Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Lucy's pretty average. She lives with her parents in London, the picture of a city girl. She has a crush on her best friend's boyfriend, she argues with her parents now and again, and they are going on holiday to Vietnam.

There is a boy, she recognizes him from the flight from London, and now he is here with them in Bangkok. After arguing with her parents, she just wants some space. She sees you in the coffee shop, and you offered to pay for her drink...they wouldn't take her British coins. You even offered to add sugar for her...she was so flustered, she hesitated, but you reassured her. The two of you sat down together, and she wanted to explore the secrets in your deep blue eyes. You were older than she first thought, but she liked the attention. Besides, what could happen in an airport? You chatted, asking her about herself, putting her at ease...then, everything slowed down and sped up at the same time. Suddenly, she was walking, following her gate? No, to the bathroom. Everything was fuzzy, floating, and she was changing into new clothes. You were giving her something to eat, chocolate? Time became muddled, where was she? Then the pain, and the heat, and the swaying of a car.

Stolen. She had been stolen. Nothing was as it should be, why are you here? Where are her parents? How did this happen? "I had to take you," you said. (Christopher pg. 14, 2010). Why? What had she ever done to deserve this? Escape, she had to escape. But you keep telling her there is nothing out there, not for hours. Surrounded by desert, and sand, and more can this be happening? She runs, bolts out the front door - it wasn't locked - and you followed in the car, knowing that there is nothing and no one to find. Her anger is overwhelming, threatening to overtake her, she throws everything she can find, breaking bottles, screaming, biting kicking punching ... anything to keep from understanding what is going on. "'I won't kill you,' you said. 'I won't, OK?'" (pg. 22). How can she believe you?

You have been preparing for this for so long, the storehouse is full of non-perishables, supplies, how long are you planning to stay here? She has to escape, there has to be a way, there has to something out there. But it's a wasteland of sand and heat. She runs and runs ... and eventually you chase her, bringing her back.

You tell her stories of your past, of when you were stolen, of how your life together will be ... how you had to save her! You had to bring her away from the city with its noise and all the bad people. How she will learn to love the desert, how she will learn to love you ... how you are never going back, neither of you ... is it possible that you are not who she thought you were?

A powerful story told from Gemma's perspective. Recommended for fans of "issues" books like Ellen Hopkins, or Elizabeth Scott.
"I tried a letter, but couldn't get past 'Dear Mum and Dad.' There was too much to say. And anyway, I didn't know whether you would read it. So I wrote the only words I could think of: imprisoned, confined, detained, constrained, incarcerated, locked up, interned, sent down, abducted, kidnapped, taken, forced, shoved, hurt, stolen ... I scribbled lines over that piece of paper, too."
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:
Flyaway by Lucy Christopher (October 2011)
Nothing by Janne Teller
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Christopher, Lucy. (2010). Stolen. New York: Chicken House.

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