Author: Lucy Christopher
Published: May 2009
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
I feel full, but also that I have so much more that I want to know. That’s just how it should be though, isn’t it? I read through Stolen in a quick and hazy single sitting: it seemed only fitting given the fragmenting and ever-changing relationship between 16-year old Gemma and her twentysomething-year old abductor, Ty. Christopher had me hooked from the get go: a girl, not unlike myself at age 16, is angry with her parent and finds attention in the peculiarly-familiar face of an older man. Before I can even settle myself into the novel, Gemma is gone, drugged, and taken out of country by a man I haven’t quite started to hate yet.
That’s the beauty of this work: despite my own understanding of right and wrong and my knowledge of what happens to Gemma while with Ty, I can’t say that I hate him. Well done, Christopher, you’ve made me feel equally at war with my emotions as Gemma is. For each emotion and action that leads to Gemma’s Stockholm Syndrome, I experience them as wholly as she does. I feel this book from the inside out. I am utterly invested in Ty and Gemma, in the relationship they develop, in the past they share, and in what the future holds for them. Don’t even get my started on that camel.. I love Stolen/Wobbleguts. Hell, I’m even invested in her.
If the storyline and character development aren’t enough to turn your crank—let me tell you, the writing is utterly incredible. There are always going to be a couple lines that make you cringe a little, but overall, there is nothing I would change about it. It is beautifully touching and heartbreaking real. It has all of the things I hope to find in a novel, including an ending that truly makes me take a deep breath. It is tangibly and palpably emotive.
I can’t save you like that Ty.
What you did to me wasn’t this brilliant thing, like you think it was. You took me away from everything – my parents, my friends, my life. You took me to the sand and the heat, the dirt and isolation. And you expected me to love you. And that’s the hardest bit. Because I did, or at least, I loved something out there.
But I hated you too. I can’t forget that.
Lucy Christopher: thank you. Thank you for creating such a uniquely written and thought-provoking work. Thank you for creating characters that I became genuinely invested in. Thank you for making Ty as human as Gemma and for making a camel as three-dimensional all her human counterparts. Thank you for giving me a book that occupied me and engrossed me wholly.