I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Taking by Kimberly Derting
Published by HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Genres: Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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?
I’ll go ahead and just spit this out right now: THE TAKING by Kimberly Derting is my favorite sci-fi of 2014 so far. Hands down. There were some minor issues I had with it but I absolutely loved this book, the characterizations, the plot, the science fiction aspects, the mystery of it all, the high stakes, everything.
Kyra has just helped her team win the high school softball championships in her area. On her way over to a pizza restaurant to celebrate with the team, her father and she get in a fight about college. She’s one of the best pitchers out there and has a lot of scholarship offers but she just wants to go to a certain college that her parents went to with her longtime boyfriend. They have the rest of their life planned together and she doesn’t want to mess that up. The next thing Kyra knows, she is by a dumpster with no recollection of how she got there. She thinks she just passed out overnight, turns out she has been gone for 5 years. With the help of her old boyfriend’s brother, who just so happens to have grown up over the years, Kyra tries to get back to a normal life, despite her family life being completely different. After finding out a secret about what happened to her and the implications of that, Kyra and Tyler are on the run.
This book hooked me from the very first page. The build up to what was about to happen to Kyra had me intrigued and glued to the page. After Kyra disappears and then is suddenly thrown back into her hometown with no memory of the last 5 years and no aging whatsoever, Derting had me around her finger. I wanted to keep reading to know what happened to Kyra and why, and how she was going to cope with all the changes in her new life. The mystery behind the disappearing is never really that mysterious, it’s obvious, just not to Kyra. She doesn’t know what to believe and just wants her old life back. The plot was fast paced, interesting, enthralling, science fiction-y, mysterious, and swoon worthy all at once. I didn’t want to set the book down. And I only did when I absolutely had to. I was sucked into Kyra’s life and everything that was going on around her and didn’t want to go back to the real world.
I need to talk about Tyler. I just have to. When he was first introduced to the story, Kyra thought he was her boyfriend, Austin. The last memory she had of Tyler was when he was a little kid. But 5 years has passed and little kid Tyler has grown up. This boy is perfect. Beyond perfect. It’s not even fair how perfect he is. Derting did a disservice to us because now I’m wanting my own Tyler with extremely too high standards for my next boyfriend. He’s witty, book smart, charming, a bit of a nerd in the cutest way possible, an artist, and the sweetest guy you will ever meet. He never pressures Kyra into anything except sometimes in a teasing way. He’s such a tease, my goodness. He was patient and understanding and never wrote her off as a loon. Since Austin has grown up and moved on with his life, Tyler sees this perfect opportunity to finally express his feelings for Kyra and definitely seized the moment.
When Kyra finally comes to terms that Austin has moved on with his life and won’t be coming back, she slowly opens her eyes up to the what’s in front of her. Tyler is a little too good to be true but there he is, accepting her and willing to do anything that she wants or needs to do to recover her life. The budding romance was a little rushed but considering that Tyler and Kyra have known each other all their lives being next door neighbors and all, it does make sense. It only takes one little spark to ignite a connection they’ve always had. Yes, Tyler was considerably younger than Kyra before, but they are the same age now and it makes sense. So no, their fast relationship didn’t really bother me at all. If I had a boy like Tyler on my doorstep, it would be hard to not fall for him too. My only main concern with this whole thing is how fast Kyra got over Austin. The last day of her memory the two were still together and perfectly in love and had been for years. It would be so hard to get over something like that the next day. Some of the chapters have subheadings like “Day One, Two, Three, etc.” Not all of the chapters do but there are the few that do. My advice: ignore those. The pacing of each chapter was done pretty perfectly and I thought the passage of time was understandable and flowed nicely. If you start paying attention to those subheadings, you may find that this is all happening way too fast. I hardly noticed them and had no problems with the development of the story or the relationship between Tyler and Kyra.
THE TAKING was so incredibly good, I am already dying for the next book. Some of the ending was a little too convenient but I would have flipped out if it had ended any other way. The way the story was going, I was going to be an extremely unhappy reader. Derting threw a curveball halfway through the book and it was destroying me. Thank you Mrs. Derting for appeasing me for the time being! I have no idea what is going to happen in the next book but I know it’s going to be good. You all must read this. Right now!