Friday, April 25, 2014

Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Taking (The Taking #1)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: 29 April, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss
Goodreads | The Reading Room

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?
Review by Nara

What if the life you are living is not your own?
Dude, someone explain that tagline. It has pretty much nothing to do with the story. How is Kyra's current life not her own?? I mean, sure, it's different from the life she remembers, but how is it not her own? WHO THE HECK WROTE THAT TAGLINE AND WHAT THE HELL DOES IT EVEN MEAN?! (in the context of this book) You know what? I give up. Let's just ignore it. /endrant

Annnnyway, back to the actual book: The Taking was actually quite a surprise! Not sure if a good one or a bad one, but there I was, expecting some sort of paranormal fantasy type book with magic and fairies/elves (blame the "little green men" in the blurb) and such, and then BAM. It turns out to be an alien book. The science fiction aspect of things was honestly really left field. Still rather interesting though. And quite action-packed too.

Unfortunately, being action-packed meant that Derting spent hardly any time on character development. Kyra was quite the unlikeable character. I suppose it's fair enough that you'd be pretty irritable after blacking out and realising that five years have passed by the time you wake, but there were just some things where I thought Kyra was much too unreasonable. For example, regarding her former best friend and boyfriend hooking up. Dude, it's been FIVE years. It's completely reasonable that they would have moved on. What, did you expect them to wait five plus years for your "possible" return? Ugh.

Okay, I'm sorry, I have to talk about the romance. THE ROMANCE WAS A COMPLETE SHAMBLES. It was so terrible. Let me explain why:
1. Instalove. That gets a category all on its own.
2. Instalove. I feel like this should get another mention.
3. Instalove. Can you see the pattern here?
4. Insta- I think you get the picture.
And I know that a lot of the time, people are like, but it wasn't an instalove! It was only an intra-attraction! Well, buddy, this one is most definitely an instalove. THERE WAS ZERO RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPMENT. It was literally Kyra showing up and giving Tyler a hug, thinking he's Austin, and then Tyler doing all these Romantic gestures, and then luuurve. WELL IF THAT AINT INSTALOVE I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS.

Also, the science was kind of unbelievable. It's sort of spoilery, so I won't mention it in great detail, but basically the medical basis of something about Kyra being contagious was just ridiculous. AND OH MY GOD THE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS. DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS. Maybe this was done on purpose so that things could be explored in sequels, but ugh. I was not happy.

Well, you now know what I think about The Taking. And now the big question: will I read the sequel? Probably yes. Them damned unanswered questions will probably force me to.

It was okay

Overall: 6/10
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 3/5