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review 2015-08-02 21:39
BookTube-A-Thon: Stolen
Stolen: A Letter to My Captor - Lucy Christopher

WARNING: SPOILERS

 

Brief Background: Gemma is a sixteen year old British teen, kidnapped by Ty, a young adult who has stalked her since her childhood. Taken to a particularly uninhabited area of Australia she is faced with the possibility of no escape and living forever with her captor. This book, written as a letter from Gemma to Ty, explains the complexity of emotion dealing with such horrible circumstances. 

 

What I Liked

1. The second person narrative - written as a letter from Gemma to Ty, this book feels so raw in it's form. The writing style is perhaps a little too complex for a girl of sixteen, but you can almost forget that because it is so beautifully constructed. The prose is reflective, emotional and very touching in a very weird way. The feelings that Gemma has for Ty, despite the clearly disturbing nature, are spilled out onto the page in such an eloquent way, that coupled with the use of 'you' and 'I' feels like she really pours her heart into this letter. The letter format also meant this had an air of 'stream-of-consciousness' about it, which surprisingly, didn't bug me. The lack of chapters actually assisted the flow of the novel, and there were sufficient page breaks to avoid the prose becoming convoluted.

2. The emotional manipulation - Lucy Christopher very cleverly uses the second person narrative to sway the reader into feeling something for Ty. He's clearly a very disturbed individual, and yet, it is easy to fall into the trap of sympathising with him as the book goes on, much in the same way that Gemma's feelings toward him begin to develop. Although personally I never reached the stage where I believed that Ty and Gemma should be together, I nonetheless had the feeling that Ty didn't deserve the ending that he got - until I realised that this entire book is built on manipulating the reader's thoughts much in the same way that Gemma's are. The fact that Ty lead Gemma to believe certain things about her friends and her family was mindboggling because, right until the end of the book, I (as the reader) also took them to be fact. But then, thinking back, you realise that Ty could have lied about any of that, and (as this book is written from Gemma's perspective) there is no way of testing the veracity of those claims. It is very cleverly written in this regard.

3. The setting - although there were some things that I didn't like about the setting (see below), the fact that it was in Australia was beautiful. The use of the red, raw desert mirrored the desolation and hopelessness that Gemma feels. It mirrors the isolating nature of being captured and taken away from everything that she knows. The spiritual context and the use of indigenous culture, as well as the natural elements of sun, sand, animals and earth were very beautifully encapsulated by the prose. It was a familiar setting for me, and I enjoyed that.

 

What I didn't like

1. The setting - although I loved where the book was set, I didn't like the common misconceptions of Australia thrust into it. Although obviously the isolation and existence of poisonous creatures was crucial to the plot-line, I feel like this is so over represented in everyone's expectations of Australia. Yes, a lot of this country is desert and virtually uninhabitable, and yes, we have poisonous snakes and spiders. But this land is so much more than that, and although I think the indigenous culture was well used to represent the sacredness of middle Australia, the novel did feed into certain preconceptions that so many foreigners have about Down Under. Additionally, there were some things which the author perhaps didn't research adequately enough which irked me. For example, we don't have a High Court in Perth (or anywhere else in Australia other than Canberra), so Gemma's trial would have been in the Supreme Court of Western Australia. 

2. The implausibility of the circumstances under which Gemma was stolen - If we think about the strictness of airport security, particularly in Australia, the possibility of getting a young, virtually comatose girl in and out of international border patrol is virtually nil. In Australia, we have extremely strict border control and customs owing to the fact that, as an island, the possibility of keeping dangerous diseases and pests out of our country is much better than countries which aren't. We additionally have very, very strict migration regulations (a bit of a sore point at times but nonetheless true). Even as a British citizen, Gemma would have been subject to questioning at the border as a foreigner. If she was drugged, there would have been very little possibility of her being able to answer these and slip past. Although I overlooked this point as it was crucial to the plot, its implausibility did irk me right until the end of the novel.

 

Owing to these last two points, I think I had to knock a very strong contender for four stars down to three and a half. Without the implausibility part, it could definitely be higher rated purely due to the beautiful and addictive prose. I found this very hard to put down, which for someone who isn't usually a fan of young adult or adult contemporary pieces, was a rarity. I would recommend this book, but perhaps make sure for the next couple of days you don't venture out of the house alone, because it does tend to creep you out a bit.

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text 2015-06-05 14:52
May Wrap-Up
The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
The Nowhere Emporium (Kelpies) - Ross MacKenzie
The Inheritance - Louisa May Alcott
Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter Softcover - SunNeko Lee,Luke Mehall;Gaelen Engler;Drew Thayer;Ashley King;Stacy Bare;Chris Barlow;Erica Lineberry;Brendan Leonard;Teresa Bruffey;D. Scott Borden,Crystal Chan,Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer,Annie Barrows
Heir of Fire - Sarah J. Maas
Stolen: A Letter to My Captor - Lucy Christopher
Cinder - Marissa Meyer
Paper Towns by Green, John (2009) Paperback - John Green
Scarlet - Marissa Meyer

Hi guys! I finished school today, so I should be posting more!(Finally!) So here is my May Wrap-up:

 

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by: Leslye Walton-I didn't finish this book because, it was terrible. I don't know if this counts as part of the wrap up, but I thought I would include it, since I wasted valuable time on it.

1 of 5 stars

 

The Night Circus by: Erin Morgenstern- This was probably one of my favorite books of the month, it was so fabulous!!! The writing style is intoxicating and magical! So are the characters!

5 of 5 stars

 

The Nowhere Emporium by: Ross MacKenzie- This was my first e-galley read! I enjoyed this book. This book is very similar to The Night Circus in writing style and some of the details, but it is directed toward middle graders.

