January 24, 2014

Review: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Title: Stolen
Author: Lucy Christopher
Release Date: May 4, 2009
Publisher: Chicken House
Pages: 299
My Rating: 3.5 stars

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A girl: Gemma, 16, at the airport, on her way to a family vacation.

A guy: Ty, rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar, eyes blue as ice.

She steps away. For just a second. He pays for her drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what's happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. 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, STOLEN is Gemma's desperate story of survival; of how she has to come to terms with her living nightmare-- or die trying to fight it.  - Goodreads

To be absolutely honest, going into this book, I expected a classic cliche; girl meets boy, girl falls "in love" with boy, no exceptions. That's not exactly what happened, though. The tale that was told was one of something much more complex than that. Gemma found herself trapped, but soon started realizing that maybe she'd been trapped all along. Gemma discovered the beauty in things she hadn't paid any attention to in a long time. The tale that was told, well, it was definitely unlike anything I've ever read before.

The manner in which Stolen was told was mostly dark, but it couldn't help but be fascinating, since it's not the type of plot you come across very often. When I say this, I can't help thinking of Ty, the kidnapper. It's hard to understand why he would take Gemma, why he would care about her, or why he would be so desperate for her acceptance. Just when I would start to think, hey, maybe he's not such a bad guy, I would be reminded that he did kidnap Gemma, after all. And then I see that she has the same mindset, and is torn about what to think. He is sweet, but why would he do this, or that? THIS BOOK WILL CONFUSE YOUR FEELS.

UGHHHH. It was so hard to decide on the rating to give, because while I did appreciate the book as a whole, there was definitely times when I wanted to just stop reading because I felt like nothing was happening. There's a lot of in depth description of the new and tragically beautiful place that Gemma is taken to, and at first it was nice to hear about, but at a certain point, I just wanted it to end. Since it's hard for me to be patient and attentive, I usually stick with plot-driven books, so it wasn't easy for me to trudge through the middle part of the story. Obviously, not everyone is like me in this way so I can see how others would enjoy it more than I did.
"No one seemed to have any clue about me, about what I was really thinking. It was like I existed in a kind of parallel universe, thinking thoughts and feeling emotions that no one else understood."
What really redeemed the book for me was the ending. During the last quarter of the book, my heart was beating fast, and I felt it, slowly but surely, breaking. Up until the end, I don't think Gemma really acknowledged her feelings for Ty, or at least not directly, consciously. I actually quite liked that she was unsure; that even after writing out, in detail, everything that had happened, everything she had felt and experienced, she didn't really know what to make of it. Nothing was black or white. What she had felt was amazing, but yet seemed so wrong. When I think of this book, my mind instantly focuses on just the ending, and I can not stop thinking about it. I feel it was perfect in every way, and based on just the last 75 pages alone, I would have probably given it a 5 star rating.

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