Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Release Date: May 4, 2009
**This Review will contain spoilers- proceed at your own risk.**
Why I love this book: I first read this book probably 10 years ago, back when I helped run the book club on TwilightMoms, and this book has stuck with me all that time. Written from the perspective of Gemma, who is writing about her kidnapping and subsequent experience with her kidnapper Ty in the Australian Outback. This book is unflinching. There is no doubt that Ty is the bad guy here. As the book unfolds we come to realize just how lost Ty is, and how long he has been that way. His fixation on Gemma as the means to his happiness and the lengths he was willing to go to in order to make her a part of his life are horrific.... and yet... because we are getting the story from Gemma's perspective we are also allowed to see Ty through her eyes and see how, with nowhere else to turn, you might turn to the only person available, even if that person just stole you away from everything you've ever known.
I'm hesitant to use the term relationship here, but there is something, not romantic (even if Ty hopes it some day will be), but also something more then just kidnapper and kidnappee. Ty, for all his numerous faults, truly believes he has saved Gemma and that he can protect her. Indeed, when push comes to shove, he is willing to give everything up to save her. And as for Gemma, she is scared of Ty (as well she should be), but as she learns more about Ty, she begins to understand why he is the way he is, and with that comes a level of empathy that from the outside is inexplicable.
In the end Gemma learns that Stockholm Syndrome is a powerful thing and her throughts and feelings about who she is, who Ty is and who they are related to eachother are a very tangled mess to unravel. What is most impressive to me, is that through Gemma and in getting the story from her perspective, we as readers also walk away with complicated feelings about who Ty is. Ty is the bad guy here, there is no other interpretation, but somewhere beneath the things he did, is a kid who was thrown away and left behind and you can't help but wonder if he ever stood a chance at all.
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