Author: Lucy Christopher
Narrator: Emily Gray
Publisher: Recorded Book
Publication Date: August 16, 2010
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
Sometimes, when the masses say that a book is a must-read and make you feel like a social pariah for not having read it yet, you should listen to them. Such is the case with Lucy Christopher's Stolen. I've had the hardcover since I snagged it cheap-like from Borders before it bit the big one, but as it wasn't on my review schedule, I kept putting it off. I could literally kick myself in the face for not reading it the first time someone told me to. (Well, I could if I was that flexible, but since I'm not a contortionist, I'll settle for a stiff reprimand.)
This book brings all the feels. For an author to make you feel compassion toward not only the abducted party but also the kidnapper...that's powerful writing. Was I supposed to like Ty? Because I did. At first, I felt kind of terrible about that fact. This guy stole Gemma away from her family. But he did so thinking he was doing her a favor, that her life was horrible before he swept her away to the Outback of Australia. Or is that just what Ty wanted Gemma to perceive about the situation so that she'd be more open to the idea? I still don't know. I think he loved her...but I also think he was a very troubled young man.
And taking her to such a remote location? The guy was prepared, but even being able to make his own anti-venom, no matter how sharp and attune to the situation he was, made him seem disturbed. And no matter how prepared he thought he was, I don't think he was equipped for what the desolation would do to Gemma. The isolated setting became a character itself, thanks to the lush descriptions of the flora and fauna inhabiting the area. The prose was so evocative, that I downed bottle of water after bottle of water to quench my parched throat during the scenes where Gemma was wandering the desert with little water of her own. I think dying of thirst might be one of the worst ways to go, especially as Gemma described it as it was becoming a very real possibility for her.
Still, through it all, Ty cared for Gemma...physically and emotionally. And it should have been a clue that things were about to go south when Gemma started to see him as less of a threat, but maybe I was suffering from Stockholm syndrome along with her. But toward the end of the letter, I felt disenchanted and disconnected from the situation again, and it was easy to see that the situation played out in the only way that it could have...or at least should have.
I'm making my sister listen to this book now. She likes "issue" books, and this novel definitely delves into some tough subject matter. But I also recommended it based on the narration. It's pretty much two characters for the majority of the novel, and though the story was told only from Gemma's POV through a letter to Ty, it was impressive how Ty's character shined through the narration, as well. Two distinct accents, two distinct characters, and a conglomeration of feelings.
I can't believe it took me so long to experience this book, but it's one that will get read again and again. What is it about those Aussie authors that just sends my heart into palpitations?