Goodreads Summary: Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back?
The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don’t exist – almost.
My friend has been trying to get me to read this for years and I’ve always grimaced and said “sure!” then conveniently forgot to pick it up on my way out. I thought that it would romanticise a kidnapping and completely miss the point, but I was wrong.
Where I thought that as soon as she was kidnapped, the romance would take over, I was wrong. The kidnapping was never glossed over and was always the focus throughout the book. Gemma acted so realistically that it was easy to relate and understand her. There was no censoring either, which I really appreciated. For example, when she woke up, she checked if she had been raped, needing to use the bathroom, worrying about her period. Basically, everything that you would think about in that situation, which is why Gemma was such a good character.
Then moving onto Ty. I love Lucy Christopher for creating this character. She could have made a one-dimensional love interest with a ‘messed up’ label and left it at that, but she didn’t. She gave him a backstory, a reason for why he is the way he is. What makes his story so affecting is that he truly cares for Gemma and believes he’s doing the right thing.
The setting was also so rich. I adore the way the author described the land. It was more than just what it looked like, it was what it felt like, being there. Ty’s deep connection made a huge impact on me. I hope I feel even half of that for a place someday. Aside from being beautifully done, it also added a new angle on the story. Not only did Ty take Gemma away from her life and family, he completely took her away from society to a place where only those two existed. This creates a whole new source of fear for Gemma and obstacle for her to overcome.
I really didn’t see the ending coming, and it showed just how much Ty did love her. I think that he began to realise that what he had done was wrong by the end, otherwise he would have not handed himself in. I thought Gemma’s reaction after he was arrested was perfect. She was confused about the way she was feeling, wanting to not feel the sympathy and affection she felt for him, but can’t help it. I have to say, I was feeling the same way. When she spoke about him going back to the house and walking around the Separates on his own, that really got me. He’d been alone all of his life and only wanted Gemma to be with him but just didn’t understand how taking her would affect her.
END OF SPOILERS!
I really, really loved this book. It made me cry and I don’t usually cry when reading. If you’re looking for a different sort of contemporary with realistic characters, and engaging plot, and great writing, I’d highly recommend this book.