Apr 25, 2014

Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Taking
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: April 29, 2014
Pages/Format: 368, ARC

A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing. 

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day. 

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men. 

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

Book in One Word: Addicting.

I'm a big fan of Kimberly Derting. While I haven't read her Pledge trilogy yet, I have read her Body Finder series, and I LOVE it. So when I heard she had a new book coming, of course I wanted to read it! The concept--a girl vanishes out of nowhere and then returns five years later, not knowing what happened to her and looking exactly as she did when she disappeared--was interesting. And while this isn't my favorite Kimberly Derting novel and I did have a few issues with it, The Taking is a fast-paced book with an addictive quality, because you just MUST KNOW what on earth is going on.

I had three main issues, though none of them were extremely bothersome: minor writing issues, the romance, and unrealism (and they all kind of went hand in hand, too). The writing wasn't bad, and I don't mind Derting's style. However, there were a few times where things seemed just a little overexplained. Also, there was a lot of use of the word "suddenly," which drives me bonkers. I hate that word when it gets overused. Now, fiction can be unrealistic. It's fiction. But that unrealisticness needs to be realistic, and I feel that didn't always happen here. For instance, if someone's missing for five years and then suddenly reappears, I feel like the police and all that jazz would be all over it. But here, people just kind of kept on living. And then there's the romance. I didn't dislike it, though at first it was kind of weird. (I won't tell you, because spoiler.) And I don't mind instalove, but this was just a little too insta, especially given the whole situation. But none of my issues with The Taking made me go, ugh, I hate this, or anything like that.

Part of what makes this book so interesting is the concept, because you don't really know what it is. You know that Kyra just vanished--seriously, there was a flash of light and then bam, she was gone--and then magically reappeared again five years later, completely unchanged (or so you think), with the same clothes, bruise, and tan line she had when she disappeared. But you don't know where she went, how she can possibly look the same, and what on earth freaking happened. But you WANT to know, and that keeps you going through the book.

There are numerous characters throughout the book, but to avoid spoilers I'm only going to talk about two: Kyra and Tyler. It's told from the POV of Kyra, who disappeared and then returned--you know the story. I liked her character, though it would completely suck to be her: you're gone for five years and then come back to find everything and everyone changed except for you. Fortunately, she found some solidity and sanity in Tyler. Ah, Tyler. Boy was 100% likable and he drew CHALK THINGS for Kyra. And those two together are totally fun and adorable, and may they be together forever and ever. But in a book like this--when nothing is as it seems and you have no idea what's going on--things are never that simple.

I'm finding The Taking hard to review, though I did like it, much more so than not--and I am partially taken with it. (See what I did there?) It has little bits everything: adventure, mystery, thrills, romance, humor, smiles (something I did quite a bit), and more. Oh, and maybe there are aliens? But who knows! You know nothing with this book, but it's great and it works. The Taking has some seriousness to it, but it's also just this fun, thrilling pageturner that feels kind of refreshing. There's a romance to root for and a plot that keeps you pondering what's going on and keeps you pushing to the end, because answers, you need them! Also, speaking of answers: Kimberly Derting, I need Book Two, STAT.

Did I like it? Yes!
Did I love it? Not quite.
Would I reread it? I wouldn't say no.
Would I purchase it? I will be!
Who would I recommend it to? Definitely for fans of Kimberly Derting, as well as people looking for a story where you just want to find out what on earth is happening.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, and that in no way sways my opinion of the book.

1 comment:

  1. The premise of this book sounds so awesome! Might consider grabbing a copy at some point, hmm.


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