Series: The Taking #1
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published by HarperTeen (4.29.2014)
eARC, 368 pages
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?
While I’m not a huge fan of aliens, I do love creepy abduction stories when they’re done well. The alien aspect of this book had me hooked!
How much would it suck to disappear one day, only to reappear 5 years later – with absolutely NO recollection of what happened – and your life changed completely without you? I can’t even imagine! View Spoiler »Although it was a bit predictable – I figured immediately that Kyra’s parents would be separated and Austin would have a new girlfriend, and it didn’t surprise me one bit that the new girlfriend was Kyra’s best friend. « Hide Spoiler That was the most interesting part of the beginning for me. I have to admit, though, I got a little bored. Much of it was everyday happenings as Kyra adjusted to her new life.
I did not care about the romance at all. While I understand that Kyra and Tyler already knew each other, their relationship developed much too quickly for me (um – and I quote – “less than a week”). I wasn’t a fan to say the least, and I didn’t really care about them together or what happened between them. Plus it annoyed me that Kyra continuously kept comparing Tyler to Austin, and saying things like this:
I balked at the idea of Tyler as anything but Austin’s younger brother, because no matter what, that’s what he was – Austin’s brother – and I struck a silent deal with myself to never, ever think about him as anything other than a friend, because that is all he could ever be.
My reaction? Riiiight, how long is that going to last? One whole chapter? Maybe two? Wrong. It lasted seven pages. Yep. She put up a real fight there. *rolls eyes*
Along with not caring about the forced romance, I also didn’t care about any of the characters. Kyra was just…there, I didn’t have any feelings for Tyler whatsoever, and I didn’t care about the minor characters, either. View Spoiler »In fact, Tyler was dying, a horrible, painful, bloody death, and I felt nothing. Whatsoever. Not good! I think some of that may have been the fact that I just knew he wasn’t actually going to die, despite the fact that his ailment had no cure (imagine that). Also probably because Kyra didn’t really seem all that affected by it. She was pretty calm for the fact that the boy she supposedly loved was dying before her eyes. If it were me, I’d be a hysterical mess… « Hide Spoiler
I did love the idea of the story. People disappear mysteriously, and reappear, exactly the same as they were when they disappeared, with no memory of what happened. Very interesting! I also found the fireflies to be fascinating (no wonder, the cover!). I thought the abilities that the Returned acquired were awesome, too. The idea behind it was what made this book for me!
And the ending, what the heck?! Talk about a cliffhanger! It left me curious for more. I want to see what happens when people are taken sooo bad!
Love required sacrifice and making hard choices and doing things that were bigger than just you. It wasn’t something you asked for, or could control or change. It was something you accepted.
Love was a force of nature.
Writing style: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 3.5/5