Cover Image: The Takedown

The Takedown

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Member Reviews

I really dislike not finishing books, especially when I put in almost 50% into it, but this did not grab me.
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Kyla Cheng is a high school senior with everything going for her: potential valedictorian, group of besties, a cute boy, lots of extracurriculars. But then someone posts a sex video of her and her English teacher, and her world starts falling apart. The biggest problem is that the video is a fake but no one believes her. Kyla starts trying to figure who did this, why, and how, all while dealing with relationships with friends and family and college applications.

This book had its ups and downs. I DID NOT like Kyla and her “Mean Girls”-esque clique for awhile. As I got to know her and her friends more through the book, I disliked (most of) them less, but I was worried about having an unlikable protagonist for awhile. This book takes place in a fictional near-future when technology and social media are even more part of people’s lives than they are now. It definitely made me think about how much those things affect and take over my life. It also provoked thought about other things like what true friendship is. The suspense of trying to figure out who the hater is was good, but the book felt too long. Overall, it averages out to fine.

Thanks to NetGalley for the free ebook.
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When a book’s first page is the main character telling readers she’s not a likable person, you know exactly what you’re in for if you keep reading. That’s exactly the case in The Takedown, in which Kyla Cheng makes no bones about who she is and some of the rotten things she’s done, like dumping her best friend of many years to get in with the popular girls (only one of whom eventually proves herself to be a true friend by the end–have fun discovering which one). She calls someone a slut pretty constantly, which is something I abhor because sex-shaming is garbage.

And yet I still love Kyla Cheng’s character. She’s a great example of the unlikable female character written well.

There’s a lot to The Takedown–so much that I honestly can’t describe it all without things getting lengthy with exposition–but its strongest point by far is how casually men inflict violence on women online. For women, a nude photo getting out (or in Kyla’s case, a fake video being made of you and your teacher having sex) can be life-altering, especially once it hits the Internet and becomes attached to your name. It’ll make your job hunt that much harder, to say the least, and it’s a gross invasion of your privacy.

But the guy who threatened your life on Twitter or even on Goodreads? Who put your nudes on the Internet whether he’s the guy you sent them to or just someone the pics got forwarded to?

To him, it might not mean anything at all. You’re just another gal on the long list of people he’s done this to and that’s downright infuriating.

For all the praises I sing of this book, it’s took me over a month to read despite not being that lengthy a novel. Its uneven pacing really did a number on me, leading me to drift away to other books or other activities altogether. Then there’s Rory, a character introduced late in the novel as a programmer who decides he’s gonna help Kyla discover who made that video of her. He’s a straight-up Deus ex Machina character, a plot convenience given human form. He exists because without him, there was no moving forward in the book.

The book’s just-far-enough-in-the-future setting makes its relevant-right-now points especially clear, but none of it can save The Takedown from being fairly forgettable. Notable in its diverse cast of characters and vision of New York City where it’s rare to find kids who aren’t biracial, but forgettable nonetheless.
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Opening line:
"I'll warn you in advance."

An intriguing story of Mean Girls and Pretty Little Liars set a bit in the future of social media and all the good--and really, really bad--that comes with it. 

Kyla is at the top of the high school student heap and loving her spot. Not everyone loves her and someone is out to make sure her life is turned upside down with a sex video of her and her teacher. A FAKE video. 
The story follows Kyla's fall, how she figures out who made and posted the video and what being a good friend means. 
Throw in a hot guy and creative texting and swearing, and this book had me reading through the day and into the night. 
I can't say I connected with any of the characters but this story was more about the plot and the moral(s) of the story.  

*swearing, talk about sex and body parts, mean girls, bullying, sex video
Thanks to netgalley for the read!
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It was slow reading for me as I'm not up on all the internet slang, but it was entertaining. I have Facebook, Myspace, etc... accounts as I value my privacy too much to want to post anything. But apparently the younger generations just toss it all out there and let the chips fall where they may. This story about the smart, popular kids may well be true to life according to other YA fiction I've read. I have no idea who the popular kids were in my schools growing up and really didn't care. But some kids really set a store by them and want to be them, though heaven only knows why!  Anyway, Kyla and her group aren't very admirable. Not even likable. But they are smart and it's very entertaining when a video appears online of Kyla getting it on with a teacher, only it's NOT her and someone is out to destroy her life with it.  It's up to Kyla to figure out who and fix things. Like I said entertaining story! It's a fun Ya story that has a lesson in it. Good warning that few will heed, sadly. But maybe that won't matter in 50 years.
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This book takes tropes that we're all used to (sex tape, student/teacher relationship, school bullying) and presents them in a whole new light. Will definitely make you think about the future of technology and how information is used online.
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Thank you for the chance to review this book, however, unfortunately, I was unable to read and review this title before it was archived.
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➜Immediately engaging. 
➜ Impressive weaving with all the different players and problems
➜ Did see one thing coming from like page 22, but I'm pretty sure that was intentional...
➜Hooked me and I didn't want to put it down. 
➜ Adorable and unique romance. 
➜ Great cast of characters. 
➜ Didn't get annoyed with her narration or attitude at all. In fact, I'm glad I read this book from the popular girl's POV. I haven't ended up like her mom but I know plenty of adults who fit the bill and think they could benefit from reading more YA like this. 
➜ Not sure how I feel about the ending.
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Such an interesting concept. Totally something I'd recommend to my students.
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This book sounded really interesting to me! After reading it I think it was meant for a bit of a younger audience. (I'm 25) But think some people would really enjoy it.
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Kyla and her friends may remind you of many of the people you knew in high school, maybe you were one of them. In the beginning, author Corrie Wang has created an uber-clique, so tight and polished, they seem professional compared to the typical high school friends. This makes it easy to doubt Kyla's denial, just as her friends do when confronted with a video showing she has had a tryst with their teacher. 

