Monday, 21 June 2010

Review - Stolen / Lucy Christopher

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. Goodreads.

Review - If you've ever been to Australia you know that the further inland you travel the more red the dirt, the more barren the landscape, the more quiet the surrounds and the more extreme the temperature. Reading this book is like taking your shoes off in the middle of these surrounds and letting the hot sand fill the space between your toes, soothing and burning at the same time. It was an entirely sensory experience that I don't believe I have ever experienced in reading before. It was home, but it was alien.

Stolen is such a visceral experience. While there are plot points, character evolutions and dialogue that all work wonderfully well, it is the surrounds that truly paint the picture. Christopher has crafted a wonderfully intense and vivid world that reflects Gemma's internal conflict as well as her external need to escape.

Christoper has woven a tale that leaves the reader conflicted at the end. Conflicted when there really should be no grey areas. Conflicted when there is clearly a wrong and a right but she's masterfully crafted an antagonist that is entirely formed and sympathetic. This isn't a character or book that you can pigeon hole, it swims in the muddied waters of Ty's motivations and we are carried along with it.

Stolen isn't a book I choose to dissect. Stolen is a book that you experience and hopefully one that you will experience soon.

Published: May 2009
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Aust.
Source: publisher
Origin: UK

9 comments:

Allison said...

I REALLY want to read this! And this is not a bad review, silly :)

Chapter Chicks said...

I've been debating picking this up, but now I'm definitely gonna. You'll see it in my next Borders Haul! Lol

The Book Owl said...

Great review! I love sensory experiences when it comes to books. I'm dying to read this now.

Katie said...

Wow-- Stolen sounds intense! This is a book I hadn't even heard of yet. Now I am definitely curious...

mummazappa said...

hmmm i must read this immediately!

Carla said...

I have had this book on my shelf for quite a while now and I am running out of excuses to not read it now, because this review is amazing. I met Lucy a few months back and had lunch with her and jenny and she is just so lovely and amazingly talented. So so glad you enjoyed the book :-) fabuloso review mon pip

Forever Young Adult said...

wow. this book sounds like Intensity in Ten Cities. a definite add to my to-read pile!

Ladybug said...

Stolen sounds like an amazing read. I love how you describe the feeling of the red hot sand between your toes. I've never been to Australia before but that's how I imagine it to be out in the outback.

I've read two books by Tasmanian/English writer Tamara McKinley before and they almost made me taste the red dirt in my mouth.

Elise said...

Thanks for the review! Probably the best review of Stolen that I have read. I will definitely read this book.