In the small town of Claysoot, enclosed by a Wall, lives a 17-year-old boy named Gray. Today is the day of his older brother’s 18th birthday. However, in Claysoot, when a boy turns 18, he disappears. They all do. And, everybody just accepts it. So, tonight, as it turns midnight, Blaine, Gray’s brother, will be Heisted. But, Gray is not ready. He is not ready for his best friend and brother to leave him. He is not ready to see Blaine’s little daughter’s face when she sees her father will never come back. But, how can Gray stop fate from happening?
Well, there is one thing. But, anyone who has ever tried it comes back blackened and burned as a result of climbing the Wall. Gray considered climbing over it, but always thought it to be too dangerous. Instead, Gray spends his last day having as much fun as he can with his brother. But, it didn’t feel real. Every moment, he would think that just at this very time tomorrow, Blaine would not be there. He would be gone.
But, Gray had to accept it. So, as he walked up to the stage during Blaine’s Heisting ceremony, he said his final goodbye. At this point in the story, I was reminded of the classic Italian song, Time to Say Goodbye made popular by U.S. singers Bocelli and Brightman. It’s heart wrenching chorus brings alive the emotion that Gray is feeling. As Gray gave his brother a hug, Blaine did something strange. He winked. This made Gray very confused, but the time had come for Blaine to be Heisted. The ground rumbled, there was a flash and his brother was gone.
Or so he thought… If this were a movie, here I would insert in the suspenseful tri-tone bum bom bam! to intensify the mini cliff hanger. Read the book to find out what happens next! I really enjoyed it! And, I give the first book in this Taken trilogy a 9/10 for its intriguing dystopian literature.
-Maya S., 9th Grade
Taken is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.