Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Christopher's debut is an emotionally raw thriller that follows the abduction of 16-year-old Gemma by Ty, a gorgeous, 20-something Australian who is in love with her and hopes to win her love in return. The fast-paced novel is written in the past tense as a sort of diary from Gemma to Ty, suggesting that she has escaped, though this makes the story no less suspenseful. Ty drugs Gemma in a Bangkok airport and transports her to the home he has built in the isolated Australian outback, believing he's rescuing her from shallow parents and a city life in London she never really fit into. Clever and determined, Gemma gathers her strength and plots numerous escapes to no avail. In the process, she encounters the wildness of her desert surroundings and carefully digs for Ty's weaknesses, patching together his complex history, including the extent of his six-year obsession with her. Gemma's fluctuating emotions are entirely believable-she's repulsed by Ty, but can't help recognizing the ways in which he's opened her eyes. It's a haunting account of captivity and the power of relationships. Ages 14-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Sixteen-year-old Gemma, traveling with her parents, is abducted at a Bangkok airport by troubled Ty, a 20-something man from the Outback, in Lucy Christopher's debut novel (Philomel, 2010). Ty has stalked Gemma for years. At the airport he manages to drug her, and then takes her on a flight back to Australia. The novel is written as a first-person narrative told by Gemma in a letter to Ty after her release, revealing the details of the abduction and her feelings, illustrating a classic case of Stockholm syndrome. Gemma has conflicting feelings toward her abductor: she's angry at him for abducting her, but loves him for his care giving. The story darts from escape attempts thwarted by the hostile landscape and climate to Ty's erratic behavior to Ty and Gemma catching a feral camel that plays a large part in Gemma's rescue. Christopher's descriptions of events and intense surroundings are remarkable. She won the 2010 Branford Boase Award for the year's best first novel for young adults published in the United Kingdom, and is short listed for Australia's Prime Minister's Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction. Unfortunately, Emily Gray's narration is uninspired, doing little to enhance the story. The audiobook lacks the suspense of the print version.-Jennifer Ward, Albany Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Drugged and kidnapped from her parents at the Bangkok airport, English teen Gemma wakes to find herself in the weirdly beautiful but desolate Australian outback. Her only company is her captor, a handsome young Australian named Ty, who is obsessed with her. Indeed, he tells her that he has been watching her since she was a child and now plans to keep her with him forever. Told in the form of a letter Gemma is writing to Ty, Christopher's first novel is a complex psychological study that is also a tribute to the hypnotic beauty of the outback, which Ty passionately loves and feels has been stolen by those who would exploit it for gain. Though Gemma at first hates both her kidnapper and the landscape, she gradually begins to warm toward both. Some readers may feel the novel is weighted down by too much symbolism (if the outback is Edenic, watch out for a serpent!) and find Ty to be too sympathetic a character, but at the same time these potential drawbacks offer ample opportunity for thought and discussion.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Ty has stalked Gemma since she was ten. At sixteen, he kidnaps her from a Bangkok airport and takes her to a desolate house in the Australian outback. Written as a letter from Gemma to Ty, the novel explores the relationship between captured and captor. While the story and eventual rescue seem contrived, the raw emotional tension throughout is engaging. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.