Stolen by Lucy Christopher
published May 2010 by Chicken House
304 pages (hardcover)
Kindle edition published February 2011
On route to a summer holiday in Vietnam with her parents, sixteen year-old Gemma is kidnapped from the Bangkok Airport over a simple cup of coffee. One minute she's staring into a handsome face with beautiful blue eyes, and the next she's lying in a bed wearing unfamiliar clothes and feeling the aftereffects of some nasty drugs. Terrified and confused, Gemma slowly realizes that there is little hope for escape in this Australian never-ending desert, and that Ty, her captor, actually means her no harm. Told as a letter written to Ty, this story is unlike other kidnapping tales in that he's not actually a bad guy. Really.
For the record, I've never been kidnapped. So, I don't personally know how it feels. But if I ever do, I sure hope it's by someone like Ty. The guy has good intentions, mind you. He wants to save Gemma from her life of plastic parents and ugly concrete London. He's been watching her, and he can sense that she's different like him, that she just might want to run away to the desert and live in isolation on the land. Maybe that sounds crazy. But he's convinced, and he had me convinced too. And Gemma? She's a trooper. She must have aged ten years in the short time they spent together, with all the emotions she went through. She responded quite appropriately to finding out she had been kidnapped - hurt captor, run away. She repeated these actions until they proved useless. Until she grew weary of the fight and realized Ty wasn't fighting back. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that Gemma and Ty had a complicated relationship. You're supposed to root for Gemma, to want her to escape and find her way home. That's a normal response. But goodness, how could you not feel for Ty? He was severely misguided, yes, but he has such a good heart.
I never understood it when people finished reading a book and then immediately went back to re-read it. Yeah, I get it now. Maybe not tonight, but I will revisit it soon because I loved it that much. Not just loved it either. I love a lot of books. I can't help it that I love stories so. But because it moved me (I know that's corny, but how else to say it?). It made me feel and think things I didn't think I could, and that is a rare gift. Maybe it's not a feel-good story, but it's a feel-something story, and I do appreciate it.
Thank you to Chelsea from Coffee and Cliffhangers for blogging about this book last week and unintentionally giving me exactly the recommendation I didn't know I was looking for. :)
Do I even have to say it? Five purple crayons for reminding me what it means to be human.