Series: The Taking, #1
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Science Fiction, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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?
Just yesterday, 16 year old Kyra was in a softball game. Today, she wakes up behind a dumpster at the Gas ‘n’ Sip with no idea how she got there in the first place. When she gets home, there’s a strange man and boy shouting at her, telling her that this wasn’t her home. So she goes to her boyfriend’s house just across the street but something isn’t right. Her boyfriend’s 12 year old brother, Tyler, looks older. Looks older than Kyra. Soon she learns that she wasn’t at a softball game yesterday. Yesterday, she was missing. She has been missing for 5 years now, and Kyra has no memory of where she has been. But what’s more scary is that while everyone else has aged by 5 years, Kyra looks completely the same. Like she’s still 16.
Sounds awesome doesn’t it? A fantastic mystery thriller with aliens. Sadly, a series of criticisms made it obvious that this wasn’t the fantastic alien mystery thriller. Firstly, I struggled to connect with the main character, Kyra. She’s shallow and insipid, and I felt no empathy for her situation. I wanted to like her, but her character didn’t jump out at me and her narration was boring and terribly mundane. Moreover, I was expecting her reaction to coming home 5 years later to be a little more significant. Sure, she’s shocked and confused and lost but it didn’t feel or come off as genuine to me. Kyra was more interested in Tyler than what was happening to her, in my opinion.
Another quibble was the romance which I have no interest in. There was instant love. Like instant love towards her ex-boyfriend’s little brother that she knew when he was 12. Instant love in less than 7 days. Mel does not approve. I also got annoyed at how many times Kyra felt the need to point out Tyler’s dimples. He sounded pretty cute at the start, but then it got aggravating. Here’s a quote at 27%:
His response was immediate. I left you something. Look out your window.
I hoped that “something” was him.
WOAAAH. Getting a little too fast there. Also, très corny.
I also have a HUGE grudge with the pacing in The Taking. The first half was excessively slow and tedious. All there is in the first has is watching Kyra settle back into her old life again–which I do appreciate–but it was boring, uneventful and had quite a large focus on the romance tension between Kyra and Tyler. As for the second half, things do begin to pick and gradually get more absorbing. We start getting some answers (some in which I had early on predicted) but the big question wasn’t answered until the last quarter. I really wished we got more answers because it’s rather awful being in the dark for majority of the read.
Ultimately, I don’t think The Taking was a worthwhile read. While the concept will remain in my memory for a long time, the characters, romance and pacing made this book rather unmemorable.
~Thank you HarperTeen for sending me this copy!~
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