Stolen - by Lucy Christopher

"Not only is it suspenseful and exciting; it has that love story twist that every girl loves."

Stolen by Lucy Christopher caught my attention when it sounded a lot like the movie Taken. They are both about a girl who is kidnapped by a man, although the events of the stories are quite different. I loved the book because it was suspenseful and well written in easy and normal language. I feel like Gemma, the girl who is abducted, acted just as I would if I were ever taken. She is confused, scared, and angry at Ty. Another reason I feel in love with this book is because it had a slight love story laced in the plot. Ty had always loved Gemma and felt he needed to save her from the awful city life and show her how alive everything could be when you got away from concrete, man-made buildings and streets. I constantly wanted to know if Gemma would fall for him or if she would finally find a way to escape. I couldn't put it down!

The characters are very believable and the scenes are described well. I felt as if I was there – in the heat of the Australian Outback where Ty took Gemma. It is moving because it's crazy how the human mind works and adapt to individual situations. It was very well written because you were there in the situations feeling the emotions. I liked how she made you kind of fall for Ty in the beginning and make you think he was cute and loveable. I also like how she made Gemma a normal teen who you can tell has been ignored by her parents and really just wants some attention. The reader also sees this more as Gemma opens up to Ty throughout the book. I also like how you never get to know the parents well so the reader can just imagine them a workaholic, selfish New Yorkers. This is the reason they are at the airport where Gemma is taken. I like how Ty is always thinking of her throughout the book. Even if it is to hurt him he would do anything to make Gemma move comfortable and feel safe. He so badly just wants her to accept him. The reader also can get that sense that Ty is longing for acceptance because he never has been. I think this book is set apart from others because it could happen. Not only is it suspenseful and exciting; it has that love story twist that every girl loves. It also appeals to boys because it is so outdoorsy. Ty attempts to teach Gemma how she can live off the barren, hot, desolate desert. Also, he teaches her how to love and feel loved.

I believe that everyone should read this book. It was amazing and very well written. The thing that bothered me is I wish the names had been more common. I had never heard of her name before and that kind of bothered me. The setting is an ideal place for their situation. I also like how the book was written from her perspective because it is like you are living her life and you are seeing things through her eyes. I would suggest this book to anyone who asked for a good quick read!

   - Alexis K.

"Interesting and intense, it will haunt you."

Rarely do I find a book that I actually enjoy reading, but Stolen by Lucy Christopher is an exception. Most books of its kind are all the same—someone gets kidnapped, taken to some unknown place and killed. Although the book followed along these lines for a while, it was different. Lucy Christopher is an astounding author. This book relates to her personal life because she grew up in Australia, which by the way is where Ty brings Gemma in Stolen.

I found this book to be extremely interesting and intense. During the period of reading it, I did not stop thinking about it, even when I was not reading. Christopher had a unique method of getting the reader's attention. She held back on the conflict for a while but that made the book even more amusing, which set it apart from other books of the same genre. The amount of content is amazing for the size of the book. In my opinion, Stolen was well written because of the many small climaxes thrown in there. I can see why this is such a popular teen book.

Lucy Christopher obviously understands teenagers and she displays that in the dialogue. I felt that the dialogue was realistic, which caught my attention right away. She made the characters practical and I genuinely cared about them by the end of the book. For example, I was very concerned as to what would happen to Gemma—would she escape or be killed. Stolen was set in the desert of Australia and, in the way that Christopher describes it, it will haunt you. When I first starting reading Stolen I thought that I was going to have to force myself to read it, but, although the plot was slow in the beginning, I could not put the book down. I felt that the climax was late coming, but it was still a big contribution to the fascination of reading it.

The main character, Gemma, was innocently getting coffee while awaiting her plane to leave at the airport of Bangkok when she was kidnapped. She was taken to the outback of Australia, which is completely out of her element. Growing up in a big city, Gemma is not used to this harsh landscape, but Ty, her kidnapper, expects her to get used to it. "What you did to me wasn't this brilliant thing, like you think it was. You took me away from everything - my parents, my friends, and my life. You took me to the sand and the heat, the dirt and isolation. And you expected me to love you. And that's the hardest bit. Because I did, or at least, I loved something out there. But I hated you too. I can't forget that."

I would recommend this book to most teen readers, but it's not suited for everyone. If your're one of those people who do not like books that might seem haunting, then this may not be the book for you. All in all, Stolen was an amazing book and it held my attention. I would suggest it to anyone who likes suspense books.

   - Tara H.

"Authors who can write in such a way that I feel like I am in the story with the characters fascinate me."