4 of 5 stars

 

The Inheritance by: Louisa May Alcott- This was my classic pick of the month. This was one of Louisa May Alcott's first novels. She was 17 when she wrote this book. I loved it so much! This was a re-read for me.

4 of 5 stars

 

Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter by: Stacy King- This was my first Manga read and I really like it. It was slightly confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is a light and easy read.

3 of 5 stars

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by: Mary Ann Shaffer- The format for this book was fabulous. I love the letter's being written back and forth. I fell in love with Guernsey along with the main character. All of the characters were well done. It gets a little long winded near the middle, but it picks up.

4 of 5 stars.

 

Heir of Fire by: Sarah J Maas- This book was to die for! It is one of those books that you finish and you just sit there for while just contemplating everything that happened. The next book comes out this year and I am so stoked!

4 of 5 stars.

 

Stolen by: Lucy Christopher- This book caused so many conflicting emotions. It was another book that you have to stop and think about once you finish it. I struggled to understand her kidnapper and I could never come to a decision on if I understood him or not.

4 of 5 stars.

 

Cinder by: Marissa Meyer- This books was just okay. It is over-hyped and was boring at times.

3 of 5 stars.

 

Scarlet by: Marissa Meyer- I didn't finish this book. It just couldn't keep me interested, it bored me.

2 of 5 stars.

 

Paper Towns by: John Green- This book wasn't as good as I hoped it would be. It wasn't bad it just wasn't up to the level of The Fault in Our Stars. But overall I enjoyed it.

3 of 5 stars.

 

I suppose I did more reading than I thought I would at the beginning of the month! Yay me! Well, I hope you enjoyed this and as always, thank you so much for reading!

 

Have a fabulous day lovelies!

 

Yours truly, signing off!

 

Kenzie

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review 2015-06-03 21:39
Kiss me, kill me.
Kiss me, Kill me - Lucy Christopher,Beate Schäfer

Das Buch war zwischenzeitlich wirklich spannend und hat mich manchmal gegruselt, weil es einfach zeigte, dass jeder Mensch eine böse Seite in sich trägt und sie manchmal eben auch Grenzen überschreiten kann. Dennoch war es eben ein Jugendthriller, der zwar ein Page-turner war, aber ich konnte keine richtige Nähe zu den Charakteren aufbauen. Vielleicht lag es am Schreibstil oder an den Charakteren selbst, ich weiß es nicht genau.
Warum genau das Mädchen gestorben ist hatte ich mir schon früh denken können und ich fand es gut, dass das zum Schluss noch einmal erwähnt worden ist. Auch wer der Mörder ist hat mich zwar nicht wirklich überrascht, aber ich hatte bis zum Schluss eine andere Vermutung gehabt.

 

Leider muss ich aber anmerken, dass ich es ein bisschen unpassend fand, dass zwischen Damon und Emily immer wieder kurz erwähnt wurde, dass sie sich gerne küssen möchten oder die Nähe des anderen zwar wollten, aber nicht zugelassen haben. Das war einfach too much. Da hätte ich lieber wieder gelesen, dass ihr bester Freund in sie verknallt ist :D

 

Das Buch kann man auf alle Fälle für zwischendurch lesen und macht mich auch etwas nachdenklich, aber es ist kein Must-Have. (Allerdings sehe ich mich in Zukunft schon in das Buch mal rumblättern, um wieder an die Geschichte zu denken. Es zeigte einem einfach, dass man selbst den Menschen nicht trauen kann, bei denen man denkt, man kenne sie.)

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text 2015-05-31 20:55
Reading progress update: I've read 14%.
Kiss me, Kill me - Lucy Christopher,Beate Schäfer

S. 32 - Oh, ich hoffe, dass es so gut wird, wie ich es gerade denke. Denn ich kriege jetzt schon ein bisschen Angst um die weibliche Hauptprotagonistin! ⊙_⊙

 

S. 52 - Wieso muss der Hauptprotagonist "Damon" heißen? Ich weiß einfach nie, wie ich den Namen aussprechen soll. Und der erinnert mich viel zu sehr an Vampire Diaries und Daemon von Obsidian. Nicht zu vergessen, dass ich immer irgendwie Deanmon sagen will, wegen Supernatural :D

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review 2015-04-18 00:00
Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
Stolen: A Letter to My Captor - Lucy Christopher 1.5/5 stars

DNF at 52%. One word--disappointed.

A book about a girl who gets kidnapped and suffers through Stockholm Syndrome? Sounds interesting, or so I thought. The premise was intriguing, and it made me so excited to read the book. When I did pick up this book, boy, was I disappointed.

In short, this book is about a 16-year-old girl named Gemma who gets abducted from the airport by a twenty-four-year-old man named Ty. He takes her to an isolated desert, hoping to get her to fall in love with him. This book is told in a single letter from Gemma to Ty, recounting her thoughts during her time as his captive.

The pacing of the book was terribly slow. For the first half of the book, Gemma narrates her time with Ty as a captive. They spend their time in a desert, which makes the book especially boring because the only two characters are Gemma and Ty. Gemma spends so much time talking about camels and snakes to the point that I wanted to rip my hair out and smash my Kindle in the wall. Sure, it's fine to read about camels, but Lucy Christopher describes them so heavily that I just ended up skipping paragraphs at a time. Not only were scenes overly-descriptive, there was no action whatsoever in the first half of the book. The book was so bland and unexciting as there was hardly any tension, fights, or even romance.

The one thing I liked about the book was the point of view. I liked reading second person narrative because it made the story seem more raw and personal. Overall, however, the book was a huge let-down. I rarely leave books unfinished, but this book has become an exception.
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