Taken aback by how mediocre this book is

There’s something about mystery and suspense novels that capture my attention and make me want to read more. Not knowing who is responsible for an unlawful act makes me want to finish it and find out.

Norah McClintock’s Taken is just the kind of book I love to open and lose all my focus to—that is, after getting past the tedious beginning. Although the story starts off slow, and honestly uninteresting, the more I proceeded, the better it got. Truthfully, I wanted to stop reading after the first couple of pages. A few chapters later, I came to realize that it wasn’t so bad, I’m just impatient and I like to get straight to the point. I’d tell someone to avoid reading this book if they’re the same way. For anyone who does end up starting Taken, they definitely don’t want to miss the unexpected plot twist at the end.

Anyone looking to read this chilling story, be warned. It’s pretty hard talking about the book without spoiling some plot twists.

The book revolves around Stephanie Rawls, a young girl who fits the description of a serial killer in Ontario; teenage, brunette girl who also walks home from school. When Stephanie goes missing, it’s easy to assume this was the act of the person who kidnapped the other two girls who were later found dead a few days after their abduction. This part captivated me the most. I expected the person who kidnapped the other girls to be the culprit.

This was not the case.

Before the book gets into Stephanie being ‘taken,’ the readers are shown her family life and how miserable she believes it is. Because of this, her mother sends her to live with her grandfather for a couple months. While her mom was getting close to another man, Stephanie was learning basic survival skills; these strengths come in handy later on in the story.

Half of the story describes the way Stephanie tries to escape from the shack in the woods where her kidnapper ties her up. From eating insects to trying to survive with a sprained ankle, Stephanie ventures the hidden forest for safety. Stephanie is known for constantly running away, so when she actually goes missing, she fears no one will take her seriously. This turns into reality when she finally is able to find safety.

I enjoy how I was able to feel what she felt throughout the book. I know I wouldn’t last a day in her shoes; if it weren’t for the skills her grandfather taught her, she wouldn’t either. I’ll admit, the book wasn’t as creepy as I hoped it would be. I expected gruesome details, but the book did not deliver until the last two chapters. Most of the story is Stephanie trying to survive, and although it is interesting to find out what she will do next, it didn’t quite capture my attention. I would prefer knowing more about what happened to the other girls, what the kidnapper does when they realize Stephanie is gone, just general information. The lack of details disappointed me.

The way Stephanie finds out who abducted her sent shivers down my spine. This book teaches people not to trust just anyone and to always be aware of their surroundings. Overall, I give it three out of five stars, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good thriller. Although her writing style wasn’t the best—it made me feel like I was reading a 15-year-old’s text messages at times—the plot was something I enjoyed along with the unpredictable ending.