Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

Publish date: April 2014
Source: Conference
Format: ARC
Length: 368 pages
"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?
" (Goodreads)

I went through a bit of a reading slump recently and was trying to find something that would grab my attention to help pull me back into reading. I knew I didn't want fantasy but after a string of contemps, I wanted something with a little more to it, so I decided to try The Taking. I had previously tried reading The Body Finder but gave up a few pages in, so I was a little leery going into another Derting novel. I did end up liking it but didn't love it (as seems to be my theme).

I read a few reviews before starting The Taking and liked that Lisa said it had an X-Files vibe to it. As a fellow X-Files fan, it definitely does, so if that's you, you'll probably like The Taking. Things are mysterious and we, along with Kyra, have no idea what happened to her in that five years. I loved that she hadn't aged at all. Definitely added more intrigue as to what might have happened to her.

Unfortunately, there were some aspects of this book I didn't like. There was major insta-love going on with Kyra and Tyler. I can handle most insta-love, but this kind was almost insane. He was 12 when she disappeared and now she's falling for him when it's only a day later for her? I don't believe that. I also wanted more closure at the end, but I get that this is the first in a trilogy.

If you're a Derting fan already or like your contemps with a splash of paranormal, try The Taking! If you want more than an easy read, though, I'd skip this one.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is: top ten books on your summer TBR and wouldn't you know, I have a list on Goodreads just for this summer! That's how nerdy I am and how much I love Goodreads :)

In no particular order:

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple: This one looks fun and I've been thinking about reading it for a year now. Also this is kind of cheating because I started reading it a couple days ago.

Winger by Andrew Smith: I've heard many good things about this and think it will be a hit with my students if I can read it and recommend it.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: I can't believe I haven't read this! I've read The Infernal Devices (and loved them) but not the series that started it all. Very popular with my students and just something I need to read.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: This is in our English curriculum at school, but not in a class I teach. I still feel like I need to read this classic!

Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi: This comes highly recommended by a friend and won a Michigan reading award, so I must get to it.

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas: I've heard great things about this twisty mystery and it sounds right up my alley.

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick: This one, however, does NOT sound right up my alley, but a few of my big readers at school have all but insisted I read it, so I am going to give it a shot.

Altered by Jennifer Rush: I'm not a fan of the cover, but the premise sounds interesting and she's a Michigan author, so I have to, right?

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrell: I was supposed to listen to the audio of this from, but missed the download window. Good thing I have a copy in my classroom!

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo: I liked Shadow and Bone, but did not LOVE it. Bardugo is coming to Michigan next week with the Fierce Reads tour though, so I plan to at least give the sequel a try.