The Taking by Kimberly Derting Book Review

I read this book about four years ago. Soon after, I’d devoured the last two, and for me, this teen series still holds up among the best examples of well-structured young-adult adventure.

The Taking is about Kyra Agnew, a 16-year old at who goes to high school and plays on the softball team with her BFF Cat and does all of her actions and thoughts around her boyfriend Austin. They were best friends since they were five and only recently got into a relationship. Then one day after a big game where she got a bad bruise, her dad says she needs to take a break and think about matters before accepting college only because of Austin. Furious, she takes a breather off of Chuckanaut Drive away from her father when all of a sudden she is engulfed in light that turns the world into nothing as she passes out.

She then wakes up behind a dumpster at the Gas n’ Sip, and she arrives home to find out three things. She’d been gone for five years, her parents have changed while she’s been gone, and she’s still the same girl she was just yesterday. Or, five years ago. How so? She’s still wearing her dirty school uniform with her cellphone still half charged and her bruise still bruising her leg and her teeth records the same from her last checkup. Now her life is pretty much destroyed. But what if it isn’t, and her delight has simply shifted to someone else?

What drove me to The Taking was this time when I was looking for something to spend my gift card on and I read the premise after I caught wind of the beautiful cover, and it reminded me of the concept in Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace, which I thought was a really bad book, the main problem being the author chose the main character to make the worst decision and negligent act possible in the ending. But this book seemed better for a reason I couldn’t place. Maybe since it was a series and it showed promise of Kyra not going that route, so I bought it, and I held it off for months, but I knew after the first three chapters when I finally gave it a chance this was going to be a treat.

One thing I need to inform you though, is the back of this book gives quite a bit away, which makes it a good thing that I waited long enough to forget the description before I picked it back up. I’ve read so many books about life changes I’ve completely lost count. The Taking combines fantasy and personal experiences so nicely, I felt that if kids are sucked years into the future and don’t think like Kyra thinks, they should.

The first half of this book focuses on the drama and romance, of Kyra having returned home after her family thought she was dead for five whole years, and Kyra’s best friend and boyfriend ditching her, and her feelings now for someone else, and her coming to grips with her parents divorced. And never once did I not buy her sadness and the new relationship she gets is honestly adorable, especially since this guy is the only thing she can really hold onto. The next half is a big roller-coaster ride and sets up promise for a contemporary fantasy series that puts a protagonist who’s brave and honest and vulnerable centre-stage.

The only reason this isn’t four stars out of four is I felt the final bit of the book stretched too far into what the next book will bring and it would’ve been better off if they left it 20 pages sooner. Also, whenever Kyra is asked what happened, she says she has no idea while omitting the fact there was a bright light.

But all in all, if you’re looking for a book that isn’t too intimidating in length or grand premise but still hits all the right emotional and exciting notes, The Taking is one of my immediate suggestions.

If you like this, I’d try: Reboot by Amy Tintera

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