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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Too-Plausible Future
What we might call Fat-Cat Syndrome renders many Americans blind to the potential impact of the growing disparity between the haves and the have-nots in our society (and globally), but Edward Bloor has his eyes wide open. With Taken, he uses his obvious concerns to create a striking portrayal of a possible near-future in which, as our heroine Charity Meyers points out,...
Published on October 14, 2007 by Kate Coombs

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just Okay
This book received wonderful reviews when it came out, and I like the author's "Tangerine" a lot, so I thought this story would be equally insightful, with equally sympathetic characters. Not so. The characters aren't really sympathetic, the setting (the future) isn't really depicted in believable detail, and the plot is weak.
Published on September 18, 2011 by Ohioan


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Too-Plausible Future, October 14, 2007
By 
Kate Coombs (Utah, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Taken (Hardcover)
What we might call Fat-Cat Syndrome renders many Americans blind to the potential impact of the growing disparity between the haves and the have-nots in our society (and globally), but Edward Bloor has his eyes wide open. With Taken, he uses his obvious concerns to create a striking portrayal of a possible near-future in which, as our heroine Charity Meyers points out, "Kidnapping has become a major growth industry."

Charity is the narrator of Taken, and the book begins with her strapped to a stretcher in an unknown location, wondering whether her captors will have to remove a body part in order to find her personal GPS tracker. (An acquantance of hers has a badly replaced ear for that very reason.) The story alternates between Charity in the present in her captors' hands and Charity's memories of the past as they relate to her predicament (everything from kidnapping protocols to the faux Edwardian servants and Christmases favored by members of her elite community).

This book is well written as a story, but it is also a fable that might make some teens think a little more about how social stratification affects their lives. I bought another newly published book this week which turned out to be a fable about social stratification, too, though The Castle Corona by Newbery winner Sharon Creech has a medieval/fairy tale setting. (Some middle schooler looking for a great writing project for school should compare and contrast the two books!)

Look for Bloor's satirical take on other issues in Taken--the ineffectual satellite-based schooling, the wonky health-care system, the artificiality of vidqueen (and Charity's ex-stepmother) Mickie's "documentaries," and the crass cruelty of rich, purposeless young people. I also got a kick out of the sight of Charity's butler carrying a Glock as he follows her down the street, openly guarding her against kidnappers. The toy helicopter crashing Mickie's Christmas special decor is another lively and no doubt symbolic moment.

If, in the service of his message, Bloor's poor characters are a little too normal and noble, he does throw ethical dilemmas at them to liven things up. For that matter, Charity is an awfully nice kid, considering how she's been raised! (Of course, her early years were more sensible, before her father made his fortune and moved her to the soulless, gated community where they now reside.) Especially with his juxtaposition of Charity and Dessi, Bloor points out something that shouldn't need to be said, but is often forgotten: that two people on this planet have more in common as human beings than not.

Intriguing plot twists add to the adventure and suspense, making the book a compelling read even if you don't entirely agree with its message.

Unfortunately, Taken's portrayal of rich-and-poor dynamics isn't quite as futuristic as we might like to think. In this book, servants are assigned Edwardian names like Victoria and Albert, and their real names and lives are kept secret. Well, a friend of mine once told me she overheard her wealthy husband yelling at a servant, "I don't care what your name is! While you're here, your name is Maria because I SAY so!"
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, October 10, 2007
This review is from: Taken (Hardcover)
Ever since her dad invented a super-effective bronzing treatment, Charity's been living the life of the coddled rich, in a guarded estate of a select 120 homes, with servants to see to all of her family's needs. But being rich has its downsides, too -- she can rarely go beyond the walls of the estate, her father and ex-stepmother are too busy with their own lives to concern themselves with hers, and being a rich kid makes her the target of the growing kidnapping industry.

When Charity finds herself taken by mysterious men in an ambulance, she decides to follow the rules to the letter to ensure that she'll be delivered safely home as soon as the ransom is paid. But the longer she spends with the kidnappers, the more clear it becomes that their plans are more complicated than she could have imagined.

TAKEN puts readers right inside Charity's head, making every moment of the kidnapping as vivid as if they were experiencing it themselves. Charity's reactions are believable and poignant. With every frightening development and shocking twist, readers will find themselves right there with her, quickly turning the pages to learn what will happen next. Charity herself is a strong heroine, practical, scared, yet not afraid to put up a fight when she has to.

