[Review] Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
by Lucy Christopher

Publication Date: May 4th 2009
Publisher: Chicken House
Format: Paperback, 320 pages

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don’t exist – almost.


Two thumbs up!

When I read the plot in goodreads all I had in mind was how typical it was. Yes I’ve gone through those you-kidnap-me-cause-you’re-inlove-with-me-and-i-don’t-know-why-but-I-think-i-love-you-too for a million times in lots of stories online but I decided to give this book a shot.

Reading its first few pages made me crave for the rest. There was this thrill factor about it that you just wanna know what would happen next. There is simplicity in its narration but with the way the characters deliver their actions and lines, you could definitely feel the force of its situation.

The novel was written in Gemma’s point of view and is in a form of a long letter directed to Ty, her captor, who has temper, but is very caring of his victim and is likeable. With the circumstance given of being alone with each other, Ty gets to tell Gemma his sad stories and shows her his somewhat vulnerable part that would make you go like c’mon Gemma fall in love with him already. And you know what, between all those attempts of escaping from his grasp, she kinda did. But what’s smart about the girl protagonist is that she sensed the wrongness behind what she felt—like a helpless kidnap victim who looks at her kidnapper in a positive manner. Uhuh, hello Stockholm syndrome!

“Let’s face it, you did steal me. But you saved my life too. And somewhere in the middle, you showed me a place so different and beautiful; I can never get it out of my mind. And I can’t get you out of there either. You’re stuck in my brain like my own blood vessels.”

It could’ve been funny if you wouldn’t get to sense the emotions it brings. Yep, the tricky part is that you get to feel everything Gemma experienced, and it would make you think how strange it would be to let yourself develop attachment towards the one who caused you all those sufferings. Lucy Christopher definitely knows how to let you get into the girl protagonist’s shoes; she lets the readers feel doubt, confusion and fondness through her fitting usage of words that it could make you think everything was real.

 At the very last page, I couldn’t help myself from spilling tears as I was as bewildered as Gemma was. And also, at that moment, all that I could ever think about was that this book is the bomb.



Book Trailer

About the Author

“Let me tell you a little bit about me. I’ve lived a pretty varied life, having lived in three different countries (two of them twice!) and about twenty four different houses. I started off living in Wales, in the UK, but eventually found myself in Melbourne, Australia, where I went to school and University (and lived most of my life so far!). I moved back to Wales when I was 22 in order to study an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. And I’m still here (despite initially saying I was only going to stay for a year cos it’s sooo cold!). Doing my MA at Bath Spa is where life really took off for me … well….my writing life anyway. I seriously don’t think I would be a published writer today if it weren’t for this MA. Before this MA, I did stuff like trying to be an actor, a barista, a waitress, and a nature guide. The MA is when life focus started to slot into place, and I had the first glimpse that maybe…one day…I too could be a published writer!

There were four fantastic things about doing this MA. First, it got me a distinction (always nice), second, I met my wonderful mentor and friend Julia Green through it, third, it got me teaching work at the University of Bath Spa after I finished, and finally, it made me write my first book. Back then, this book was called The Long Flight and it was about a boy called Adam and a strange, flightless whooper swan. Six years later, a gender change of the main character, and a genre change of the book, and this book became Flyaway, my second published novel with Chicken House. It’s now about a girl called Isla whose Dad gets sick, and so, with the help of new friend Harry, she tries to make him feel better again through teaching a swan to fly. My work as a nature guide with the RSPB really helped me to write this book, and I’ll always be grateful to this wonderful charity for giving me the chances to learn about all things wild.

My first published book, Stolen, was also influenced by my life and the things I did. Thankfully, I’ve never been kidnapped, but when I was nine years old and moving from Wales to Australia, it felt like a bit of a kidnapping. Suddenly I was in a new country I didn’t understand; a place that was simultaneously beautiful and terrifying. I’ve always been fascinated by wild Australian land and, when younger, my favourite memories are of camping in the bush and exploring the overgrown creek at the back of our first Melbourne house. But this landscape scared me too, and I didn’t feel like I fitted in. I used these feelings of being simultaneously entranced and repulsed by something in order to write Gemma’s feelings for both Ty and the landscape he takes her to.

I’m now working on another teen novel for Chicken House due for publication in 2011.

In between writing, and talking about writing, and teaching writing, I do lots of other things! I am finishing a Creative Writing PhD, working on the critical part that talks about how Stolen compares to other novels about vulnerable girls in wild Australian land. I also spend a lot of time riding a grumpy chestnut mare called Topaz, and having adventures around the world. My favourite country to visit is South Africa, and I have volunteered there several times as a writing mentor and as a field guide. One thing I’ve never done but always wanted to is go in a hot air balloon. Oh, and camels make me smile.

I am represented in the UK by Greene And Heaton Literary Agency, and published by Chicken House. In the United States and Australia, I am published by Scholastic. For a full list of where my books have been published and by who, please visit the Chicken House website on http://www.doublecluck.com”

12 responses to “[Review] Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher

  1. I loved this book so much! There were times when I felt like jumping up and down cheering for Gemma to get away, and others when I asked myself if maybe she'd be better off just staying with Ty. And I agree with you that we really did get to feel everything Gemma did, which made the whole book even more amazing!:)

  2. I love your review! It makes me realize how I limit myself to books I have to review. I have seen this book around but never took the time to find out a lot. I am so glad that I have read up on it now. It is going on my TBR right now!

  3. I've been waiting for a review of this book for so long!! finally!!! thank you thank you thank you!you just made me that more crazy to have it!!!!! WOW!!! I've got to get this!!! NOW!!!! just NOW!!! wow!! wow!!!!!can't wait!great review!

  4. thanks guys! the comments that you all post in this blog is like one of the main reasons why i keep on writing reviews :Dand for those who werent able to read this book yet, go and buy it now! :D-geianne of wefancybooks

  5. It's weird how the Stockholm Syndrome in their relationship didn't bother me at all. I read this book a while back and to this day will remain one that brought out two contrasting reactions: I both loved and hated it. In the end, love won. 🙂

  6. Oooh man, this book totally did a number on me!! I was completely blown away by this book. Seriously- so much love and amazement. Christopher is BRILLIANT.

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