Title: The Taking
Author: Kimberly Derting
Pub. Date: April 29, 2014
Rec. Age Level: 14+
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It's been five years since Kyra Agnew mysteriously disappeared after a fight with her father. A lot can change in five years - people age, marriages fall apart, new relationships develop - but, when Kyra reappears, there's nothing new about her. Everything, right down to the bruises and dusty softball uniform she was wearing when she disappeared, are exactly the same. For Kyra, it feels like the softball game, kissing her boyfriend, and fighting with her dad happened mere hours before... for the rest of the world, life has moved on. Kyra finds her parents divorced and her boyfriend five years older... and his little brother, Tyler, too. Kyra's life has been taken from her and she's determined to find out how and why. Things have definitely taken a turn for the weird, and her father's conspiracy theories don't sound near as far fetched as they would have five years ago... or, for Kyra, yesterday.
I love, love, love this book! Admittedly, I love everything Derting has written, but still. Derting's first series, which begins with THE BODY FINDER, also has a paranormal slant, so to me, she's returning to her roots with THE TAKING. I love her dystopian series - THE PLEDGE - too, but there's something compelling about her paranormal novels. I think it's the fact that her characters are so normal, except for that one element that sets them apart. In THE BODY FINDER, it's the main character's ability to sense the aura of a dead body. In THE TAKING, it's a mysterious, perhaps otherworldly, disappearance that steals five years from the main character's life and leaves her... changed. When you read one of Derting's novels, you can't help but wonder 'what if.'
It doesn't hurt that Derting writes romantic leads that leave you a bit breathless and a whole lot in love. In THE TAKING, Kyra finds herself - somewhat inappropriately - drawn to Tyler, who was only twelve when she disappeared. Now Tyler is the same age as Kyra and all to determined to prove he's no longer a little kid. The Tyler/Kyra romance was so wrong it was right. Even though Kyra tries to resist Tyler's charm, I'm not sure any girl could resist someone so determined to sweep her off her feet.
If you haven't read a Kimberly Derting book yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!? If you have, give yourself a pat on the back, you have impeccable taste.