Being taken away from everything that you know and love is something that most people hate. So imagine being stolen away against your will and taken to a foreign place with no source of civilisation around for miles. Just you and your captor. Alone. Terrifying thought, isn't it?

For sixteen-year-old Gemma, it's a reality. In a letter to her captor, she talks about the days that she spent alone in the desert with him, including the fateful day that she was stolen right the way up to the days that follow her release. From escape attempts to capturing a camel, Gemma soon drags you into the emotional journey that she faces as she begins to see her captor as a someone other than the man who stole her.

The first seven words of the letter have a powerful impact upon the reader, something which engages their attention and begins to absorb them into the story of Gemma and Ty: "You saw me before I saw you." It's also through the letter that we get an insight into who Gemma was before she met Ty, as well as vital understanding into Ty's past. As the letter progresses, Ty becomes a character who isn't as straightforward as he first seemed which begs the question – is he really as evil as he seems for kidnapping Gemma?

Lucy Christopher depicts the feelings and emotions of Gemma brilliantly, with her writing style complementing the type of narrative beautifully and emphasising how relatable Gemma actually is. Stolen is a novel that keeps the reader enthralled right the way until the end, a perfect example of how a debut novel should impact the reader.

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