In Case You Missed it – Stolen by Lucy Christopher



Stolen by Lucy Christopher was released in 2009. I was a sophomore in high school! Despite it being out for so long, I never picked it up even though I was familiar with its concept: Teenage girl gets kidnapped from an airport in Bangkok, Thailand and is taken to a remote desert in Austrialia where she lives with a young man named Ty, who has been watching her for many years. I’m not sure if the concept kept me away, or if I just never got around to reading it. Either way, I decided to read it now in 2024, and I was pleasantly surprised by what I read.

Sixteen year old Gemma Toombs is a British teenager on her wStolenay home from a trip abroad. When her flight has a layover in Bangkok, she decides to go get some coffee while her parents go find their gate. It’s at the airport coffee shop that she meets an enigmatic stranger who might not be a total stranger. Nevertheless, she and the stranger hit it off and talk. Everything seems to be fine until the stranger, Ty, decides to drug her and steal her away to a remote desert in Australia.

When Gemma awakes in Ty’s makeshift house, she is determined to do whatever she can to escape Ty…But as time goes on, she realizes he might not be the monster she originally thinks he is. As the two of them slowly begin to bond, Gemma becomes conflicted: Is Ty really just a monster? Or is he someone she could fall in love with?

Now, I know what you’re thinking whilst reading that description: Is this Stockholm Syndrome in a book? And the answer is…kind of. As I read it, I found myself thinking much the same thing. Gemma makes many attempts at escape. She’s always thinking about ways to hurt Ty as much as he’s hurt her. They have their moments, of course. Ty isn’t all bad. In fact, Gemma’s terrified that she might actually like him a little. As the story goes on, the two learn to coexist in the desert, even as Gemma dreams of going back home to London. It’s really interesting to read about Gemma’s conflicting emotions. It felt very real, especially since Ty never does anything outright “bad” to Gemma. He genuinely wants her to be there and doesn’t quite understand why she’s so mad about being kidnapped. It’s easy to see, then, why Gemma would be so conflicted. This man isn’t bad, really, she thinks. He’s just done a bad thing.

I really loved the writing of this novel as well. It’s stark and real and doesn’t shy away from Gemma’s emotions, whether we agree with them or not. I also found myself liking Ty despite what he did to Gemma. He manages to be a sympathetic character while also being someone who did a very awful thing. Stolen is a beautifully tragic story and despite its heavy subject matter, completely appropriate for teens.

You can pick up Stolen at the Oreana Library today!

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