Books Magazine

Willing Captive

By Crossstitchyourheart @TMNienaber

untitled (28)Stolen by Lucy Christopher


Gemma is getting ready to go to Bangkok with her family and, as can only be expected from a sixteen year old, is in the middle of a fight with her mother and looking for a brief escape.  She heads over to get herself coffee and have some time to herself before the flight boards and there she meets Ty.  Ty is older, handsome, charming, and even offers to pay for coffee and give her some company.  Gemma agrees, happily enough at the time, but would come to regret that single, seemingly insignificant, decision.  Ty already knows Gemma.  He knows a lot about Gemma.  More than he should.  And while Gemma is supposed to be on route to Bangkok with her family Ty takes her with him, to the Australian Outback.


untitled (27)
Ty’s relationship with Gemma is, as you can imagine, complicated and that developing relationship is what dominates the pages of Christopher’s novel, written as a letter from Gemma to Ty.  The setting is described beautifully and, while I’ve never been to a remote part of the Australian outback, made me feel as though I have.  Christopher must have done her research to create such an alive and vibrant world for kidnapper and kidnapped to play out their drama.


While the descriptions are beautiful I had a hard time suspending my disbelief to really get behind the plot.  Ty’s motivation for kidnapping doesn’t make sense and the story of how he decided to take Gemma is a bit hard to swallow.  While this kind of crime fiction thrives on the idea of “could it happen once” rather than “is it plausible”, Christopher really didn’t sell me on the idea that this could actually happen the way she details and that made the book a little hard to finish.


Disbelief aside, the narration of this book is another strong point.  Hearing the story from the voice of the kidnaper isn’t an original idea in this kind of story, but Christopher manages to make Gemma a truly original character with a unique voice, and writing this in the form of a letter to her kidnapper, rather than as a diary entry or simply in her mind as events are taking place really helps the reader get inside Gemma’s mind and stand with her as she struggles to come to terms with things.



This is a good young adult novel and a simple, quick read that only takes a day or two to finish, but it’s not one I was dying to recommend or even one that really resonated with me after I’d finished the last page.

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