Google+ Reading Teen: Stolen by Lucy Christopher Review

Monday, January 10, 2011

Stolen by Lucy Christopher Review

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: The Chicken House; 1 edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545170931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545170932
Author's Website:

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.


I'm not sure I know where to begin with this book.  It was terrifying, and tragic, and realistic, then at times beautiful and transforming.  I've never read anything like it.  I almost felt as conflicted as Gemma.  I hated Ty, but I felt sorry for him, and even began to care for him.  Can you develop Stockholm syndrome as a reader?  

There were parts of the book that were a little slow for me, but overall it was a fascinating read and a never-before-explored subject for me.  I thought it was really crazy to feel what it would be like to be stolen from your family, your home, your friends, and everything you've ever known.  It added another element, for me, being a mom of two girls.  My first daughter is 16, the age Gemma is when she's kidnapped, and my second is 10, the age Gemma was when he first started stalking her. That made some parts kind of difficult for me to read.  I definitely had to detach, and not think about something like that happening to one of my girls.  

The emotional roller-coaster is unlike what I've felt in any other book.  Even at the end, when I closed the book, I felt conflicted.  I loved exploring the Australian outback with Ty and Gemma.  When she finally opened herself up to the beauty of the land, it was like I could see it all with her.  I could even, (almost) understand Ty, and his obsessive love of the land.  

This was not a happy book, nor a really satisfying book, but it is one that will stay with me for a long time.

  • Sexual Content: Moderate
  • Profanity: Very Heavy
  • Violence: Heavy
  • Other Notables: Some mention of teens drinking and getting drunk.

For more details about the content, go to Stolen on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. I just got this one. It sounds like a difficult read but a good read. Thanks for the review!

  2. (Spoiler free comment...)

    I couldn't have explained it better. I'm not a mother so I was only able to put myself in Gemma's shoes. I didn't want Gemma to develop Stockholm syndrome, and boy did she put up a fight... but in the end I was just as confused as her.
    I think had her past been different, had she loved the life she had before being kidnapped, had she not fallen in love with the Australian outback, then it would have been a more simple story.

    Like you I will never be able to forget this book, it was beautifully haunting and Lucy wrote it wonderfully. Even Ty wasn't simply evil, but completely messed up.

    I'm so glad you read it! :D


    And don't worry, even months later I still don't know how I feel about Ty.

  4. Incredible review Andye! Wow I had no idea the depth of this book. I really want to read it now but I don't want to. I tend to get over emotional on these types of books. I can see myself being haunted by it too as I am already over protective of my kids. I will def have to add this one to the TBR pile! Thanks!!

  5. Thanks guys! Liz, it is a difficult subject, but somehow, it was still really good!

    Sheepa- don't you wonder what would've happened if he had just introduced himself and tried to date her? Of course he was too old, I guess.....

    Danielle-yes, of course, you were right!

    Mindy- yeah, you'll definitely have to detach! Just don't think about your own kiddos!!

  6. Andye - Omg I've ALWAYS thought if he had just come up to her and asked her out, maybe, just maybe, it would've worked out between them. Instead of taking her by force, if he had taken her out there on a trip, after months of dating, or even a year, maybe she would've loved it anyway.
    That's the part that sucked. Ty felt the need to take her by force, instead of asking her. If he knew she didn't like the life she led why didn't her show himself to her? (and keep the stalking part hidden).

  7. What a strong subject! So different from everything you usually review.

  8. Sheepa- I think we need to write our own version where he just introduces himself like a normal person! Haha~ but I guess that wouldn't make for much of a story! Plus, I think the way he was raised just made it so that he was incapable of understanding that what he did was wrong. It's crazy to think he actually believed he was saving her!

    Jam-I know, but a couple of pesky and persistent twitter pals forced me into it! :D

  9. (comment includes small spoiler)

    Andye - I think it's crazy that by the end of the book we actually kinda understand his motives, lol. Yeah, his mind does work differently, he's emotionally a bit weird aswell. I mean, the only time he got really angry was when she ruined the painting. Of all the things Gemma did, that's what ticked him off? o_O

    Btw who do you think would have won the six month deal they made? :)
    I think after 6 months Gemma would've left, but maaaayyyybe she would have come back to him 6 months later.
    And yes, our book would be nowhere as good as Lucy's, hehe. I think there's a sequel to Stolen coming out though :D

  10. I had NO IDEA there was going to be a sequel!! I'll have to check that out!!

    I think she still would have left after 6 mos, but maybe not. People can sometimes become so dependent on their captor that they can't leave them. I would be interesting to sit down with Lucy and see what she would say about it.

  11. This book is pretty powerful the kiddnapper has been searching for love all his life and in the end no matter how crazy and distant his mmind is you feel for him you dont want him in jail and what happens between the two is a huge shock. Though it can be blahh at times, this book is ahmazing its twisted, heart wenching and beautifully written too.

    1. You're so right! I read this quite awhile ago, and I still think about it often.

  12. this book, was so beautiful and tragic. you summed up the book very well.
    i just finished it, and i actually felt like gemma all the way through this book (I'm 16) , something in her reflected me, i felt like i would have acted the same, done the same and been the same in the situation. not to mention what she was like back in london, it felt so close to me, it really spoke to me.
    i can't get to sleep, I'm just crying and crying and crying over this book and Ty, i just shouted "it can't end like this!" but i thought i through, and what ii f it didn't? would they still be in the desert? would they be happy?
    this book just stays in you mind, its magical to say the least. i just have this feeling now in the pit of my stomach that won't go away. i just want to know what happened to Ty...but i never will...

    1. You know, after a year and a half, this is still a book that I think about often, and still have sitting on my shelf. You are so right. It's beautiful and tragic! I hope I get to read more by this author soon!


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