Title: Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
Author: Lucy Christopher
Published: May 2009 (Chicken House Ltd)
Summary: You saw me before I saw you.
A girl: Gemma, at the airport, on her way to a family vacation.
You had that look in your eyes.
A guy: Ty, rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar, eyes blue as ice.
Like you wanted me.
She steps away. For just a second. He pays for her drink. And drugs it.
Wanted me for a long time.
He takes her, before she even knows what's happening. 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, this is Gemma's desperate story of survival. Ty has stolen her body. Against every instinct screaming inside her, will he also steal Gemma's heart?
My Review: I did not know what to expect with this book. The only "kidnapping" books I've read are Perfect by Judith McNaught and Precious and Fragile Things by Megan Hart, which are vastly different from one another. Neither are young adult, although both are fantastic. Stolen was tagged with "romance" on Goodreads, but that does not necessarily guarantee a love story. Despite all this, I was still super excited to read it.
I was so addicted to this book! For the first half, I kept only catching little 5-20 minute segments to read. It was maddening because the book was super intense and made you completely lose yourself in it. But I just couldn't quite get there because I kept getting interrupted. Finally, I'd had enough. I was planning on snagging another 20 minutes one night before I went to bed. Instead, I stayed up until 2 AM finishing it, despite the fact that I had to be up early the next morning. It was so good! Articulating how I feel about this book is going to be a challenge. Basically: I loved it. But describing why is a bit of a challenge. For one, when they're fictional, I love twisted, messed up relationships. A lot. The promise of this is a lot of what drew me to it in the first place.
Stolen is rather controversial, due to the touchy subject matter. I've heard it's one of those books where you either love it or you hate it. I can definitely see how that would be the case. Ty kidnaps Gemma. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. There is more to the story, more that makes it possibly even more creepy. It is not an easy book to read. Regardless, I absolutely loved it. I never wanted to leave this world, whether it was due to interruptions or the end of the book.
Christoper's prose is top notch. It is real and harsh, but beautiful and unique at the same time. The format of the first person voice written to the second person really worked. It was perfect for the story. It truly added a whole other quality that any other approach would not have included. I never would have thought of it, and I applaud Christopher's originality. Oh, and her descriptions of the land were wonderful. I have never been to the desert of Australia, so I cannot speak for the how realistic it was. But it did give a very convincing sense of authenticity. I honestly just loved the writing itself. A few samples:
❝The deep blue of your eyes had secrets. I wanted them.❞
❝I remember that feeling of skin. It’s strange to remember touch more than thought. But my fingers still tingle with it.❞
❝Instead, you smiled. Or tried to. It was like your eyes and your smile were fighting each other.❞
This book messed with my head and heart so much. My emotions were in upheaval the entire time. I didn't know what I wanted. I didn't know what I was supposed to want! This is actually a testament to how well written the book was, I think. There were mixed signals galore. You would think this would be horrible, but it wasn't. I was not sure how anything was going to work out. I was on the edge of my seat, clenching my blanket, biting my lip the entire time. And I loved every second.
This is no fun, lighthearted book. It will mess with you. If you are prepared, though, I would highly recommend it.