04 February, 2011


Title: Stolen: A Letter to my Captor
Author: Lucy Christopher
Genre: Fiction
Audience: Young Adult
Format: Book (Library)

Synopsis: Taken from Bangkok airport to the Australian outback, Gemma is unsure of what her kidnapper Ty, wants from her. What she does find out is she is in a harsh, unforgiving landscape with no way out. Through this letter to her kidnapper, the reader shares her despair and confusion as she learns more about  Ty and the environment he has forced her into.  Will she learn to love it as he says, or will she forever search for a way home?

What I thought: Stolen was shortlisted for the 2010 Australian Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award in the Older Readers Category and totally deserved to be there!  Christopher has managed to paint the harshness of the Australian outback and what would be needed to survive. For those international readers who wonder if she has exaggerated the distance and harshness, she hasn’t. There are areas of Australia where you could travel for days and see endless sand and not a living thing.
Gemma’s attempts to get away only serve to highlight the hopelessness of her situation. I felt Christopher managed to strike a balance between the anger Gemma felt and her despair.  Her reactions to Ty and her situation were believable throughout and made me really feel for her. If there was a criticism, it would be that I wanted to know more about Ty and the circumstances that led him to kidnapping an English girl from a Bangkok airport and bring her to the Australian outback!
Christopher also kept me guessing to the end about how it would all finish. I was prepared to be disappointed as I struggled to think of a way it would end without destroying the story. I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed and finished the book feeling it had ended the best way possible.

Recommended for: those who like YA fiction with bite!

Challenges: A-Z Challenge,  100+ Challenge, For the love of YA Challenge, Aussie YA Challenge