Standalone Sunday is a feature created by Megan@bookslayereads where each Sunday a standalone book (not part of a series) that I loved or would recommend will be featured!
I love that meme as it takes little time to do (I’m always running like the real busy bee I am) AND I get to promote a book I really loved. This is the perfect idea for me!
If you want to play, feel free but don’t forget to tag Megan’s blog.
Third Standalone Sunday and I’m choosing Stolen by Lucy Christopher.
This book was a gift from a very good friend. She knew I wanted to read it and she shared the love, sent it my way. Now I’d like to draw other’s attention on this little gem. It really intrigued and moved me as it’s written as a collection of letters written by Gemma to her captor. The writing style is unique and has a haunting quality. Don’t read it if you want fast paced and actions all along because this book won’t fit the bill. It’s written in such a way you’ll feel, smell, touch, see everything Gemma experienced. I was mesmerized and somewhere in the bush right alongside her.
5 starry Sandy Desert stars.
”What you did to me wasn’t this brilliant thing, like you think it was. You took me away from everything –my parents, my friends, my life. You took me to the sand and the heat, the dirt and isolation. And you expected me to love you. “
It was not my usual “man kidnap girl” read. This story has a haunting quality, thanks to the choice the author did to write the book like letters from the girl to her captor.
”But what else can I do, other than to plead with you like this? Other than to write down my story, our story, to show you what you’ve done… to make you realize that what you did wasn’t fair, wasn’t right.”
Gemma is sixteen and has been kidnapped by a man, Ty, at Bangkok airport while travelling with her parents. She’ll wake up in the middle of nowhere. The sand is everywhere, the heat is scorching and the white light is blinding. Her captor took her in Australia’s Sandy Desert. He wants to keep her “forever”. He is lonely and wanted her company.
Written in such a way you feel the heat of this dead and thirsty land, I was in Gemma’s head and experienced everything alongside her: her family memories, her fear of Ty, her rage and desperation. I learned to see the hidden life of this arid land, to recognize the beauty of a starry night sky. I touched the soft fur of a camel with long eyelashes and sweet eyes. The earth sang and told a story. The slow pace allowed me to savor the story, to soak up this land’s wonders.
This story played with my beliefs, with my emotions. I discovered this strange man alongside Gemma and tried to understand why she had been chosen. Why her? Why not some other girl? The more I read about Ty’s past, the more I understood his motives. He was a complex and complicated character. He was a man but he also had the candor of a child, even after all he did to gather the money and take Gemma from her family.
Like Gemma, I know what he did was wrong and I could hate him for this. But like her, I understand why he did it and I can’t stop loving him too. He was meant to live in the wilderness, he can’t be caged like some animal, it would be so wrong. He is born to be free, to be one with this savage land.
”I’m going to tell the truth. My truth. I will say that you kidnapped me, of course. You did. I won’t shy away from the evil you can be. But I’ll tell them your other side, too. The side I saw sometimes when you spoke softly to the camel, and when you gently touched the leaves of the saltbush, only picking what you needed. And the times you rescued me.”
It’s been a complicated and beautiful journey.