Musings of a Bibliomaniac

Goodreads immigrant. Another victim of corporate tyranny. I blog at Musings of a Bibliomaniac along with my co-blogger Scarlet.

Stolen - Lucy Christopher When I first came to know about 'Stolen' from Scarlet's review, I was reminded of [b:A Stolen Life|11330361|A Stolen Life|Jaycee Dugard||16258764] by Jaycee Dugard - a book I don't think I'll ever muster courage enough to read. Not that I considered even for a moment that a YA novel will match the utter seriousness of an account of real life tragedies and crimes so heinous, but the themes were somewhat similar.
I had to read this book.
So it is with bitter disappointment, that I am giving it a paltry 3-star rating, despite that beautifully done ending.

What I did not like about Stolen:-

Ty, Gemma's captor and savior, is a terribly uni–dimensional character. The only thing one can say with conviction about him is that he is a certifiable psychopath. A pitiful human being, who unfortunately enough had to come across the ugly facets of life at a young and impressionable age.
Gemma, on the other hand, is infinitely more likeable. Not only because she is psychologically strong enough to resist developing feelings of solidarity and sympathy for her captor. But because she understands Ty for what he is and she repeatedly tries to devise ways of escape, irrespective of how broken and helpless she feels.
But even so, it's a bit difficult to picture either character in our minds - they are poorly sketched, semi-formed.
The author deserves credit for attempting to tackle such a grave theme but it's a pity she shies away from delving deeper into the subject. This book needed a few more chapters worth of solid plot developments and interactions between Ty and Gemma. In my opinion, Gemma did not stay with Ty long enough to develop an attachment to him. She was merely starting to. At which point the author decided to put an abrupt end to to their unique situation.
And this is where my major complaint with the book lies.

Also the reasons given for Ty's interest in Gemma are rather flimsy. His obsession with her seemed very random to me. Although I guess, it is pointless to try and explain the actions of a nutjob.

What I really liked about Stolen:-

The desolate landscape against which Ty and Gemma's story unfolds acts as a perfect symbol of the isolation Gemma feels. The author excels at imagery, especially the descriptions of the great Australian wilderness never failed to fascinate me.
And what struck me as the best part of the book, is Christopher's ability to convey in exact words the irreparable damage that Ty inflicted on Gemma in the process of attempting to 'save' her. Gemma will never be able to forget what she went through or the feelings of being torn between hating her captor and being compelled to recognize his good character traits - his kindness, maybe even his love. Gemma will forever be stuck in the neverwhere of figuring out whether she could've really had any feelings for Ty, whether he was being perfectly truthful about his own past and about her parents' attitude towards her prior to her abduction.
The most hauntingly beautiful part of the narrative comes when Gemma slips outside her hospital cabin and looks longingly towards the desert where she was being held captive. I will never forget the sheer poignancy of this particular scene.
Gemma, after all, was only a child of sixteen who had to go through such a harsh and confusing experience and I couldn't help but feel for her at this point.
Ty showed Gemma what it was like to be away from civilization and feel a sense of wonderment at the mysterious ways of nature. But she will never know whether to feel thankful for the experience or curse it or both.

The book left me with the crushing weight of the knowledge that Gemma will never be the same again. And somewhere deep down, that sickening realization still hurts.

Currently reading

Padgett Powell
The Pure Gold Baby
Margaret Drabble
The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Larissa Volokhonsky, Richard Pevear
Progress: 28 %