Book Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting


Title: The Taking
Series: The Taking #1
By: Kimberly Derting
Author Info: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre Type: Science Fiction
Publication Date: April 29th 2014
Pages: Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen


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?

Kimberly Derting's new young adult series The Taking is a fast-paced science fiction thriller featuring an exciting mystery and sweet romance.

Sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew's life is filled with love and excitement. She's the star teammate whose led her softball team to a major victory. Has a boyfriend that loves her, an awesome best friend, and her dad who is her biggest fan. Everything was perfect. Until the night she sees a blinding, white light. Then, nothing. Five years later, Kyra wakes up behind the local Gas 'n' Sip. The last thing she remember is having an argument with her dad about her boyfriend Austin on their way back from a softball game. She remembers being angry and crying as she got out of the vehicle. Then, the white light.

Now, after making her way back home she discovers everyone close to her has changed. Her parents are divorced and her mother has remarried. Kyra now has a Stepdad (the husband) and a baby brother. Her dad believes in stuff that would make a great X-Files episode. And Austinher High School sweet-heart, is now in college and dating her best friend. The only one that seems to comfort and understand Kyra is Tyler, Austin's younger brother, who has not forgotten her. Now seventeen, Tyler is making it clear that he wants Kyra to remember him as much more than Austin's little brother.

Kyra is just trying to cope with all the changes when a secret government unit comes looking for her. They seem to know why she hasn't aged and about others who have also been "Taken." With Tyler's help she is determined to find the answers to what happened to her, and who the others are. But, the answers may just end up endangering everyone she cares about.

The moment Kyra speaks, from behind a dumpster the reeks of trash and who knows what else, we get this sense of bewilderment and confusion. What has happened to her? Why is she behind a dumpster with no memory beyond the night she saw the blinding, white light?  Kyra learns that she has not aged or changed in any way, but everyone else around her has. She is resilient, tough, and determined and I really liked her. Kimberly Derting does a great job making us feel all the frustrations, anger and most of all-loneliness and confusion that Kyra feels. Until Tyler.

Wow, Tyler. He is so sweet and charming. So ROMANTIC! As Austin's young brother he has always had a crush on Kyra. The only problem is, at sixteen, Kyra only had eyes for Austin and Tyler was no more than a cute, but obnoxious pest. Now, Tyler is all grown up and determined to make Kyra see him as something much more than "the Kid younger brother." With his handsome grin and cute dimple it was easy to see an attraction blooming between these two. The romantic things he does in this book makes him serious book-boyfriend material.

I sped through this book in nearly one setting. It was a fast, page turning book for me. The whole mystery behind Kyra being Taken, the references to the white light all had me suspicious, but The Taking has a unique premise that kept me guessing for the most part. My only concern was that I was already through half the book before it started to really focus on the mystery of Kyra and the others who had been taken. Accept for her father,  I kept wondering why everyone else seemed to accept that she's suddenly back so easily. Once the government agency got involved and a group of others who had been taken, the mystery aspect really captivated me. I'm really excited to explore more of this new series, and can't wait to find out more about the 'others' who have been taken and what's behind it all.

This series is off to a great start. Perfect for science fictions lovers looking for a new series with a unique concept, some great science fiction thriller elements, and some swoon-worthy romance.

My Rating: 4 Stars. I really like it!

PLEASE NOTE: A courtesy review copy of this book was provided by HarperTeen in exchange for my fair review. Thank you HarperTeen  for the review opportunity!