Title: The Taking
Author: Kimberly Derting
Series: The Taking
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 3.82
Published: April 29th, 2014
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 really enjoyed The Taking. I am a sucker for the whole people being abducted and then brought back home only for their whole reality to the changed. It is just so juicy, and so many emotions are at play. It reminds me of when *BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SPOILER*Buffy died in season 5 and then came back in season 6 and everybody was totally shocked and emotions ran high. I am a sucker for those situations. So yes, I enjoyed The Taking's premise, the writing, the pacing, and the alien element, but what I did not enjoy was the romance and what is a shame because a lot of The Taking focuses heavily on the romance. This is why I gave it a 4 star instead of 5. I still really enjoyed the story and I hope to read the second installment as soon as it hits the shelves.
Kyra is this not-so-average girl who is a star at playing Softball. Her future looks really bright. She has her softball, her supportive parents, the bestest friend a girl could ask for, and then she has her long time friend and boyfriend Austin. Everything seems to be working out for Kyra until one faithful night, after having had a spat with her father about her future, she gets blinded by a very instense light and then she is sudddenly GONE. The next day Kyra finds herself stranded behind the local gas station with no idea of what happened the night before. But then when she makes her way home she is confronted with the harsh reality: For Kyra only a day has gone by, while for the rest of her family 5 years have gone by without Kyra.
So yes, the premise is so freaking interesting, and the execution is even better. I can't say I am a big fan of Kyra's. She is this girl who loves sports and gets blindsided too quickly by insta-love... which, lets face it, it is more like the hormones she has accumulated in her 5 years away have come and hit her SQUARE in the face. But I still got lost in the story nevertheless.
"I'd never been so alive, and I knew this was why I'd come back. To be here, right now, in this moment, with Tyler."
*sarcasm on* Yeah Kyra. I am SURE the alien overlords just couldn't pass up an opportunity to make real love come true. *sarcasm off, sort of*
The romance was unbelievable, and not in a good way. I felt like Kyra's "connection" to Tyler was SO rushed. She basically comes back to face that everybody has moved on without her, including her best friend and her boyfriend (they hooking up and in LURVE), and the first thing she does is fall for her ex-boyfriend's little brother? IN A MATTER OF DAYS. I am not even creeped out by the fact that the last time Kyra saw this boy he was like 12 (well, maybe a little) but why in the heavens would Tyler still be hung up on this girl? Last time HE saw her HE WAS 12! I guess he COULD have had a crush on her but let's face it that "crush" would have been long gone. Maybe he saw her as this weird wish fulfillment thing. I don't know. I just did not like it.
But that doesn't mean I didn't like Tyler. He was a sweet heart. He is an artist who loves to read old vintage stuff, and he is a romantic. He is well worth the whole thing, which is why on one hand I couldn't really blame Kyra but on the other hand I just wished he would have fallen for anybody else BUT Kyra. But then again, that wouldn't have been good for the story I suppose. Austin, Kyra's ex, is at first depicted as the perfect boyfriend (they were chilhood friends first and then just seamlessly shifted to the boyfriend/girlfriend label) but then he is of course compared to Tyler and everything goes to shit. Not only that but HOW DARE HE move on, even though Kyra has been missing for 5 years (they all thought she was dead of course)? I couldn't blame the guy, even though Kyra certainly did. Kyra's best friend was an interesting character which I wish we could have had some more time with, but we only get like one scene with her grown up. I thought more scenes with Austin and her were warranted, specially one of Austin confronting Kyra of having the hots for his little brother. Maybe in the next novel?
The whole alien abduction part of the story is still pretty much left in the dark. Who are these aliens who keep abducting people? Why are they doing it? Why was Kyra the first who didn't return until years later? How come she, and everyone else who returns, comes back with special abilities? What the hell is going on with the fireflys everybody keeps refering to? How are they connected? Who knows. I am suspecting we will get answers in the next installment. The Taking certainly made me interested in hearing the answers, it got me hooked.