By: Melanie | April 12, 2014 | (25) Comments

Review: The Taking by Kimberly DertingThe Taking by Kimberly Derting
Series: The Taking, #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Science Fiction, YA
Pages: 368
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?

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In the end, The Taking wasn’t too bad of a read. While I have a lot of nit-picks here and there, but the concept was refreshing and was just engaging enough to keep me reading till the very end.

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!~

2 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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25 Responses to Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

  1. Honestly, I only skimmed your review because I’m actually reading this right now. I’m around 50%. I think it started off really strong, but then the pacing definitely took a turn and has been rather slow for a bit. I’ve heard the ending picks up again, like you mentioned, so I’m holding out hope. 🙂 Sorry this one didn’t really work for you, Melanie. <3
    Lisa (Lost in Literature) recently posted…Weekly Recap ~ 4.12.14My Profile

  2. Emily says:

    BLERGH! Totally agree with you on this one, Mel! 🙁 I didn’t enjoy The Taking, Kyra was just soooo annoying! x( And the romance was definitely definitely too fast! >< Other aspects though were drearily slow… Like you I didn't like being kept in the dark either because I really wanted answers. While that should have captivated me to read on, it just made me bored and listless, because I couldn't stand the characters at all! Though Tyler was pretty sweet :3 Definitely an interesting concept for this one, but whether it's worthwhile is up for debate! 😛
    Fantastic review, Mel!! 😀 <33
    Emily recently posted…Sleep No More by Aprilynne PikeMy Profile

  3. Kelly says:

    Mel does not approve? I can’t stop laughing, you’re brilliantly funny. I’ve got an ARC, but haven’t got around to reading it yet. I generally like Kimberly Derting’s work, but this sounds a bit undercooked. I thought it was a dystopian, but it just sounds really wanky. I’m pushing this one up the list now, I’m desperate to see how bad it is. As always, love the review, you never cease to make me laugh.
    Kelly recently posted…Stacking The Shelves and Weekly Wrap #017My Profile

  4. I hadn’t even taken note of this book until now and I think I’ll be un’taking’ that note now too. The premise sounds exciting, but even your review was very central about the romance and how it annoyed you, so god help what the actual book was like. With a premise like that, I expect a very good plot, lots of mystery and plenty of answered questions, and it’s a shame that this didn’t deliver. I’m sorry Mel, better luck next time! Fingers Crossed!
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Who Wore It Better #7My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      BWAHAHA you and your puns ;P Yeah fingers crossed! I’ve been having pretty decent luck lately. I had three 4 stars in a row before this 😀

  5. Wow, that concept sounds amazing. But once again, a book is failed by its execution. WHYYYYY!!! This sounded so promising, but from your review, all I took out of it was romance this and insta-love that. WHERE ARE THE ALIENS?! (There were aliens right?)

    Sorry this one didn’t really work out for you Mel. I trust your judgment enough to probably pass on this. x
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Book Haul (#6) – My big, fat book haulMy Profile

  6. The prose definitely sounds interesting, but the whole thing with the ex’s little brother is seriously bugging me. And I’m a bit wary since I easily DNF books if I can’t connect with the heroine. 🙁 And I definitely need all questions answered. I hate being confused, left out or in the dark. Wonderful review, Melanie! <3
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Review: Split Second by Kasie WestMy Profile

  7. Candace says:

    I’ve only heard good things about this so that’s disappointing. I have this on my pile to read next week so I only hope that I can like it more. I’m also thinking of seeing Kimberly this weekend. Maybe I’ll read it after that. I do like Kim a lot though and have enjoyed her other books, so fingers crossed I like this more.
    Candace recently posted…Saturday Situation- Link Up Your Reviews & Giveaways!My Profile

  8. Melliane says:

    oh no again a mixed book… I’m sorry. I haven’t tried this author yet but I know some love her. I should try one but maybe this one.
    Melliane recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #89My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah. I read this other series by her (The Body Finder) and it was pretty decent even though I felt like it got worse and worse by the instalment.

  9. Henrietta says:

    I’m still debating if I’ll pick this one up. The book concept sounds really intriguing but I’m not sure if I’d feel okay with the romance.
    Henrietta recently posted…A World Without Princes – Soman ChainaniMy Profile

  10. Zoe N. says:

    Oh no!!! 🙁 I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one as much as you hoped you would Mel! It’s always a shame when a book has such an interesting premise, but it doesn’t live up in the execution department. Thanks for sharing though Mel, and, as always, brilliant review! <3
    Zoe N. recently posted…SplinteredMy Profile

  11. reading this now and while the premise is interesting I agree it has issues..I keep setting it down.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Caffeinated Confessions #13 Review BurnoutMy Profile

  12. I’m seriously scared to read this now. I requested this on Netgalley because the premise and title intrigued me, but this 2 star review, which puts into light the many faults and flaws in this book that I know will piss me off, is making me reconsider. It will be a hard battle O_O Great review nonetheless!
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  13. Pili says:

    Bummer! I was so very intrigued about this one! I might still read it and hope it’ll work better for me though!
    Thanks for your review!
    Pili recently posted…Saturday Pages: Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder!!My Profile

  14. The plot sounded amazing, but I guess the execution was lacking. I actually saw this at NetGalley, good thing I didn’t request it. I may read it, maybe I’ll have a different opinion, but your review pretty much tells me that I might skip it for a while. Brilliant review, Mel!

  15. A shame this wasn’t your thing Mel, it definitely does sound amazing at the start but how are you supposed to have insta love with someone you’ve known most of your life? That just doesn’t make sense. Great review!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek (A Memoir) Review – A real life journey to popularityMy Profile

  16. I had to DNF this one because of my lack of connection to the characters and just ugh feeling towards the romance. It really aggravated me and honestly…the kid brother? No thank you. Not a fan.
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…DNF Review- The Taking by Kimberly DertingMy Profile

  17. Yeah, not fun when there are too many repetitions about dimples or other things that make a guy ‘cute’. It sounds like it could really be an interesting read, though, I love conspiracy theories, and how freaky would it be to ‘wake up’ five years later and be exactly the same? Too bad the execution didn’t deliver the story you thought you’d get, Melanie.
    Great review!
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