Tuesday, January 1, 2013

{Review} Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher

Title: Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
Author: Lucy Christopher
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Release date: May 4th, 2009
Date Read: October 30th - November 1st
Rating: ✭✭✭✭
It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back?
The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost. 

Stockholm Syndrome is a very interesting topic to read about. It's also a harder one to successfully execute. I could very well decide to write a book about Stockholm Syndrome but there is a 100% chance that I would fail miserably. It's true. But, there are some people who can do it successfully, like Lucy Christopher. I haven't read any other Stockholm Syndrome book, so perhaps my thoughts are a bit biased.

I have to admit, this isn't a perfect representation. I obviously have no experience with having Stockholm Syndrome but I don't think it works exactly like this. There was no build up. Gemma goes from hating him to loving him in a few days. 

Gemma tries to escape numerous times and declares how much she detests Ty all the time. Then, one day, something changes. She doesn't ever question her hatred for Ty before. And then suddenly, she adores him. It's kind of weird to be honest.


Gemma was an interesting character. I don't find her a very strong individual, but she wasn't weak either. She ran but gave up easily at the same time. The ending showed a stronger Gemma but I still wasn't convinced about her character personally. 

I don't think I hate her but I don't love her. In most reviews, I have three types of characters (and those three usually cover most). The three types are amazing, meh, and terrible. Gemma wasn't exactly likeable, relatable, or hatable. She wasn't meh because I did like her at times. I also disliked her at times. 

Ty was very likable and I hated him as well. He's very... Ty. Extremely likeable and detestable at the same time. He can be easily summed up with this gif.

I really don't need to say anything more about him because well, I already said everything I could. There are no other characters other then those two, because 95% of the book takes place in the middle of nowhere, completely isolated. 

Plot and Writing

This is a very character driven story. The plot is very basic and does not involve any side plots or twists other then if you consider Gemma being kidnapped a twist. Which it isn't. The Stockholm isn't a twist because it's quite clear what this book it about.

The plot that is there is nicely written but paced too oddly. Sometimes I'm flying through the book and other times I'm just barely awake. A good 20% is Gemma complaining about her situation and thinking about how she should escape.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing. If you were kidnapped, wouldn't you try to escape or feel bad for yourself? With Gemma however, that's all she did. She really didn't do anything except for when she was escaping which quite frankly, bored me. 


The writing was very descriptive and the feelings were very real. So real in fact that many readers found themselves falling for Ty *cough* Oceana *cough*. I was not included in this but I did start to like him. I guess the fact that I kept reminding myself that he freaking abducted a girl stopped me from loving him.

The writing was simplistic but perfect for the story that Christopher was telling. It wasn't overly descriptive or lyrical but sort of hazy and dreamlike. Everything felt dreamlike but real at the same time - if that makes any sense (which it probably doesn't). 

Likes and Dislikes

- the atmosphere
- the characters
- the plot

- it wasn't very realistic Stockholm


 I did like the book, a lot in fact. But, I have to admit that the book isn't perfect, even though Oceana thinks it is. I do recommend it to everyone but with a warning - this book is very creepy.

Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.


  1. I wanted to know was what was being done to find Gemma. But since the book is from Gemma's POV she couldn't possible know what was going on :-)

    I wish Christopher would write a second book about that.

    I found your blog through GoodReads and I love it. I'm going to follow you with Bloglovin' too!

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