Sunday, 6 April 2014

Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

Title: The Taking (The Taking #1)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Release date: April 29th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Format: eARC
Pages: 231
Source: Edelweiss

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?

The Taking has a really cool sci-fi premise, and it's left me very curious to know how the events of this book came about. I loved Derting's The Body Finder series, and it was great to start another YA novel from her. There were a couple things that annoyed me, but on the whole it was an enjoyable read, and really well-paced too.

As Kyra is heading home after a softball match, she sees an intense white light in her path, and after that - nothing. She wakes up seemingly the next day, behind a dumpster. But what felt like one night to Kyra was actually five years in real time. She returns home to find her parents' lives completely different, and on top of that, her boyfriend Austin is in college and dating her best friend, Cat. That's not even the weirdest bit. The weirdest part would be that Kyra develops an attraction to Austin's kid brother Tyler, who's now seventeen. Kyra and Tyler need to figure out what happened to her, because it's clear she's in danger, along with everyone she cares about.

The premise of this book definitely drew me in from the beginning. There are just so many questions! How can five years pass with no change at all to Kyra? She even has the same bruise she did the night she disappeared five years ago. She hasn't aged at all. Kyra does get some answers in this book, but I think the majority of them are left for the next one. In fact, this book seemed more like an introduction to the series than anything else.

Kyra's different when she gets back, and it takes her a while to notice. How all the food tastes off, she heals really fast, and her fastball has suddenly become a hell of a lot faster. And way more powerful. Kyra's a likeable protagonist - she's stubborn, smart, and she keeps a clear head even though nothing in her life makes sense anymore. What did annoy me, though, was her interaction with Tyler.

And that brings me to the romance, the one part of this book I did not enjoy. Tyler was twelve the last time Kyra saw him, and when she gets back she first mistakes him for Austin, and then gushes in her mind about how tall and gorgeous he's become. If it were me, I'd be way too creeped out if I had thoughts like that about a kid I've known my whole life, and who's always been four years younger than me. Moreover, the romance between the two of them progresses way too fast. It's got them admitting love seven days after Kyra gets back. Seven days! There was no build-up, and that bugged me because that's usually my favourite part of a romance plotline.

That's not to say that I didn't like Tyler, of course. Because I really did! He's perfect. Sweet, kind, goofy, and loyal to a fault. He has Kyra's back the entire time, and they really do seem good for one another. Tyler's extravagant chalk masterpieces will totally melt your heart. Trust me.

It's interesting to see how Kyra handles her relationships with people she used to be close to five years ago, since no time has passed for her, but the people in her life assumed she's been dead. Austin comes off as a total jerk, which really makes me wonder how she could have ever gone out with a guy like that in the first place. Kyra's mom really pissed me off. She didn't seem happy at all that her daughter was back. And she moved on real fast, too, creating a new family of her own. Kyra's dad is the enigma, the one I really want to find out more about in the next book. He's come the closest to figuring out what exactly happened to his daughter.

Though the book is well-paced like I mentioned before, I went through it really fast, and it seemed a bit on the short side to me. Like I was waiting eagerly for the main course, but I reach the end to find that the entire book was just the appetizer. Of course, the cliffhanger just makes me even more impatient for the sequel, which I hope will be one hell of a main course!

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5

3 comments:

  1. A great review Richa! I'm a big fan of the Body Finder series and I really enjoyed this book, it's an interesting concept but I agree with you about the romance, it was a little strange but I did find myself enjoying their interactions.

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  2. Amazing review sweetie. <3 I'm sorry you didn't fully love it, but not really (A) lol :D I ended up DNF-ing this book. Sniffs. And because of the romance, like you mention. I HATED that part. Ugh. It was just not good. And I just didn't manage to connect with this book; so I'm still glad that I didn't finish it, hih. But anyway. I'm glad you still liked some parts of it :) Thank you for sharing. <3

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  3. I haven't really seen too many good reviews for this book, but I guess I kind of see where everyone's coming from. The romance you mentioned will surely be a dud for me as well.

    Have a lovely week, Richa. :)

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