We have a forum going at Goodreads.com for the 100 books in 2010 challenge (part of Paul Hankins Centurions Project to read 100 books this year). I was catching up with posts and saw one from a friend touting this book and picked it up as my #bookaday. It did not disappoint (and it has two starred reviews as I noticed last night when I posted that list here to the blog).
STOLEN by Lucy Christopher (Chicekn House/Scholastic 2010) is dark and intense and a perfect recommendation for those who want another book like Elizabeth Scott's LIVING DEAD GIRL. Gemma is kidnapped at the airport and taken to a remote location in Australia by a man who claims to have been watching her for many years. Ty (she only knows his first name) says they are destined to be together, but Gemma is frightened by the glimpses of violence she has seen and longs to escape. Eventually, though, Gemma begins to find Ty more fascinating than repulsive. Is this Stockholm Syndrome or something more?
The novel is not narrated by Gemma. Rather it is revealed as Gemma writes a letter to Ty, her former captor, who is now jailed and awaiting trial. Part of what stands out here in this terrific debut novel is the description of the barren landscape that is, from Ty's perspective and ultimately from Gemma's as well, a desert paradise. Colors, textures, elements are all essential. These play out in the characters, too. <318>
On a side note: the Lexile level for this book is in the 500s which means it could possibly end up in an intermediate or middle school library. Like reading levels, lexiles are NO way to ensure the right books get to the right reader.
POSSIBLE READING LADDER RUNGS:
LIVING DEAD GIRL
KIDNAPPING OF CHRISTINA LATTIMORE
THE MISSING GIRL
PAPER TOWNS ( taking off in a different direction)