Taylor Holthus, Author

Have you ever read Stolen by Lucy Christopher? Stolen is the first-person view of the character Gemma Toombs who is 16 years old. Stolen was published in 2009, and received multiple awards, including the Micheal L. Printz award and the Branford Boase award. It receives around a 4 out of 5-star rating. I recommend this book to 12 and up because it does include kidnapping, though the little violence isn’t too graphic.

Lucy Christopher is a British/Australian author who has published multiple books. She is also a teacher, speaker, and academic who has a dog names Rocket and loves to travel to see her family and to read as many books as she can, including poetry, picture books, and more.

Stolen begins in a Bangkok airport, where Gemma and her family are waiting to board their next flight. Gemma is getting annoyed with her parents after a fight and walks to a nearby coffee shop. After ordering, she suddenly realizes that all her coins are British, she can’t pay and the cashier won’t give her the coffee. That’s when a man named Ty walks up and offers to pay, and Gemma accepts. Ty points her to an empty table where she goes to sit while he puts the sugar into her coffee. When he comes back, they have a small conversation before Gemma starts to get dizzy. Suddenly, her vision is blurry, she can barely hear, and she can hardly walk. Ty stands her up, takes her arm, and walks her out of the airport and back to his car. When Gemma wakes up, she’s in a small wooden room in a bed. Ty’s given her clothes, food, and water, which Gemma declines, sick. Soon, she realizes that she’s in the middle of a desert, and after multiple escape attempts, realizes that unless Ty takes her back, she can’t escape. Gemma starts to get used to this new life, but soon something big happens, causing Ty to do something for her that risks himself.

The book has a connection to real-life problems as well, such as Stockholm Syndrom, which Gemma develops through the book as she gains a relationship with Ty. It makes the reader reflect on how they would feel if they were ever in a situation that she was. It is “disturbing and intriguing at the same time,” says a review.

If you liked this book, read the sequel called Release! This can be found on Sora, Amazon, Kindle, and more.