Hostage Three by Nick Lake
As Amy sets out to sea with her family on a yacht, she's only thinking about the peaceful waters and the warm sun. But she doesn't get either after a group of pirates seize the boat and its human cargo, and the family becomes a commodity in a highly sophisticated transaction. Hostage One is Amy's father--the most valuable. Hostage Three is Amy, who can't believe the nightmare she's in. But something even stranger happens as she builds a bond with one of her captors, making it brutally clear that the price of life and its value are two very different things.
Publishes in US: November 12th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: YA Contemp
Source: Bloomsbury via Netgalley
Buy it: Book Depository | Amazon UK |Amazon US
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Hostage Three starts with a bang, with Amy and her family already taken hostage, and then it travels back in time a few months. This really lets me get a sense of who Amy is, and what is going on with her. I know that something will happen and a bit of her mindset when it does, but I get to see how her mind normally works and processes.
She thinks that she is ordinary and she is also struggling with the loss of her mother. She doesn't have the closest relationship with her Dad and stepmom, but she is definitely acting out. I felt for her pain, and for her confusion and longing for attention and have been there in certain ways myself. I ate up all of her memories of her mother and really enjoyed how that was woven into the story, however painful and emotional.
Once her and her family were hostages, I really found myself experiencing a high range of emotions with them, and not wanting to put the book down, but to read just one more page. The pirates had a range of personalities and their own codes of behavior. I begrudgingly ended up respecting Ahmad, the leader in some ways, and surprised myself by how much I enjoyed the character of Farouz. As he and Amy talk and share their stories, his is so complex and it is not so cut and dry anymore that he is purely a bad guy. Sure, he is doing bad things to people, but I'd never really considered motivations behind their actions.
The plot was pretty layered and touched on a lot, depression, forbidden love, and questions of the future. The theme of family is strong in this one, showing the many different ways loyalty and sacrifice can look like. How we carry memories in our hearts, how it hurts to remember, but they are also a source of strength. But it also shows how painful it can be to have attachments and what we can be forced to do.
The ending is pretty well done, and I can't think of any other way that it could possibly be realistic. It is bittersweet, but laced with hope and the ever present pain, but learning to heal and let go.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you think you could ever fall for your captor?