The skillful portrayal of the use of social media to take revenge while also predicting the advances in technology parallels the way science fiction often serves as a precursor for future developments. What seems to be a simple tale of taking down the leader of the pack evolves to show the convoluted paths that high school relationships take and the toll they take on the people involved. 

I received this as an ARC, but the opinions are my own.
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Thank you for approving us for this galley. Unfortunately, we somehow missed downloading this title before it was archived. We apologize for this and hope to work with your group on another title soon.
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This book explored how technology today has completely taken over our lives and can have considerable effects on your life. I really enjoyed the lessons that were portrayed in this book. While I didn't love the main character and felt like she was a little too whiny and self-absorbed I realized that she is a product of her environment and a cautionary tale of technology gone wrong.
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This book gave me THE CIRCLE/BLACK MIRROR vibes, which made for a very fast-paced and thrilling read!
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I enjoyed the story that the author told, but not the way it was told. I think about 100 pages could’ve been removed from this, about 1/3 of the futuristic slang, and a different name for the name character and her brother. In general, just more editing was needed. I was considering giving up around 15%, but decided to power through a little more and when I did the story pulled me in and I did want to know what exactly was going on. The mystery is really all that kept me going. I also think the author’s ideas of the near-future are scarily realistic!
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I really liked the premises of the book how someone who could go from all A's and really focusing on school can have their life turned upside down. Kyla is a good student so when a video emerges with her doing something inappropriate with her teacher she will stop at nothing to find out who is behind the video. Who could possibly have it out for her in that way? 
With the help of a couple of friends and a stranger they set out to get the answers but can Kyla deal with the truth when it is revealed. 
Kyla will have to learn who are friends are and also learn how to be a true friend. 
The video though isn't the only thing that is out there, what about her college applications? That is a big deal to Kyla and she knows she only has a little bit of time to figure it out all. 
As far as characters go I felt that they were okay basically how you would see teenagers acting. I felt that the parents of Kyla could have been more opening to trying to help her out or even ask her how school was going. It was like they cared but not truly cared so to speak. I guess being a parent myself I would be all into the school and the cops trying to help my kids. 
Now what bothered me a bit was the whole set in the future thing. I thought it was pretty cool how we get to see how our world could be and how no one has true privacy. I thought just maybe the author could have gave us descriptions on what certain technology meant before we started reading. For example a Doc....what is that? A phone? Or what about EarRinger? Is that a headset or something headphones? 
Another that bothered me was the whole language of saying bad words. I am a person that if you are going to say it, say it don't leave out a letter because we all know what you meant. Though I could also see that maybe the author was trying to keep it clean as well.
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I enjoyed this book - it was pacey, sharp and suspenseful. It had me on the edge of my seat, and even now after finishing it a few days ago, I'm still thinking about it! Definitely a very topical book - in the age of social media, the internet and the giant swarm of internet trolls, this book is quite relevant.
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After trying to get into the book a few times and not having much success, I'm going to pass on a review. Sorry.
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A well-written and enjoyable book, I am glad I requested this title and will be more than happy to pass the title along to my fellow library purchasers.
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I think I may try this again one day, but as it stands, I was just SO ANNOYED by the little bit that I read. Kyla is part of this foursome that I guess could be considered popular – basically they’re the villains in some other YA books out there. Beautiful, talented, rich, all of it. Which is fine. But every morning they do “The Walk,” which is what it sounds like. They meet up at school and walk down the main corridor just so everyone can stare at them. Which was annoying AF. It was made even worse when the main character was something like 3 minutes late and her friend lost her mind.

Also, this is set in a kind of futuristic world and with that came a whole host of nonsense lingo. Curse words that weren’t curse words and other new words that weren’t necessary at all. I could barely understand what the characters were saying, which is something I hate. There’s something to be said about immediately being dropped into a world and trying to orient yourself, but in this case, since it seemed on the surface to be our world, I needed a little help getting comfortable.
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