Friday, April 25, 2014

Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

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Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting
The Taking
Kimberly Derting
Series: The Taking #1
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA
Publication date: April 29th 2014
by HarperTeen

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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?
-A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review-

This is another of those books that are fun and entertaining, but just don’t have that spark that could have made them truly memorable. At least I have plenty of fun during the ride.

With an engaging start, The Taking pulls you right into its plot full of mystery and wonderment. Imagine being blinded by a light, and the next thing you know your world and everyone you know is 5 years older… except you. You’re still sporting a bruise left from a game just that week, your phone is still fully charged, your clothes and appearance are exactly the same, yet 5 years have apparently passed. This is what happened to Kyra as she brings us along into her baffling story that leaves you dying for answers on every page. While it also contains family and romance, the mystery aspect is by far my favorite part of this book. I was salivating with theories, each one more exciting that the last. As the plot moves forward, we get curious developments that slowly reshape it into a completely different story than its contemporary-like beginning. What we uncover is nothing more than what’s revealed in the blurb, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

What disappointed me was the lack of depth. It had so much potential that went unexplored, choosing to focus instead on frivolous diversions. Sure there are passing mentions of Kyra being obsessed with keeping time, but she has a mostly unconcerned attitude towards the last 5 years. Her refusal to consider her dad’s theories is one thing, but she could have been abused or tortured for years, her mind blocking it out to protect itself, for all she knew. Who has time to worry about that with the excitement of a new crush (although they did have great chemistry) and the stress of her ex-boyfriend hooking up with her ex-BFF anyways!? Priorities, guys! More psychological depth would have given the book much more dimension, not to mention realism. The brush off on that angle was rather disappointing. Another thing: when strange things start happening to her, she’s in complete denial each and every time. Dude, accept you’re a mutant already!

Starting with a contemporary feel, The Taking gradually molds itself into a full-out sci-fi novel filled with conspiracies and superpowers. It does have a few forced conveniences, and it’s unfortunate that its potential is mostly left untapped, but it’s a fun story that ends on an intriguing note.

3 Stars
3 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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17 Responses to “Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting”

  1. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    You liked this one better than I did, Giselle. I wanted to love it, but man, the focus on the romance was so overpowering. I wanted more of these creepy aliens than on the creepy romance (I’m still so disturbed with the 12 years old thing). –‘

    “Priorities, guys! More psychological depth would have given the book much more dimension, not to mention realism.”

    THIS! Kyra should have experienced some intense psychological aftereffects, but no, because she has a guy, she’s all OK. It also bothered me how she refused to get to know her new family. Ugh.

    Anyways, I’m glad you liked parts of this, Giselle. Lovely review!

  2. Pili

    Well, seems that even if could have been better it is still a good enough read!
    Sad to hear it missed depth and all but at least it kept you entertained!
    Great review, Giselle!

  3. Bieke @ Istyria book blog

    I really didn’t like it. Mostly because of the lack of depth in the characters (especially the main characters) and the romance that I didn’t buy at all. For me there was more depth in Kyra’s dad than in Kyra herself. I gave it only 2 stars. Glad you liked it a bit more. I’m not going to read the sequel.

  4. Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction

    I wanted to enjoy this one but ended up DNFing because the characters felt so shallow and that romance. I couldn’t get over it–really pulled me out of the story. I was somewhat interested to see what happened to her but overall I gave up before I found out. I’m glad you were able to find some entertainment in this one. Lack of depth–you are 100% right on that.

  5. Esty @ Boarding with Books

    Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy this! Aside from what you describe as a bit of an annoying heroine (unfortunately, something I’m used to) I think I would enjoy it. It does have a little of the-next-fad-book look to it.
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Celine

    Hmm, I’m not sure about this one yet! The idea behind it is really awesome, but it seems the execution of it was rather disappointing. I’ve read multiple reviews of it and they all seem to be rather meh. I think it’s really unfortunate that there was such a lack of depth, because there are so many things you could touch upon with such a concept! I’m glad it was still fun, though.

  7. Vi

    Sucks you didn’t enjoy this one so much. I think I’ll still give it a try though since I need to review it soon. At least it wasn’t boring, right? Lol. Maybe the author will get into more depth in the next book.

  8. Christianna

    It sounds like this one was a lot of fun. It’s a bummer that it wasn’t as fleshed out as it could have been. I hate when that happens, but the theories that you mentioned sound like they’d be really cool to read. And I like a good thriller! Great review!

  9. Lisa @ Lost in Literature

    I agree. I though the beginning was strong, the ending was good, but the middle was very slow to me. Too much about the romance and not enough about the rest of the story. Overall I did enjoy it, but I felt it could have been better. Great review!

  10. Sarah J.

    This does sound like it would be good, but the fact that it lacks depth has me a little hesitant to pick it up. Then again sometimes I’m in need of filler books without much depth so this would be one to definitely read. Great review, Giselle!

  11. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    Aww I definitely know what you mean about a lack of depth. I feel like I’m always reading books that have all these good qualities about it in terms of the plot and characterization but just lack that depth that you want to make the characters really matter to you that they’ll stay in your mind for a long time. Fantastic review, Giselle!<33

  12. Melliane

    I think many persons were mixed about this one. I’m sorry it’s your case too. I was curious about it even if it’s not really my genre. I heard so much about the author and I know I need to try her one day.

  13. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    Yeah, I keep hearing about the lack of depth over and over again. I think I’m definitely going to wait until the series is finished before committing one way or another (which is really disappointing b/c ALIENS). Here’s hoping it gets better 😉 Lovely review!

  14. Michelle @ Book Briefs

    This one has really caught my eye. It’s a shame that it didn’t have that spark for you, but I do know exactly what you are talking about. It’s what takes a good book to book love. haha

    I have been noticing memory loss has been a popular trend recently. I am intrigued about that.

    Great review Giselle! 🙂