Thursday, May 2, 2013

Taken by Erin Bowman

Taken by Erin Bowman
ARC received from HarperTeen
On Shelves Now
Reviewed by:  Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say:  A Disappointing Dystopian
There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

I was so excited to read this one for a few reasons:  1) I hadn’t read much in a male’s POV, 2) The Mystery of the Heist, 3) What’s outside the wall?  All these things intrigued me, so when it showed up on my doorstep, I dove straight in.  Unfortunately, this one was really disappointing to me.  I almost quite at about 150 pages in because I just wasn’t finding the plotline interesting.  Even more, I felt no connection to either of the main characters.  But, I stuck it out because I still wanted to know a bit more, even though I wouldn’t have given it another thought had I just put it aside.  I will say this, though, I’m glad I finished it because the ending was very interesting.  As a result of the ending, I am somewhat interested in reading the sequel because I just have a feeling I’m going to enjoy the sequel much more.

I seem to be in the minority on this one.  Everywhere I look, people are raving about it, so don’t let my opinions stop you from reading it for yourself.  The idea is interesting, and the world itself I found somewhat intriguing.  But, for me, it was missing the flare that makes you want to read one more chapter before bed.  I couldn’t connect with the characters.  At first I thought it was because it was a male pov, but I couldn’t connect with Emma, either.   They just seemed a bit flat to me, and their romance didn’t snare me either.

One of the other things that bothered me was how finicky the main characters appeared.  They fell in love very quickly, and then the moment things started to go wrong, their feelings started to change.  There was no epic love that wins over evil—instead, it was a very immature, flash type of love that burns bright and then flames out very quickly.  With this happening, I just felt like I couldn’t trust the main characters.  Neither of them seemed to know exactly what they wanted, and as a result, I ended up getting frustrated.

I was also surprised with how easily Emma and Grey (along with so many others) accepted the world outside of the wall.  Someone tells them the history, and they are like, oh, okay, good to know.  After living in Claysoot where everything was crazy, I would think they would be a bit more wary of their surroundings. 

While this book wasn’t for me,  I do think that it will be one that quite a few people will like.  It was a quick read (even when I didn’t enjoy it), and the world in and of itself is still interesting.  I just wish the advancement of the plot would have been a bit more dangerous and exciting.  Maybe then I would have enjoyed it a bit more.