Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

This novel, while lyrical in its imagery and metaphors, failed to keep my attention. In fact, I felt as much of a hostage in this book as the main character.

Gemma is writing a letter to her kidnapper, recounting their time together when he kidnapped her in the Bangkok airport. Ty - her kidnapper - took her to a remote area in the Australian Outback where he hopes to keep her forever. She fights him as you would expect and tries to escape despite the fact that they are in the middle of nowhere. He never hurts her but she still fears at different times he's going to kill her. At one point they catch a camel which is (as I read in another review and agree with) a metaphor for how Gemma is caught and held as a hostage. Ty tries to win Gemma over and she tries to fight the situation until the land which she's falling in love with bites her in the foot and shifts the story.

When I picked up this book, I expected there to be more too it. Initally I thought there would be more meat - like sex trade or abuse - but really it's just a book about a girl who was kidnapped. I felt like nothing happened - at least nothing of consequence. Believe it or not, I wanted him to beat her or do something extreme just so I could experience some sort of emotional respone to the book. The escapes held a bit of fun and the camel capture was okay but the most exciting part was when she got bit by the snake but even that dragged on too long. This book seriously lacked the hook to keep me coming back. From what I read in other reviews, this book tries to be poetic with metaphors and imagery - WAY too much time was spent on the land. However, I think few readers pick up books looking for that. I think the vast majority - including myself - read to be entertained without much thought. I don't always pick up on the deeper meanings and hidden metaphors because I'm reading a story, that's all. I want things happening in a steady flow with excitement that keeps me coming back - this book did not have it and I think it will lose a lot of readers before they even make it halfway through for that very reason. (I, sadly, have a condition where it's nearly impossible for me to give up on books and forced myself to finish this book with a lot of complaining along the way). One thing that irked me about the book - besides its lack of anything really interesting going on - was how easy it was for Stockholm Syndrome to take effect. One minute she hates him, the next their snuggling in the sand. COME ON!!! I did like how the story was written as a letter. I found the style interesting and I did come to sympathize with Ty but I needed more out of the book.

If you like books with beautiful imagery and deeper meanings, pick up this book. If you want an interesting story that's going to keep you coming back for more, skip this book.

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