Stolen by Lucy Christopher. New York: Chicken House, 2010. 299 pages.
1. A succinct evaluative annotation. Plot: [Conflict] Gemma, a 16 year old girl, was kidnapped at an airport in England when traveling to Vietnam with her parents. She was drugged and taken to Australia with a man she didn’t know (named Ty), waking up stranded in the middle of a desert. [Rising Action] She spends every waking moment trying to find a way back home, running away but never actually succeeding. [Climax] Right when Gemma starts to get used to the life she was forced to live with Ty, she gets bitten by a poisonous snake and has to go to a hospital, freeing Gemma from her captivity that Ty forced her in. [Falling Action] Gemma’s psychiatrist tells her to write down her story because she refuses to talk to anyone about her experience when she returns home. [Resolution] At the end of the novel, Gemma has to make a decision about what she’s going to say at court when faced with Ty’s future. Even though Gemma feels that she fell in love with Ty, she is going to tell the truth and send Ty to jail for kidnapping her. Theme: The themes included in this novel are kidnapping, loneliness, survival, understanding, and friendship. Tone: The tone of this novel is very serious: Gemma is surviving against a kidnapper and trying to find a way to run away from him. She is stuck in the middle of the desert with no hope of escaping. Style: The author’s writing style was amazing: she wrote it as if Gemma was writing to Ty in a letter. Instead of using their names and writing in third person like many other novels, this book is written in first person, allowing the reader to get inside of Gemma’s head and see her feelings. Characterizations: Gemma is a survivor. She never gave up trying to escape and go home, she did different tactics to get Ty to change his mind, and she always tried to look toward the future of eventually getting home to her family and friends. Ty is misunderstood – he had a hard, rough life growing up and it made him different than other people. He saw things differently, making his actions wrong according to the governmental rules but right according to himself and his mindset. Readability: It was very addicting and easy to read after the first few pages, once the reader gets used to the first person writing.
2. My reactions to the book. I loved this book. The intense, addicting rollercoaster I went through while reading Gemma’s thoughts and feelings, her experiences that she had to encounter and get through was enthralling. The storyline overall was told amazingly by Lucy Christopher and I think others will enjoy the way she depicted Gemma’s experience in the desert, trying to survive but also trying to understand Ty and his reasons for his actions. There was no note that this was based on any real story, so I can’t say if this novel is accurate in the content talked about.
3. Comment on the cover art. The cover art of this novel is actually pretty plain, but I think it fits this novel. Most of the cover is black, which is how Gemma’s future looks to her throughout most of the novel. But once she comes to understand Ty, there is hope of a future to come, which is where the butterfly comes into play. I’m not sure if many teenagers will pick up this book because of the cover, but once they read the excerpts on the front flap and back cover, I think the cover will have very little part of their decision to read this novel.