Publisher's Note:  

Now in paperback, the acclaimed Printz Honor Book: Sensitive, sharp, captivating!

A girl: Gemma, 16, at the airport, on her way to a family vacation.

A guy: Ty, rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar, eyes blue as ice.

She steps away. For just a second. He pays for her drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what's happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. To sand and heat. To emptiness and isolation. To nowhere. And expects her to love him.

Written as a letter from a victim to her captor, STOLEN is Gemma's desperate story of survival; of how she has to come to terms with her living nightmare--or die trying to fight it.


by Lucy Christopher

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Overall Review:  

Stolen is compelling, beautifully written, and extremely disturbing. Gemma is taken from her family and friends on a terrifying journey which includes a lot of self-doubt and self-discovery. I experienced the same feelings she did--terror, disgust, and to my horror, sympathy for a twisted mind that tempted me to want Gemma to choose her captor. 


The story winds up to my satisfaction, but even with the resolution I want, I still feel the overall message is disturbing and scary for girls who live in an unsafe, brutal world where something like this could happen. And if it does, then what? What course of action can a young girl take against a grown man? Gemma fights back--totally ineffectually. After all her struggles, I don't feel empowered at all--just scared.


My greatest fear is that young women reading this story might experience a vicarious form of Stockholm Syndrome themselves--and not understand in the end why a relationship between these characters is totally inappropriate. Young romanticism sometimes lacks discernment. I can't see the value in developing those kinds of feelings. 


Lucy Christopher's success is in brilliant writing that causes her readers to question everything. My personal bias is that sometimes that gift can be taken too far.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language: 3 religious exclamations; 3 religious profanities; 3 derogatory names; 11 scatological words; 3 anatomical terms; 12 F-word derivatives.


Violence/Gore: A character imagines in some detail what she will do to her captor in order to escape; a character imagines what her captor will do to her; a character hits another character with no injuries; a character is bitten by a rooster with some bleeding; a character is bitten by a poisonous snake; a character smashes a glass in anger and cuts hand badly; a character wonders about the kinds of physical wounds one would sustain after being raped; a character tries to escape her captor multiple times and is chased in extended scenes; a character contemplates suicide and cuts self to see what will happen.


Sex/Nudity: Two characters kiss briefly; a character removes another person's clothing after injury, illness, and drug-induced unconsciousness; a character paints his naked body; a character mentions masturbation; a character refers to touching in a sexual manner; two characters sleep together with no sexual activity; a character hears friends engaging in heavy petting; a character awakens naked after being drugged and wonders what has been done to her sexually without her knowledge; a character refers to former employment as a prostitute. 

Mature Subject Matter:  

Rape, kidnapping, drugging, stalking, hostage situation.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

A character is drugged; marijuana is mentioned; an adult character smokes cigarettes; a minor tries a cigarette; a minor gets drunk; a minor remembers drinking with friends.

Reviewed By Leslie
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