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Taken by Edward Bloor


by Edward Bloor

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"Once you've been taken, you usually have twenty-four hours left to live. By my reckoning that meant I had about twelve hours remaining."

An excellent opening which, unfortunately, in retrospect doesn't make much sense. Charity wakes on a stretcher in a van and immediately knows that she has been taken as part of the flourishing kidnapping industry. The problem with the opening sentence is that it is completely undermined by the premise that the kidnapping industry of this imagined near future only works because the victims are returned in 85% of the cases - meaning that most of the taken have far more than twenty-four hours to live. Opening line aside, Bloor effectively reveals what his future society looks like through Charity's memories of the previous few days before her kidnapping which she forces herself to relive in order to keep herself calm. As Charity begins to unravel who has taken her and why she soon comes to understand that this is no ordinary kidnapping. Taken was much more slowly paced than I expected based on the premise, but in some ways the slow reveal of Charity's world works as a metaphor for how junior high school students are often just beginning to wake up and observe the wider world around them. The action does pick up partway through and once things started happening, I didn't want to put it down, but the slow beginning makes this best for readers with patience. ( )
  JenJ. | Mar 31, 2013 |
Taken is written by Edward Bloor and this book is about the young Charity Meyers who was taken from her home. Being taken occurs often where she lives because she lives in the rich part of town. She knows that she has to stay calm if she wants to return home after her father pays the ransom, but she realizes that this kidnapping is a normal kidnapping. Everything in this kidnapping is going wrong, and she soon discovers that her kidnapper is her butler who she had trusted. Then finally her family is ready to pay the ransom, and she is forced to watch the drop of the money. This ends up badly because her father’s helicopter crashes, and Charity is in shock. Then a few hours later she is taken to a house and sat down in front of her father, and he tells her that the crash was not real and he actually took her. Then he told her why and that he wanted to start a new life with her. So in the end Charity and her father fled and started a new life.
The book Taken has a very interesting cover. It is a picture of a chess board and it is very dark and creepy with shadows. This cover is appealing to me because it draws you in from the first time you look at it.
I would recommend this book to someone who wants a suspenseful book that has lots of twists and turns, and also to someone who like more of a futuristic type of book. ( )
  lchs.mrso | May 22, 2012 |
The year is 2035 and kidnapping children is prevalent in society. In fact, kidnapping is so frequent that all wealthy students are trained in kidnapping survival. (Think back to your years as a student and practicing for fire drills, bomb threats, lock downs, etc.)

Charity Meyers lives in Florida in a community with other wealthy families. Surveillance is tight and the neighborhood is guarded. She lives with her butler, Albert; maid, Victoria; step mom, Mickie; and father. Mickie is a whack-job and professional reality star gem. She films every aspect of her life, so obviously, Charity can't stand her. Her father is a self-absorbed drunk who'd rather be playing golf with his buddies. This sorta leaves Charity close with only Victoria and Albert.

But here's the clincher. Charity doesn't really know anything about Albert and Victoria because it's against the rules. You see, if you're "working class" there are very few options that you have to make something of yourself. You can fight in the military, or you can join RDS. RDS is the organization that supplies help to the wealthy families. If you work for RDS you give up your identity completely for the duration of employment. You are forbidden to talk about your personal life prior to joining the family, and you really aren't even suppose to form bonds with the family you're taking care of. RDS is so strict that they give you new names. Victoria and Albert are two of those fictional names.

It's Christmas time and Charity is kidnapped. Taken is her story in this not so distant future. For twenty-four hours we are with Charity and her kidnappers as Victoria and Albert attempt to locate the father and Mickie decides to film it.

Uh, can I just say that Taken is one of the most amazing books I've ever read. Immediately from the get-go we are in the back van with Charity and her kidnappers. She is running through her head everything that her schooling has taught her: how to act, how to react, when to look emotional, and when to remain calm. While we feel for the predicament that Charity is in, we also grow to understand (and dare I say empathize??) with the kidnappers. Society is separated rather drastically: you're either wealthy or poor. There's no in between. If you are wealthy you receive an education, you have medical care, you experience not just the bare necessities, but the luxuries of life. If you are poor, you have to find alternative ways to gain education, life is fragile and oftentimes medical attention comes too late. There are many reasons for the kidnappers to grow angry toward wealthy.

I love the themes that Bloor brings up in the novel. He also does an amazing job shifting between present to flashbacks as Charity passes the time in captivity. ( )
1 vote readingthruthenight | Mar 25, 2011 |
I think this is a really cool and intriguing book.
Taken is set in the future, 2035. In the future, kidnapping is such a lucrative kind of business, so much so, that the rich have currency vaults. Their children have trackers inserted somewhere on them like in the ear lobe, the help consists of people who will be willing to die for you, and they live in gated communities - and rarely leave!

Charity Meyers goes to school via satellite, buys her clothes online, and only has one friend. Taken refers to what happens when someone is kidnapped. Such as Charity. The rule is the families have 24 hours to follow the kidnappers demands and the book opens with only about 12 hours left. ( )
1 vote monkeyface123 | Feb 1, 2011 |
Edward Bloor’s Taken is an exhilarating read with its unique plot twist and seemingly-realistic future.

The book’s protagonist, Charity Meyers, who has been “taken”, or kidnapped, which is a huge industry in the future of what is America. During the process of Charity’s kidnapping, we are taken back to the events that led to the kidnapping. As more and more is revealed about the past, the more confused we, and Charity, become, and more guesswork needs to be employed in order to understand the story and make everything fit into the puzzle.

I greatly appreciate Bloor’s style of writing as it is one where the story starts out strong and keeps one hooked, and then it slowly reveals more and more to keep us guessing, and finally, we have incredible twists near the end that just makes us want to finish the book as quickly as possible. Also, Bloor is one who is capable of picturing the environment where the story takes place clearly as he was able to describe the scene in the book with great attention and detail.

The setting is also quite interesting as it is one which is quite hard to picture as we almost have to use exclusively our imaginations and we can make little connections to a high-security residence where it is constantly patrolled by guards all armed as most of us probably have never seen any place that resembles that in our lives!

I would recommend this book to anyone in middle or high school as it is a fantastic read that, unlike some books out there, actually requires a bit of brainpower to fully comprehend and it’s a book that lingers in your mind and makes you think a lot about it. ( )
1 vote jiangyi | Nov 8, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375836365, Hardcover)

BY 2035 THE RICH have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer, and kidnapping has become a major growth industry in the United States. The children of privilege live in secure, gated communities and are escorted to and from school by armed guards.

But the security around Charity Meyers has broken down. On New Year's morning, she wakes and finds herself alone, strapped to a stretcher, in an ambulance that's not moving. She is amazingly calm - kids in her neighborhood have been well trained in kidnapping protocol. If this were a normal kidnapping, Charity would be fine. But as the hours of her imprisonment tick by, Charity realizes there is nothing normal about what's going on here. No training could prepare her for what her kidnappers really want . . . and worse, for who they turn out to be.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:09 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In 2036 kidnapping rich children has become an industry, but when thirteen-year-old Charity Meyers is taken and held for ransom, she soon discovers that this particular kidnapping is not what it seems.

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