I honestly have no idea where to start with this book. It was hard to keep my tears at bay when I finished this heart-wrenching story. This is my first time ready Lucy Christopher and I can definitely say it will not be my last, she has proven to be an incredible voice of YA, and I’m looking forward to reading her other works. With the opening lines of “You saw me before I saw you,” it quickly caught my attention and didn’t let go until the end.
The story begins with Gemma: A sixteen year old English girl who is kidnapped in an airport by the name of a young man named Ty. She is taken to the Western Australia Outback and held captive. It is here in the wild where the plot develops and the kidnapper’s tale unfolds. Ty tries to convince Gemma it was for her own good she was taken and that her life should be built out in the wilderness; nature should be apart of Gemma’s soul, Ty convinces. What starts off as Gemma’s hatred for her captor, turns into a deeper understanding and keen interest of Ty. Christopher breaks the barrier between hatred and love, and leaves the reader feeling hurt, angry, and confused, yet fawning for more. Christopher’s style of writing and choice of words wraps around your heart and mind, touching you to the core. The author writes organically and honestly, transferring it to the characters in the book. Although Gemma is young, adult-like emotions resonate within her causing her to respond to the child-like tendencies Ty frequently evokes.
This psychological thriller is a quick read as it captivates you from the beginning until the end. I was left questioning whether the book was about Stockholm Syndrome or just a twisted story of misguided love. Christopher doesn’t fail in keeping the reader interested as the relationship grows between Ty and Gemma. Gemma learns the importance of nature and life itself through her kidnapping; her harrowing fear of being killed slowly disappears as she begins to trust Ty.
This book has won several awards including the Michael L. Printz Honor Book, ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults, and the USBBY Outstanding International Book. I am not surprised by the many praise and acclamation this book has received A toughing story of two beautifully crafted characters placed together in middle of “now where,” I was wooed by words and wonder.