{Review} Taken by Erin Bowman

{Review} Taken by Erin BowmanTaken by Erin Bowman
Series: Taken #1
Published by HarperTeen on April 16, 2013
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 352
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2.5 Stars

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?

The 411:

All the boys in Claysoot disappear in a ceremony called the Heist on their eighteenth birthdays. After losing his brother to the Heist, Gray Weathersby decides to try his luck and seek for the truth outside the walls of Claysoot–even if it means he won’t make it to the other side alive.

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Right off the bat, we want to point out that this book was one of our most anticipated reads and that Gray Weathersby was someone we were really, really looking forward to swooning over. We concede that it’s possible that this book just didn’t live up to the hype we built up for it. But we doubt that’s the case.

What We Loved:

First. The cover. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. The colors and the trees and the boy and just…gah. This is a book that we definitely would pick up for the cover alone.

You know we love dystopian stories and could not wait for this one. The whole idea of this book is famazing, even if it fell short for us. We loved Gray’s brother, Blaine, and Gray’s love interest, Emma. More on them in a bit.

One of the things that we really liked about this story is the believability of the story to the citizens of Claysoot. Dystopians only work when it makes sense that the society continue conforming to the rules set forth. The people of Claysoot witnessed the Heist every time it happened, and though they were burned (often beyond recognition), the boys who tried to escape by climbing over the wall were always found. The consequences of not following the rules were all around, and we can see why the people of Claysoot didn’t believe there was a way out of their situation.

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Um…Not So Much:

While the idea for this story is brilliant (Come on, a world in which all of the boys disappear? Quelle horreur!), we feel like there was too much going on. It’s like the author took parts of several dystopian series and scrambled them together. The result was too overwhelming and too many things. It was hard to tell exactly what this story was trying to be.

This story also seriously lacked character development. None of the characters were well-fleshed out, and we found that we wanted more–from all of them (except maybe Bree, who can DIAF).

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The Boys:

Gray Weathersby. We’re trying really hard not to spoil here, but suffice it to say he’s not a guy we’re rooting for. He hits girls and does other stuff so heinous we can’t even type it out. He’s handsome and does say some swoony things, though.

Every muscle in my body yells at me to roll over, to grab her face in my hands and kiss her, but I lie there motionless. What we have is almost perfect, so comfortable I’m afraid to ruin it.

Blaine Weathersby. Gray’s brother is a great guy who stands up for good. He’s handsome and swoony and we might just love him a lot.

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The Girls:

Emma. Emma grew up with Gray and Blaine in Claysoot. She’s a healer and helps Gray, even when she’s almost sure it will get her killed.

Bree. We can’t tell you too much about Bree without spoiling everything, but she’s strong and is a fighter. In case you couldn’t tell already, for the record, we hate her.

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Bottom Line:

With so many amazing dystopian stories (and swoony boys) out there, maybe you shouldn’t waste your time reading this chopped up tale with less than stellar character and storyline development and a boy we can’t stand. Hopefully, Erin Bowman can turn it around in the rest of the series, and we look forward to seeing Gray’s character redeemed, if that’s possible. In the meantime:


Swoony Boy Podcast Pending Further Investigation

Our verdict is Pending Further Review until we read the rest of the series.

What We Think Will Happen Next:

There are so many directions this story can go in, and we really hope we get some answers. We think Gray will give Emma another chance. We hope Bree doesn’t die and has to watch them make out.

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Other Taken Series Posts:

Other Posts About Gray:

Rating Report
5 Stars
2 Stars
2.5 Stars
2.5 Stars
1.5 Stars
Overall: 2.5


Featured on Swoony Boys Podcast

2.5 Stars

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