Thursday, March 21, 2013

Teen/YA Review: Stolen

 Stolen by Lucy Christopher won a Printz Honor award in 2011, and it’s easy to see why. This unique novel about the relationship between a kidnapper and his captive has great emotional depth and explores the gray areas of what is usually considered a straightforward issue.

Gemma, a teen traveling with her parents, is kidnapped from the airport by a young man named Ty. Before he drugs her and takes her away, Gemma is attracted to the handsome man with the blue eyes who buys her a coffee, but when she wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings, all she feels is fear.

The novel is told as a letter from Gemma to Ty about her experiences, starting from the moment she saw him in the airport. You would think that her story would be horrifying and terrifying, but it’s far more complicated than that. Ty treats her with kindness, and the two of them are alone, in the definitive “middle of nowhere,” with no one to rely on but each other. She must trust him to some degree, as she is relying on him for her survival in this dangerous and remote – yet beautiful – place.

I won’t say any more about the plot because part of this book’s attraction is its suspense and surprises. The novel is well written and wholly unique. I have read several other teen/YA novels about abductions, and while they were engrossing, this one takes a different approach and explores a far more complicated relationship than just captor and captive. In fact, there are times when you find yourself actually rooting for Ty, even though you know what he did was horribly wrong. I love thought-provoking books that explore the gray areas of life, and this one fits the bill. Stolen is both tender and terrifying, showing that there is almost always more to a situation than meets the eye.

299 pages, Scholastic


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