April 10, 2014
REVIEW: The Taking (The Taking #1)
To Be Published April 29, 2014
Format: e-ARC, provided by Edelweiss
Genre: YA sci-fi/romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4.5 STARS
(From Goodreads) 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?
Kimberly Derting has been on my list of authors to try for awhile now. I own the first Body Finders book and The Pledge, but haven't gotten around to them yet. As I was deciding what to read next this past week, my gaze kept landing on The Taking, and I decided that it was way past time to give Ms. Derting a go.
I could SMACK myself. Why did I wait so long?
After a fight with her dad alongside a road, Kyra encounters a bright white light, and before she can blink, she's behind the gas station down the road from her house... five. years. later. Everyone has moved on, including her boyfriend, so with the help of her boyfriend's "little" brother Tyler - who is looking mighty fine now - Kyra sets out to try and make sense of where she's been and what happens now.
I don't know what I expected, but for some reason, it wasn't this. The Taking is so much... MORE. More meaningful, more thought-provoking, more emotional, more exciting. Can you imagine even for a second what it would be like to check out of your life for five years, and then come back, not having changed an iota? While you were taking a siesta, the rest of the world kept moving and turning and CHANGING.
I felt so much for Kyra as she came home and discovered that her parents divorced, her mom had a "replacement" family, her dad is almost unrecognizable, her boyfriend and her best friend are in love, and the softball field where she pitched for her team was now named after her as a memorial to the dead. The poor girl doesn't know which end is up, who to trust or where to go from here. Her feelings of loss and of being lost were perfectly captured by Derting. I shed tears and bit my nails and raged at the people in her life who let her down.
And, yet, I was at war with myself, because on the other hand, I couldn't really blame them all for moving on. I think Kyra felt a little of that too, and that had to be confusing for her.
Luckily, she had Tyler. He was her boyfriend's - now ex-boyfriend's - little brother, and is now her age. He's grown up in the best ways and is such an amazing guy. The lengths he goes to to help Kyra feel better and to feel loved are so swoon-worthy. This kid is book boyfriend material of the highest caliber. And for all his efforts, he becomes the only person on Earth that Kyra trusts. Especially when the weird things start happening.
Apparently, wherever Kyra has been for the past five years has changed her in some ways. She comes back the same and yet... different. She's not tired or hungry, like, ever. She's fast and strong. And, there's other things about her, both awesome and terrible. As she slowly discovers these abilities and tries to understand what they mean, they put the people she loves in the worst kind of danger.
The last half of The Taking was exciting and scary and left me breathless. As Kyra and Tyler race to escape the bad guys, find the others like her and fix a deadly mistake, I honestly didn't know how it would all turn out. The ending is a cliffhanger of the most awesome kind. I will be waiting not-very-patiently for the next book in this exciting new series to come out.