The novel Stolen, by Lucy Christopher, was definitely one of my favorite books that I have read in a long time! Even though I could not really relate to the life and story of the main character, a girl named Gemma, I still feel like I went through her adventure and struggle with her. The story was definitely a twist of my emotions; it's hard to even wrap my mind around the plot. When I learned that, Gemma, who is only sixteen years old, was kidnapped by a twenty-six year old man named Ty, I could not believe a man could do something like that. Not only did he capture her, but he also drugged her in the process. Lucy Christopher pulls together this whole scene of the kidnapping by using many descriptive words to really bring the reader into the shoes of Gemma.

I feel like this story was truly a battle of fear and love. At the beginning Gemma is just an innocent girl going on vacation with her family. When she's stolen and fear overcomes her, she has grow up very fast and learn how to deal with situations on her own. Over time as she is in the outback, she begins to get to know Ty better and I think she starts to have feelings for him. When Ty realizes that Gemma is not happy, he tells her that it's all right for her to leave and go back to her home if she wants to. When she gets that option, she then realizes that even though she wants to go home, she needs to stay with Ty and take care of him. This story reminds me of Beauty and the Beast because when Belle was captured she ended up falling in love with the beast.

I truly loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves dramatic love stories. Of course, just because I liked it does not mean that it is the right book for everyone. Some people like books with more supernatural theme. If you are that type of person then I would not suggest this book to read.

One thing that I really enjoyed about this novel was the use of description. The author, Lucy Christopher, could relate to Gemma because when she was just nine years old, she had to leave her home in Wales to live in Australia. Even though she was not kidnapped, she still had some of the same feelings as Gemma, like being lost, scared, and all alone. Gemma says at the beginning of the book, "It took me ten steps to get there. I walked in a kind of daze and sat in the chair facing the window." Wow! Just from that one sentence in the novel I could get a clear picture of exactly what Gamma was doing. Authors who can write in such a way that I feel like I am in the story with the characters fascinate me. Even though it seemed like the story dragged in just a few spots and might have been better if she the author had expressed the main points and climaxes more quickly, I truly enjoyed this story and would love to read more by this author.

   - Anna C.

"Christopher makes you feel Gem's struggles and confusion as she manipulates your feelings."

If you love to read gripping, suspenseful novels, I would definitely suggest this book. It is very hard to give background information on this book without giving up any of the twists and turns, but here it goes. Sixteen year old Gemma is stolen in the airport during a family vacation and taken to isolation in the middle of the desert with Ty, her kidnapper. This is a story of Gemma's time being held captive and how she begins to change her perspective and understand her captor. You will be left wondering how things will pan out for Gem as she tells her heart wrenching tale.

This book is mainly set in an isolated Australian desert. It is obvious as you read the book that the author has a deep connection to this land, as she is able to vividly describe the outback to readers. Turns out, Lucy Christopher did grow up in Australia, and uses this to her advantage to draw you into the story.

One thing I particularly liked about this book is the way that it was written. It is not your run- of- the –mill, written in third person novel. Not only is this book written in the first person, in the main character, Gemma's, point of view, it is also cleverly crafted as a letter from Gemma to her captor, Tyler. While I personally found this unique style interesting, I acknowledge that a problem that could arise from this letter style was that sometimes you miss what Ty could have been thinking, completely. I think it would have added an interesting aspect to the novel. It would have completely changed the way I viewed some of the situations. Readers also miss out on the reaction at home after her abduction.

This does give readers a glimpse into how she must have felt. Completely isolated in an unknown land, with no hope. I do think Christopher did an exceptional job in writing this novel. I was always left wondering the fate of these two and if Gemma would escape, and in turn, could barely put the book down! Although I realize this was intended to be a letter, the only part I didn't like about that is the fact that the book wasn't split up into chapters. Personally, I like to have set stopping points, but I must admit, I think this might have pushed me to read this book faster, without stopping.

You have to wait quite some time to finally get to the climax of this novel. Which is a major turning point in the novel, I won't give away what happens, but I was rather surprised, to say the least. Christopher does a good job of making you feel Gem's struggles and confusion as she manipulates your feelings throughout the entire book. By the end, I think I was more confused than the characters themselves. I was a bit disappointed by the ending of this book.

Lucy Christopher abruptly ends this story and leaves readers with many questions. This isn't always necessarily a bad thing, but I don't like being left with loose ends. I always want a neat and tidy ending to books so I'm not left trying to come up with my own scenarios.

I loved this book. I promise it will keep you questioning what the next pages hold as you desperately try to imagine Gemma's fate. There are many interesting and unique features this novel has to offer that make it anything but ordinary. If thrillers are your favorite type of novel, I would, without a doubt, recommend you read Stolen. It will deeply affect you and leave you pondering the many things you discover as you read.

   - Ella S.