Friday, January 23, 2015

Stockholm Syndrome in YA fiction

I find Stockholm syndrome to be really fascinating.  The idea is that a person in a hostage situation start to have feelings towards their captors opposite to what the situation would call for and that he or she can come to identify or defend his or her captors.  I think in times of trauma it can be hard to say how you'd feel in the same position and sometimes a little kindness or lack of physical harm can take on larger proportions of meaning.

I've come across three books in YA that I've read recently or in the last few years and I thought that I would share them with you today.  The most recent of these books is Captive by AJ Grainger, which is being published this month by Simon and Schuster and tells the story of a girl kidnapped and used as a pawn in a political struggle.  Stolen by Lucy Christopher is about a girl kidnapped and taken to the Australian outback by an obsessive stalker.  Hostage Three by Nick Lake is about a hostage situation by Somali pirates is a really fast-paced actiony thriller.  I think all three of these books take on the Stockholm syndrome incredibly well.

Captive by AJ Grainger

I open my eyes. The cell is flooded with sunlight; the window is a slice of pale blue. Dust particles dance in the sparkling light, pirouetting in a golden line from the window to the opposite wall of the cell, where they seem to converge into shapes. It is like looking into a kaleidoscope. 

Dad isn't here. No one is, but me.
Robyn Knollys-Green is an A-list celebrity, famous for being the daughter of one of the world's most powerful men. But not even the paparazzi can find her now.

Robyn begins to realise that she is trapped in a complicated web of global corruption and deceit - and that the strange, melancholy boy who has been tasked with guarding her might not be an enemy after all . . .

A thrilling, well-crafted, ever-relevant story from a talented new voice in YA fiction.

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere. 

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.

Hostage Three by Nick Lake

It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing: a girl on a yacht with her super-rich banker father; a chance for the family to heal after a turbulent time; the peaceful sea, the warm sun . . . But a nightmare is about to explode as a group of Somali pirates seizes the boat and its human cargo - and the family becomes a commodity in a highly sophisticated transaction. Hostage 1 is Dad - the most valuable. Amy is Hostage 3. As she builds a strange bond with one of her captors, it becomes brutally clear that the price of a life and its value are very different things . . .

Have you read any of these books? Do you know of any other books that tackle Stockholm syndrome?


  1. I haven't read any of these but they have Stolen at my library and I really want to get it out! These all look really good - will definitely be adding them to my wishlist. Fantastic post, Michelle! <3

  2. I have Captive waiting at the top of my TBR pile - this makes me want to finish my current read as quickly as I can so I can start it :)

    1. I really enjoyed Captive! I thought it was really tense and pacy. I hope you enjoy it too :)

  3. I'm absolutely fascinated by Forensic Psychology; Stockholm Syndrome, Psychopaths anything like that and I'm just... gripped! So this post is absolutely perfect. I have read stolen but it was not what I had expected and I was slightly disappointed by it :(

    1. Yes, psychology is something that fascinates me too. Shame you were disappointed by Stolen. I loved it. Thought it had a great sense of setting.

  4. I've not read any of them, but I do remember Stolen getting a lot of positive coverage a few years ago.

    1. It did, yes, It was the prospect of meeting Lucy Christopher at an event that spurred me to finally picking it up. And I loved it. (and Lucy Christopher who was super lovely and friendly)


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