"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Summary from Goodreads:
Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped ... 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?
I am completely enthralled by Stolen by Lucy Christopher. The story, written in the form of a letter from Gemma to Ty, reflects on the months of captivity in the Australian Outback.  "Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost" (Goodreads). At first I was so creeped out by Ty and how he kidnapped and held Gemma captive that I found it hard to read the book.  How could anyone, even in fiction, think it was OK to kidnap a person and hold them in such a desolate place for no other reason that personal obsession? But then something happened and I started falling for Ty, even rooting for him.  In so many ways he was so capable, so thoughtful, and even artistic that it would have been hard not to fall for him.  When I turned the corner on my reading from resistance to compulsion to read on, I remember thinking that the author "had me" and I knew that I would reread that portion.  It was that good that I was planning a reread before I was done reading.  Ha!

Here is a quote to give you an idea of the writing style:
     'Now we wait,' you said.
     'For what?'
     'The sun.'
     You pulled me down onto a bed of sand and leaves right in the middle of all the paint and color. The sun was shining through the window so brightly it was difficult to keep my eyes even half-open against it. And the smell was stronger there, too, leafy and herbal, earthy and fresh.
     'Face this way,' you said.
     You turned to the wall at the back, and I did the same. With the sun behind us, I could see the way the rays picked out the lighter swirls and dots in the painting, making them look three dimensional...p. 224
I didn't notice until I was done reading it, Stolen is Lucy Christopher's first published book.  What?  How can such a good book, so well-written with such vivid descriptions be an author's first book?  Here's what Lucy says about her motivations and inspirations for writing Stolen:
...Thankfully, I’ve never been kidnapped, but when I was nine years old and moving from Wales to Australia, it felt like a bit of a kidnapping.  Suddenly I was in a new country I didn’t understand; a place that was simultaneously beautiful and terrifying.  I’ve always been fascinated by wild Australian land and, when younger, my favourite memories are of camping in the bush and exploring the overgrown creek at the back of our first Melbourne house.  But this landscape scared me too, and I didn’t feel like I fitted in.  I used these feelings of being simultaneously entranced and repulsed by something in order to write Gemma’s feelings for both Ty and the landscape he takes her to (Christopher).
With the completion of Stolen I have now read all the Printz award books for 2011. I think that the Printz committee hit a home-run on all their selections this year.  All the books are fabulous. All use literary devices that make their books unique and compelling. Interestingly, all of the books are quite disturbing this year, too. With Stolen Christopher makes the reader switch allegiances and start rooting for the captor.  She also described the Australian Outback in such a way that I would really like to visit it. I don't even feel revulsion toward snakes and other crawling critters. Now that is some writing.

I highly recommend this book for all teen readers.

7 comments:

  1. I was captivated by Stolen as well. The second person was strange at first but the book just blew me away. I was surprised to see it on the Printz list, though, but I think it's well deserved!

    I need to check out more of the winners. Ship Breaker's on my list and I tried to read Octavian Nothing but it wasn't really my thing.

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  2. Hi Anne. I'm a new follower. I've been wanting to read this book for awhile now. I must move it up on my list. :)

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  3. Stolen sounds excellent. And I'm so excited that you've now read all of the Printz books!! I wish I could claim the same :) Thanks for always keeping us in the loop on the best of the best!

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  4. I've got this one on my stack to read next. Glad you know you liked it.

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  5. I want to read it! It seems so interesting

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  6. Brooke (RiverBred)April 4, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    I am yet another victim to fall under Stolen's spell. At our school if I book has just come into the library, we have to wait for a certain period of time. When I saw Stolen on the 'Just In' table this morning, I was drawn into the story and I couldn't put it down. I found myself racing back to the library each break (there are three at our school though we can only go to the library in the 2nd and 3rd), skipping eating time to squeeze in a few extra minutes for reading. Stolen becomes available for issuing on Wednesday in 3rd break. I can't wait for tomorrow when in 2nd break I can walk through the doors and I'll see Stolen sitting there, looking beautiful and waiting just for me. (well, I HOPE it's still there)

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  7. Awesome review! Here's mine if you don't mind: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/12/stolen-by-lucy-christopher.html

    Thanks and have a nice day! :)

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