The Taker by J.M. Steele
I’m not going to lie. I can be quite superficial when it comes to choosing books; judge me all you want.
I have and do choose books by their covers. Sometimes.
The Taker was one of them. Book-shopping in the midst of my A-Level finals, the cover was the hook that drew me to it. Kudos to whoever who designed it, it’s eye-catching and intriguing for sure. (Or to me, at least.) All things exam-related were on my mind and seeing it on a book cover was enough to sell it for me.
In short, this book is about Carly Biels, a high school senior who is aiming to get into the prestigious Princeton. However when she gets her SAT scores back, they aren’t as good as she hoped for them to be. As the dates of the retake test loom nearer, her comeback study plan isn’t going as well as she had hoped. Stuck between her distracting boyfriend, Brad and the geeky neighbor-slash-tutor Ronald, she turns to the Taker out of desperation. Who is this mysterious Taker? He/She will take the exam for her and guarantees excellent results; in exchange for a favor. Will she take the offer? Or will she push through on her own? Will she succeed or fall back to square one?
Well. Here’s my thoughts on this book.
Not to be overly mean or critical but I found Carly quite….shallow. This mostly showed in her interaction with Ronald Gross (unfortunate surname, poor boy). I do understand the slight awkwardness or nervousness that one might feel towards someone whom they don’t have the best impression of, but even so, some of her actions was bordering on bimbo-mean. One of which was her worry of being seen with Ronald who was one of the nerds in school. Also, she exploits Ronald’s sincere generosity to an extent in the beginning of the story. Guys who have been through a similar situation will scream murder and I can definitely understand why. Hence, that part of Carly was a turn off for me. That being said, I did feel that there was some sort of development of her character as the story went along. Wasn’t much, but it was still something.
During the progression of the story, different things took place; from your standard teen party to a poetry recital. While most were interesting and fitting to the story, there was one or two that didn’t seem to fit the flow. Perhaps it’s just me, but I found them quite odd.
Overall, The Taker was an okay book for me. It didn’t get my heart jittering or pumping, but it didn’t make me want to put it down and stop reading all together. Not the best book I’ve read, but not the worst either.
– – Ronald’s cool and endearing character
– – Interesting plot ( a book with real-life tips on how to take the SAT or any other exam for that matter, hey hey!)
– – An easy read
– – Slightly cliché ending
– – Lack of development of other characters