Published by Chicken House on May 1st 2010
Gemma, 16, is on layover at Bangkok Airport, en route with her parents to a vacation in Vietnam. She steps away for just a second, to get a cup of coffee. Ty - rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar - pays for Gemma's drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what's happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. The unknowing object of a long obsession, Gemma has been kidnapped by her stalker and brought to the desolate Australian Outback.
Stolen is her gripping story of survival, of how she has to come to terms with her living nightmare - or die trying to fight it.
“How long will you keep me?” I asked.
You shrugged. “Forever, of course.”
I honestly never had any intention of picking this up as I try and stay away from those books with the tough subjects but they always seem to find their way into my reading pile anyways. Plus, it’s an Aussie read. I have to give it a shot for that alone. 🙂 And despite the tough subject and despite the fact that it was a hard, emotional read, this book was well worth the read.
I really enjoyed the writing style, the whole thing written in letter form from Gemma to the man who stole her away from her life, Ty. It’s natural to dislike Ty and I totally did… at first. Forget sympathizing or caring about the hardships he went through; he kidnapped a 16 year-old girl, drugged her, and had planned it all out to the point that he had a new ID and passport ready to get her on a plane to Australia. This was not a spontaneous decision. No, this was a plan that had been in the making for many, many years. I found it amazing (and shocking) the amount of time and energy he spent into making this whole plan work. He built a house in the middle of the Australian desert and stocked it with enough supplies for them to survive together for a very long time. It was honestly quite scary if you really think about it.
But, as time progressed Gemma slowly began to warm up to him. She saw a different side of him that she couldn’t help but like. And dammit, I began to like him too despite the other half of my brain trying to remain rational and recognize the situation for what it was. Kidnapping aside, (yes, I know, that’s a pretty big thing to brush off) I think the sole reason I gained a soft spot for him was I truly believed he cared for Gemma. Even before he kidnapped her from the airport he was watching over her (yes, I know, that’s stalking) and actually saved her from a pretty grave situation that she wasn’t even fully aware of. As Gemma states, ‘What you did to me wasn’t this brilliant thing, like you think it was.’ And it wasn’t, despite his best intentions and even though he truly thought that he was saving her, it was still wrong. Despite loving the letter style of writing I think it would have been even more brilliant as a dual-narrative; I would have loved to get a glimpse of everything that was happening from Ty’s point of view.
Definitely one of those books that sneak up on you emotionally. You have no idea how invested you are in what happens for these characters until it’s all over and you realize how much you had been hoping for that happily-ever-after type ending. The ending, while I wouldn’t call it perfect, was definitely fitting and managed to make the whole story even more plausible.
Emotional and powerful, Stolen is a thought-provoking story that will have you questioning right and wrong and the grey areas in between.
‘And, let’s face it, you did steal me. But you saved my life, too. And somewhere in the middle, you showed me a place so different and beautiful, I can never get it out of my mind. And I can’t get you out of there, either. You’re stuck in my brain like my own blood vessels.’