cup of coffee, and she accepts. Too late, Gemma realizes that he has drugged her. She vaguely remembers Ty changing her clothes, her hair, her appearance, pulling her on and off other planes, and feeding her bitter-tasting chocolates that keep her drugged and dreaming. When she finally wakes up, she is alone with Ty in a tiny house in the middle of the vast, unbroken desert of the Australian outback. Little by little, Ty reveals that he has not snatched her at random at the airport; rather, he has watched and followed Gemma since she was ten years old, waiting for the day when he could "rescue" her and bring her to the desert to live with him. Gemma attempts to escape several times, and each time Ty patiently brings her back. He promises her that he will never let her go, that he has taken her to the desert to save her from the soul-crushing life she was destined to lead in London. Gemma begins to fall for Ty when she learns more about Ty's sad past and his desperate connection to the harsh but beautiful freedom the desert represents, even though she knows she has to get away from him. Gemma is bitten by a poisonous snake, and Ty gives up everything, including his freedom, to bring her to safety. At the end of the novel, Gemma remains conflicted about her feelings for Ty, her life, and her experience in the desert. This powerful novel offers readers a very believable look at an experience that is both terrifying and transcendent; readers will abhor Ty's actions but understand his motivations. Gemma is a very real character, coping as best she can with an unimaginable situation in ways with which readers can certainly empathize and appreciate. Reviewer: Lauri Berkenkamp
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Sixteen-year-old Gemma, traveling with her parents, is abducted at a Bangkok airport by troubled Ty, a 20-something man from the Outback, in Lucy Christopher's debut novel (Philomel, 2010). Ty has stalked Gemma for years. At the airport he manages to drug her, and then takes her on a flight back to Australia. The novel is written as a first-person narrative told by Gemma in a letter to Ty after her release, revealing the details of the abduction and her feelings, illustrating a classic case of Stockholm syndrome. Gemma has conflicting feelings toward her abductor: she's angry at him for abducting her, but loves him for his care giving. The story darts from escape attempts thwarted by the hostile landscape and climate to Ty's erratic behavior to Ty and Gemma catching a feral camel that plays a large part in Gemma's rescue. Christopher's descriptions of events and intense surroundings are remarkable. She won the 2010 Branford Boase Award for the year's best first novel for young adults published in the United Kingdom, and is short listed for Australia's Prime Minister's Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction. Unfortunately, Emily Gray's narration is uninspired, doing little to enhance the story. The audiobook lacks the suspense of the print version.—Jennifer Ward, Albany Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
This debut novel about an English teen's abduction and imprisonment in the Australian outback unfolds as a letter from captive to captor. From its compelling opening, the novel delivers taut suspense and a riveting plot in a haunting setting. Privileged Gemma, 16, is sympathetic and believable. Her captor, Ty, in his late 20s, is a less-successful creation. Abandoned child turned wasted drifter and stalker, Ty is now an expert survivalist, bent on teaching his abductee admiration and respect for the harsh world in which he's imprisoned her. When Gemma's escape attempts end in near death, Ty rescues her, returning her to captivity, using such handy teachable moments to instruct her on outback ecology. While the landscape is beautifully portrayed and deftly mined for subtext and symbolism, the novel can't overcome its central contradiction. Ty-respectful of the struggling desert ecosystem from humblest succulent to deadliest snake, perceiving each element as part of a fragile, interconnected web-has kidnapped Gemma, in violation of her human rights and needs, and imprisoned her thousands of miles from home. (Fiction. 14 & up)
From the Publisher

A Michael L. Printz Honor Book

ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults

A 2011 USBBY Outstanding International Book

“Complicated and beautiful -- this novel left me doubting my emotions and missing a place I'd never been.” -- Maggie Stiefvater

“All the tension of lightning, all the terror of thunder. A stunning, scary, and beautiful book.”-- John Marsden

* “An emotionally raw thriller…a haunting account of captivity and the power of relationships.” -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Disturbing, heartbreaking, and beautiful all at once.” -- School Library Journal

“A complex psychological study that is also a tribute to the hypnotic beauty of the Outback.” -- Booklist

“Taut suspense and a riveting plot in a haunting setting.” -- Kirkus

“Has a veracity and immediacy that rivets the reader to the page. Fascinating, disturbing...” -- Voice of Youth Advocates

_____________________________________________________________________________
"Complicated and beautiful -- this novel left me doubting my emotions and missing a place I'd never been." -- Maggie Stiefvater

"All the tension of lightning, all the terror of thunder. A stunning, scary, and beautiful book." -- John Marsden

"A vivid new voice for teens." -- Melvin Burgess

TheDailyBeast.com, “10 Hot Young Adult titles” roundup, September 16, 2010

BCCB, review, June 2010
“[A]n interesting book for examining what obsessive Twilight-style approaches to love can mean in a real-life context…Readers who can't get enough of Cormier's classic After the First Death will find this induces both shivers and thought.”

Booklist, review, March 15, 2010
“Christopher's first novel is a complex psychological study that is also a tribute to the hypnotic beauty of the outback.”

Kirkus, review, April 15, 2010
“From its compelling opening, the novel delivers taut suspense and a riveting plot in a haunting setting.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review, April 12, 2010
“Christopher's debut is an emotionally raw thriller…fast-paced novel…It's a haunting account of captivity and the power of relationships.”

School Library Journal, review, June 2010
“Disturbing, heartbreaking, and beautiful all at once, this book is the antithesis of the situational horror in Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl.”

VOYA, review, June 2010
“Stolen has a veracity and immediacy that rivets the reader to the page. Vivid descriptions of the Sandy Desert combine with Gemma's emotional turmoil to evoke a sense of danger. This fascinating, disturbing novel should appeal to teens fourteen and older.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545170932
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
05/01/2010
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
97,431
Product dimensions:
5.82(w) x 8.58(h) x 1.17(d)
Lexile:
HL570L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

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