Title: Stolen
Author: Lucy Christopher
ISBN: 9780545170932
Pages: 299 pages
Publisher/Date: Chicken House, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. c2010.

“Ty?” I said, trying out your name, liking the way it sounded. “So what’s it like anyway? Australia?”
You smiled then, and your whole face changed with it. It kind of lit up, like there were sunbeams coming from inside you.
“You’ll find out,” you said.
Things changed then. I slowed down, while everything around me sped up. It’s amazing really, what a tiny bit of powder can do.
“How are you feeling?” you asked.
You were watching me, your eyes wide. I opened my mouth to tell you I was fine, but I didn’t understand what came out. It was just a jumble of noises, my tongue too thick and heavy to form words. I remember the lights turning into blurs of blazing fire. I remember the air-conditioning chilling my arms. The smell of coffee smudging into the smell of eucalyptus. Your hand was tight around mine as you grabbed me and you took me and you stole me away. (9)

Gemma Toombs, sixteen-year-old daughter of wealthy parents, is taken from a Bangkok airport from an intriguing man named Ty. Drugged and bound and dragged out to a remote location, Gemma immediately recognizes that her situation is hopeless. That doesn’t stop her from maintaining hope that she will eventually escape, especially when Ty over time allows her to roam around the property. Relying on Ty for her survival, Gemma wonders which is worse; facing the harsh and unforgiving surroundings or facing her kidnapper whose obsession for her might have started long before the airport.

At the start of this book, I liked it. Yes, I’ll admit, Gemma was STUPID in accepting a drink from a stranger. Stupid, Stupid STUPID! BUT you have to admire how ingenious Ty’s plan was in getting Gemma where he wanted her. He had everything planned and figured out, down to where they’d stay and how they’d survive. I could understand Gemma’s initial reactions, which ranged through fury, desperation, depression, and self-pity. She fought, kicking and screaming, and attempted a few times to escape using various methods.

But then things changed. Gemma changed, and her relationship with Ty changed. And that’s when I got disgusted with Gemma. This might be considered a little spoilerish, but I recognized almost immediately that Gemma was suffering from Stockholm syndrome, which means that she’s sympathizing/empathizing/caring for her captor. Granted, I’ve never been placed in that sort of position where Stockholm syndrome might occur. But if someone drugged me and kidnapped me and held me against my will, and then you find out the things that he’s done previously, I don’t think I’d be sympathetic towards him. Stressed out, concerned, angry, depressed, yes. And even though Gemma recognizes her reaction, and is conflicted emotionally by what she’s feeling, I was disappointed that she can’t overcome that response.

Why can’t we have a strong heroine who doesn’t succumb to romantic aspirations?!