Readers may have a hard time relating to the world the novel portrays and the isolation in which Charity now lives with her family's newfound wealth. The society seems very strongly divided between the rich and poor, with little room in between. Nonetheless, it provides a pointed commentary on many of the advantages the privileged in today's world take for granted, and the struggles of those who do not have those advantages. TAKEN is sure to provoke thoughtful discussion among its readers.

For both its tense and unpredictable story and its social commentary, TAKEN is a great read. Be forewarned -- with so many twists, at least one is guaranteed to take you completely (and pleasantly) by surprise!

Reviewed by: Lynn Crow
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just Okay, September 18, 2011
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This review is from: Taken (Hardcover)
This book received wonderful reviews when it came out, and I like the author's "Tangerine" a lot, so I thought this story would be equally insightful, with equally sympathetic characters. Not so. The characters aren't really sympathetic, the setting (the future) isn't really depicted in believable detail, and the plot is weak.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Futuristic world (?) where a new business is flourishing, July 21, 2014
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This review is from: Taken (Kindle Edition)
The idea of the book is quite interesting. In a futuristic world where the gaps between "poor" and "rich" are wider than ever (doesn't seem so futuristic when you think about it) a new business is flourishing - kidnapping children. This business is so established that the rich kids are well trained on how to behave in these circumstances... The book starts with the heroine being "taken" and uses flashbacks to her past to explain the situation.
The book is interesting and easy to read. I enjoyed it, but my criticism is about the ending which is too sweet / too good to be true.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its not realistic because its FICTION....DUH, January 3, 2012
This review is from: Taken (Kindle Edition)
i think this book is amazing honestly. this is my third or fourth reading it and some of the reviwers say the plot is unrealistic...DUH its in the future lots of books are unrealistic thats why its called FICTION. Many book s are placed in the future and are really good books such as this one and really it kind of is atleast semi realistic its about kinnaping somthing tht happens everyday in the twenty-first century an even before then ok maybe the way the kiddnaping is handled isnt realistic but who wants to read a compleatly realistic FICTION book nobody thats why the plot is so fun anyway i find it to be a really good book if i didnt i wouldnt read it agian and i wouldnt take the time to write this review

i would suggest it to anybody please try it you wont regret it
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4.0 out of 5 stars fast-paced, filled with twists and turns, July 2, 2014
This review is from: Taken (Kindle Edition)
A very fun read for a wide range of ages 13 and older. Discovered Edward bloor on my daughter's summer reading list and love this author!
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2.0 out of 5 stars High school book, June 11, 2014
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This review is from: Taken (Kindle Edition)
Ok. Before I even begin if your thinking about getting this book for any kid in a grade lower then ninth... don't. They won't understand, and if they do they might become frightened.
Now. This book confused me at times and still does.. I wish it ended differently then it had.. and I just. I don't know. It was alright.
But if you were a fan of hunger games and divergent or TFIOS.. don't pick up this book. You will feel like you down graded... ALOT.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Taken, August 19, 2014
By 
Summer Fulghum (Gastonia, NC, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Taken (Kindle Edition)
Wonderful book, keeps you on the edge of your stretcher at all times! Loved the ending very 'Happily Ever After' esk
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4.0 out of 5 stars good book overall. worth the read yet slow at first., August 16, 2014
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This review is from: Taken (Kindle Edition)
Slow at first but midway through very fun and thrilling! Great twist at the end and a nice wrap up.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This book could have been better, December 15, 2010
By 
Melissa Grant (Clearwater, Fl USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Taken (Kindle Edition)
I read this book as my 11 y/o had to read it for school and I co-read so I can help answer any questions. I read a lot of YA fiction so it is not a new genre for me. I do understand this book is written more for the middle school age.

In my opinion, there are many things wrong with this book. The main problem is that there is no world building in this book. Granted it was only set 25 years into the future but I thought this must be second in a series when I began reading it. I felt there was little to no description of the situation, items, background, etc. I had a lot of questions: what is a vidscreen? why did it appear that there was no longer a middle class? what caused the fear of others? etc. The author appeared to think that the reader would just accept the lack of description and move on. As and adult reading this book, I was confused. My child was even more confused. I found this story line weak. I thought the characters were not fleshed out enough so I did not care about them. The only reason I finished the book was to be able to assist my son with any quations and he had a lot of them!

Frankly, I am very shocked this is a Sunshine State Book for Florida grades 6-8.
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Taken
Taken by Edward Bloor
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