on May 4th 2009
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
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It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.This is my story.A letter from nowhere. Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost.
I was extremely nervous to start this. Not only does it have raving reviews on Goodreads, (my ability to remain in the minority is awe-inspiring, really) it’s also one of those topics that I usually avoid. I put it off for so long; I even removed it from my TBR list on Goodreads. I can’t explain what finally made me decide to read it. But I am so glad I did. Very few books, especially lately, have left me feeling so raw and emotional. Stolen tops that list.
The writing is remarkable. From that chilling first sentence, I was hooked. Vividly written and detailed, I could picture the endless sand, the heat on my back and helplessness that Gemma felt. Written in letter form, this is not your traditional story. No chapters. Just words from kidnapped to captor. It’s amazing how Christopher was able to subtly turn the tables on us a little. I was just as confused as Gemma. Those fine lines were blurring throughout the entire story, making me question myself on what was RIGHT and what was WRONG. You don’t WANT to like Ty. You don’t WANT to feel sorry for him or save him. You don’t WANT Gemma to love him. But as it turns out….You do.
Beautifully flawed, both Gemma and Ty were exceptionally written. They were real. Gemma’s feisty, strong and her spirit was never broken throughout her entire ordeal. Even when she realized her escapes were fruitless, she remained strong and fought until the very end. She saw the beauty of the land, and started to see beauty in Ty as well.
As for Ty.. well, this quote pretty much sums it up;
“And it’s hard to hate someone once you understand them.”
Not to say I do, per se; but there is more to Ty. Yes, he is twisted. He needs help. But at the same time, he’s sweet, harmless and just damaged. This doesn’t excuse what he did, but it helps you to understand, at least a little bit, why he wanted to hold Gemma close and never let her go. And frankly, he’s determined, resourceful and smart.
I left tear stains on the pages during the scene towards the end with the camel. That really got to me! My only (small, insignificant) issue? The ending. It was open ended. Which makes me draw my own conclusions but damn it, I want to KNOW what happens! I wish that we could have had an epilogue, or something. I just wasn’t ready for their story to end.
Overall- Emotion, gritty, all around fantastic read. I highly recommend it.
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic, and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter & Instagram for random shenanigans.