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Taken Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 9, 2007

3.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, October 9, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Bloor (Tangerine) shows top form with a gripping novel, set 30 years in the future, that works as both a thriller and a commentary on the dangerously growing gap between America's rich and poor. Thirteen-year-old Charity Meyers lives with her father, a dermatologist whose wealth has survived the World Credit Crash, and her stepmother, a noxious vidscreen personality. Despite all the precautions within the Meyers' high-security housing development, Charity is kidnapped on New Year's Day 2036—the taken of the title, also a chess allusion to a didn't-see-it-coming plot twist. Because child-snatching is a major growth industry in South Florida, Charity has been trained to handle the stress and she knows what should happen. Within 24 hours, her parents will empty their home vault of its currency, and she will be freed. Pacing the narrative so readers can feel the clock ticking, the author fills in Charity's back story—the ironic death of her mother to skin cancer, her days at satschool, where education comes beamed in from an elite Manhattan academy, her home run by Albert and Victoria, the butler and maid whose very names are regulated by Royal Domestic Services. Bloor, whose gimlet-eyed view of modern society has occasionally pushed his narratives to extremes, reigns in the satire to concoct a plausible-enough scenario of the not-too-distant future, adding just the right measure of consciousness-raising in the dialogue between Charity and a teenage abductor. Deftly constructed, this is as riveting as it is thought-provoking. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Bloor sets his latest novel in Florida, 2035, in a world sharply divided by wealth and race. Kidnapping has become a "major growth industry," and everyone knows the rules: pay up within 24 hours, and the child is returned. Thirteen-year-old Charity's rich family lives in the Highlands, a tightly secured gated community; they have a butler who doubles as a heavily armed security guard. Even so, Charity is "taken." But for some reason, the payoff goes tragically wrong, and Charity is forced to step outside the rule book and fight for her life. Although many of the secondary characters are flat, Charity is an appealing observer who looks beyond class and begins to think for herself. Her calm recounting of the kidnapping scenario increases the tension, while interspersed flashbacks provide believable details of her disturbing world. This page-turner will grab readers at the outset, and its unexpected twist at the close will send them back through events to look for embedded clues. Pair this with Caroline Cooney's Code Orange (2005). Rutan, Lynn
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (October 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375836365
  • ASIN: B002LITSIE
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,542,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kate Coombs VINE VOICE on October 14, 2007
Format: 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.
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Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is terrible!
The story is much to complicated and it explains nothing at all about the events in the plot! I was expecting from the summary an interesting book for some summer reading. But this book was terrible! The ending doesn't end anything! it doesn't give any answers! All in all I would strong advise for you not to read this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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By Ohioan on September 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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