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Stolen Hardcover – May 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up While 16-year-old Gemma is en route to Vietnam from England with her parents, she is drugged and kidnapped from the Bangkok airport. She regains full consciousness in a rustic house deep in the Australian Outback with a 25-year-old man who is going to keep her forever. Ty never sexually abuses her, but she is truly a captive. Little by little, Ty wears down her defenses as Gemma realizes that escape is impossible. Soon she discovers the stark power and vibrancy of the wilderness and becomes absorbed in it. She also learns that Ty has been stalking her for years, devising a crafty plan to steal her away to make her love him which she ultimately believes she does. Ty's capture, taming, and release of a female camel effectively parallels Gemma's ordeal. Her unique first-person narrative is written to Ty after her release. Both characters are as vivid as the desert setting in which they are immersed. Despite the fact that Ty is a kidnapper, the revelations about his difficult youth and his usually caring behavior allow readers, like Gemma, to eventually care about him. Disturbing, heartbreaking, and beautiful all at once, this book is the antithesis of the situational horror in Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl (S & S, 2008). Diane P. Tuccillo, Poudre River Public Library District, Fort Collins, CO
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From Booklist

Drugged and kidnapped from her parents at the Bangkok airport, English teen Gemma wakes to find herself in the weirdly beautiful but desolate Australian outback. Her only company is her captor, a handsome young Australian named Ty, who is obsessed with her. Indeed, he tells her that he has been watching her since she was a child and now plans to keep her with him forever. Told in the form of a letter Gemma is writing to Ty, Christopher’s first novel is a complex psychological study that is also a tribute to the hypnotic beauty of the outback, which Ty passionately loves and feels has been “stolen” by those who would exploit it for gain. Though Gemma at first hates both her kidnapper and the landscape, she gradually begins to warm toward both. Some readers may feel the novel is weighted down by too much symbolism (if the outback is Edenic, watch out for a serpent!) and find Ty to be too sympathetic a character, but at the same time these potential drawbacks offer ample opportunity for thought and discussion. Grades 9-12. --Michael Cart

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 570L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Chicken House; 1 edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545170931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545170932
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (380 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lucy Christopher, author of Stolen and Flyaway, was born in Wales but grew up in Australia, living in Melbourne from the age of nine until she completed her undergraduate degree at Melbourne University. After various attempts at being an actor, a coffee maker, a waitress and a nature guide, she moved back to the UK to earn a distinction in a Creative Writing MA from Bath Spa University. Lucy took on part-time work as a university lecturer at Bath Spa University, teaching on the undergraduate and the MA creative writing courses, and is currently undertaking a PhD to explore the ways that Australian literature represents wild places, particularly in its writing for young adults. Lucy's debut novel, Stolen, was written as part of this PhD.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Miss Bonnie on December 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
"How long will you keep me?" I asked.
You shrugged. "Forever, of course."

I honestly never had any intention of picking this up as I try and stay away from those books with the tough subjects but they always seem to find their way into my reading pile anyways. Plus, it's an Aussie read. I have to give it a shot for that alone. :) And despite the tough subject and despite the fact that it was a hard, emotional read, this book was well worth the read.

I really enjoyed the writing style, the whole thing written in letter form from Gemma to the man who stole her away from her life, Ty. It's natural to dislike Ty and I totally did... at first. Forget sympathizing or caring about the hardships he went through; he kidnapped a 16 year-old girl, drugged her, and had planned it all out to the point that he had a new ID and passport ready to get her on a plane to Australia. This was not a spontaneous decision. No, this was a plan that had been in the making for many, many years. I found it amazing (and shocking) the amount of time and energy he spent into making this whole plan work. He built a house in the middle of the Australian desert and stocked it with enough supplies for them to survive together for a very long time. It was honestly quite scary if you really think about it.

But, as time progressed Gemma slowly began to warm up to him. She saw a different side of him that she couldn't help but like. And dammit, I began to like him too despite the other half of my brain trying to remain rational and recognize the situation for what it was. Kidnapping aside, (yes, I know, that's a pretty big thing to brush off) I think the sole reason I gained a soft spot for him was I truly believed he cared for Gemma.
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39 of 50 people found the following review helpful By RPK on June 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
On a layover at the Bangkok Airport, sixteen year old Gemma encounters a man she is certain she has seen time and time again on her various travels across the globe. Gemma, in her daze over the stranger's dazzling blue eyes, is drugged and essentially "Stolen" by this seemingly charming man named Ty. Ty takes her to the Australian desert where Gemma wakes up and realizes what has happened. With no one around for miles, Gemma has to learn to deal with her captor and the harsh surroundings where they live. The book is written as a letter to Ty from Gemma.

I really wanted to love this book but I just couldn't. Gemma's point of view is a little too cold and distant. I didn't really feel any strong ties to her character. I wasn't that concerned with what happened to her as much as I was interested in what Ty planned to do with her. I don't really think it's a good thing when you are reading a novel and hoping something bad will happen to the main character...but, that is how it was for me with Stolen. At first, I was intrigued by Gemma and her way with words, but I soon found her a bit dry and boring. I was also confused over where the author was going with the Ty/Gemma relationship and I felt very, very uncomfortable with the stolkholm syndrome scenarios and general plotline. It creeped me out-but not in a good way that made me want to keep reading. It was actually, for the first time in a while for me, a struggle to finish.

I think Stolen is a nice wake up call to young girls who might be a little naive and unaware of the dangers of talking to strangers, but it didn't sit well with me. I really didn't enjoy it. I do give the author props though for trying the idea out and I think it will find an audience that DOES love it. However, that audience does not include myself.
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37 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Ann-Kat @ Today, I Read... on July 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
*Point 1: Slow. No, that's not right. In fact, a new word needs to be coined because "slow" (and all its various synonyms) is inadequate.

*Point 2: The camel won. It was the only character that felt genuine. Ty came close, but meh. Let's not start on Gemma.

*Point 3: A twisted love story. Still, it was an interesting take on the evolution of Stockholm syndrome.

Sixteen year old Gemma Toombs is stolen from the Bangkok airport and brought to Middle of Nowhere, Australia by a man named Ty. During her captivity, Ty explains how they'll have a perfect life together away from the evils of the city. Gemma protests, and then after a late-night epiphany, she decides that Ty is only marginally insane and that she's in love. Theirs, however, is a complicated love and it comes with its own set of problems.

Let me say up front: This review is hard to write. I wanted so much to love Stolen. So much. But, oh Sweet Mother of All Things Good, the narrative was bad. (Typing that broke my heart a little, but it needed to come out.)

For me, how a story is told is just as important as the story itself--sometimes more so. Stolen is told from the 2nd person POV as a letter from Gemma to Ty. The narrative was more arid than the desert landscape it depicted; it meandered and drifted between various shades of lavender to purple. And at the end a justification was offered for the narrative choice, but it didn't redeem the book, not one iota.

Of all the characters, I only cared about the camel. It was the only one who felt genuine. When she was left behind, I almost cried...almost.
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