Author: Kimberly Derting.
Expected publication date: April 29th 2014 by HarperTeen.
Sort: The taking #1.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
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?
Kyra disappeared five years ago after a fight with her father, but when she returns she believes she was gone for one day. She woke up behind a store and from that moment, her whole life is different. She has no memory of what happened those five years, but things have changed a lot. Her parents broke up, her mother is newly married and has a son, her father has gone mad with Alien - and abduction theories. Her boyfriend moved on with her best friend and they are living the life she imagined. In the mean time, Tyler has grown up to be a man instead of her (ex) boyfriend’s little brother.
I liked how realistic Kyra’s reactions felt. I was sad for her and the old life she lost. She has a huge gap in her memory and the life she knew is gone. I felt her frustrations and I understood how hard it was to adapt to these new situations. Stories about memory loss are always fascinating to me and scary at the same time. I would go crazy in Kyra’s situation, so I admired her strength. She was a little naive sometimes and she easily trusts people, but I think those flaws made her a believable character. The only thing I didn’t like about her personality was how self-centred she seemed and how she treats her family. Yes, her mother felt cold and distanced, but it must be hard to get your daughter back after moving on. Kyra is giving her a hard time, by sneaking out and disappearing when she feels like it. Her father is loving, but his theories and divorce haven’t been good on him. She could have showed more patience for him.
The romance was one of harder things to connect with. I adored Tyler, but just thinking about their past made me a little uncomfortable. It was sweet to see how he tries to support Kyra and he was a true friend, but I wasn’t sure how I felt about him as love-interest. It also went far too fast. Just because they knew each other, doesn’t mean that such feelings develop so quickly. She often refers to him as ‘the little brother’ in her mind.
It was good how Derting first set the basics of this story (Kyra’s return, dealing with the situation and starting to get feelings for Tyler) before the true plot kicks in, although it made the story sometimes a little slow. It appears that Kyra’s father isn’t as crazy as everyone is saying. There is a whole organization looking for Kyra and there are more people like her, who call themselves the ‘Returned.’ Simon is one of them and he is trying to protect her. I’m very curious about this organization and why people are abducted – and why some return. This story was definitely a set-up for more and because of that ending, I can’t wait to read all about it in the sequel.