Monday, April 21, 2014

The Here and Now VS. The Taking

I'm trying something new. Instead of posting my reviews of these two books I recently read, I'm going to compare the two and review them as I go. Let me know if you like this kind of post, and I may try it more in the future!

THE BOOKS

The Taking by Kimberly Derting

Series: The Taking #1
Genre: YA science fiction
Pages: 368
Publication date: April 29th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Goodreads Description: 
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?

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

 Series: standalone (?)
Genre: YA science fiction
Pages: 288
Publication date: April 8th, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Goodreads Description: 
An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins. 

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. 

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves. 

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year.
CONCEPTS
The Taking

The concepts were pretty cool, even though I'm not a fan of aliens. They were probably my favorite part of the book--there was a classic take on alien abduction as well as many new-to-me things that held my interest.

The Here and Now

I really liked the technology that was described in the book. However, that was one of the only things I liked. It takes a lot for me to become invested in a time travel story, so most of the concepts just felt "eh" to me.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE
The Taking

Looking back at the book, I don't remember it being super exciting--at least, not until the last quarter or so. It got pretty suspenseful then. I don't believe I felt bored reading this book.

The Here and Now

Unfortunately, I was very bored throughout the majority of the book.

PLOT
The Taking

It didn't seem very atypical, but I didn't mind it. 

The Here and Now

I wasn't very invested in what was happening in this one, so it didn't feel very standout-ish.

*Note: I don't pay very much attention to plot while I'm reading. I mainly focus on characters, romance, concepts, and other pieces that make up the story.

CHARACTERS
The Taking

I absolutely adored Tyler in the beginning, but he gave me an odd feeling for the rest of the book. He was a teensy bit creepy. (Or maybe he was just unusually clingy. I can't place my finger on it.) I don't have much of an opinion on the heroine, for some reason . . .

As for the other characters, I liked them. I can't remember names, but the first other "taken" that Kyra meets is one of my favorites.

The Here and Now

I oftentimes mixed up side characters and forgot who they were. I don't have much of an opinion on the heroine of this book either. The hero was decent.

ROMANCE
The Taking

Insta-love (the "I-love-you" stage came quickly)

The Here and Now

Insta-love (the feelings of love came out of nowhere)

THE THREAT OF DEATH
*Possible minor spoilers may be in this section*
There was some sort of illness/worry that threatened the lives of some of the characters in both books. They weren't the same, but as I was reading The Here and Now, I was reminded of The Taking.

The Taking

The illness in this one felt more dangerous. It added quite a bit of suspense to the book, and was a very important part of the story.

The Here and Now

I didn't see the illness in this book explained very well, but that's probably because it was just talked about, not demonstrated. There was a possibility that one of the characters would die, so there one of the other main characters was in constant worry and tried hard to prevent it. That's what mainly reminds me of The Taking.

COVER
The Taking

I love the cover! I didn't care that much for it before reading it, but afterwards, I realized the fireflies were a very significant part of the story.

The Here and Now

I don't like this one very much. I just don't like this style of cover.

RATING

The Taking



The Here and Now


WHICH ONE DO I RECOMMEND THE MOST?


As you can tell, I obviously recommend reading The Taking over the other. The Here and Now just didn't work very well for me. Neither book wowed me, but I enjoyed reading The Taking--enough to want to read its sequel.

You can read my review of The Here and Now here, and my review of The Taking here.

11 comments:

  1. I actually DNF'd The Taking, and have read not-great reviews of The Here and Now, so I'm avoiding that one as well... But that being said, I love this comparison-style review! I can see it being really helpful, especially if the two books are at all similar, and if people might be willing to pick one book up if you recommend it over the other, you know? Really cool idea!

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    1. That makes sense that you would DNF The Taking! It didn't seem like you were enjoying it much at all. Thank you! I really like the comparison-style review too. I liked writing it. :)

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  2. I'm really unsure about The Taking and Here and Now interests me even less. I haven't read good reviews about either and no thanks to the insta love. Thanks for the comparison Kaitlin!

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    1. You're welcome! I definitely don't think The Taking would work for you. The romance moves way too quickly. You're not missing out on anything if you skipped both of these book, unfortunately.

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  3. Great idea! It seems more fun this way too. :) We rated The Taking the same, yay! Or in this case, bad for the book. You pretty much pointed out what I hated about it, haha. I haven't read The Here and Now (I actually did want to read it) but once the reviews started coming in, they quickly changed my mind (like yours) I haven't really seen an high ratings for it but it honestly sounds boring and I mean if the characters aren't even memorable, what's the point? And it's such a short book- shouldn't that mean fast paced and at least fun? Apparently not. Shame! :(

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    1. It was a fun way to review the books! It was different from just writing in the same style as I usually do.

      I haven't really seen high ratings for The Here and Now either, which makes sense now that I've read it. I don't like reading short books very much (they tend to feel underdeveloped to me), but I agree that they should be at least fun.

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  4. I like the idea of doing some reviews this way! There are some books that would be great for dual reviews.
    I think I'm still going to give The Taking a chance, despite the mixed reviews, but I'm gonna skip The Here and Now.

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    1. I really liked doing reviews this way too. It was fun and different. :) I hope you enjoy The Taking! You may really like it. Unfortunately, skipping The Here and Now is a good choice. I don't do say this often, but other books more worth your time.

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  5. I haven't heard much about The Here & Now, but I've both good and bad things about The Taking. I'm solo disappointed to hear they both have insta love, I just can't stand it when characters have only know each other for a couple of weeks (or worse a couple of days) and already declare their love - it just doesn't feel believable for me sadly. I think I still might check out The Taking, but will probably pass on the other. Interesting review style - I like how you compared to to over all the different sections.

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    1. I was really disappointed when The Taking ended up having insta-love in it. I was excited for the couple at first, but then their feelings progressed too quickly to be fully convincing. :( You may like The Taking, though. It's not a bad book, but I think it's better to check it out from a library instead of purchasing a copy . Thank you! I liked trying out this review style.

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  6. Cool review. I thought The Taking was pretty good. I've not read the other one, but I don't think I will. Thanks for your honesty!

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