The Taking (The Taking, #1)

First Lines: We killed them.  Crushed, to be precise.

When I went to start this book, I had no idea what I was getting into.  I thought the premise looked amazing and I have yet to meet a Kimberly Derting book I didn’t like.  I’m pretty sure I’ve read everything she’s written.  Even so, I was a little iffy on the sci-fi aspect.

You know what?  I’ll just give you the Goodreads summary here.  It’s better than I could write it:

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?

So…sound interesting?  I was hooked by chapter 2.  I mean, it was one of those things where I was like, “I have to finish this book tonight.”  (I failed, but I finished it the next day.)  It was so good.

I couldn’t help but relate to Kyra.  (I think her name is pronounced KEER-ah, though I can’t help but pronounce it KY-ra.)  I could feel all her confusion and panic in the early chapters as she tries to understand how much life has changed in the last 5 years that she’s missed.  I can’t imagine coming back to a life that was similar yet so different from the life I remembered.  But her feelings were so real.  And that quickly made Kyra a character I bonded with.

The plot is pretty well-written too.  There are subtle things dropped along the way that hint at more to come.  Lots of foreshadowing.  And at times, it is kind of hard to pick out what will happen next.  There are some things that are fairly obvious, but it’s still a well-told story.  There’s a lot of suspense, even when you think you know what’s going to happen.

And I must say, if there’s anyone in this story I want to gush over, it’s Tyler.  Tyler, Tyler, Tyler.  Oh my.  I totally found my new favorite fictional swooner.  Tyler is not the typical YA romantic lead.  He’s cute, but he’s not one of those that’s described as big and muscular.  He’s not mysterious.  He’s not the superhero, swooping in to save the heroine.  What Tyler is is a regular guy.  He’s kind of a dork, but a total sweetheart.  He’s understanding and loyal while spouting corny pick-up lines and innocent innuendos.  I loved that he was the one person Kyra could count on.  He was solid in that respect, never wavering in his faith in her.  I think that’s a quality that’s rare in YA, even in our golden couples.

Without spoiling anything, I will say that the story started going in a direction I normally hate.  I usually can’t stomach books that have this in them, but just…Derting’s writing…I was more forgiving.  And it didn’t bother me because A) it was well done and different and B) I still haven’t quite figured out exactly what’s going on.  That’s for the sequel, I think.

Right.  So, lots of action, lots of humor, and a good amount of gushy feelings to really hook you.  I pretty much loved this and now talking about it makes me want to reread it.

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