Review: The Takedown by Corrie Wang

This book is about one of my likelier fears. In the new age of technology basically anything can happen and that it terrifying.

Kyla Cheng has it all and she doesn’t expect you to like her. She doesn’t need you to. She’s going to be valedictorian, is the best in the debate team, and has a perfect not-boyfriend. She has three best friends and is almost finished with high school without being scarred for life. That is, until a sexually explicit video of Kyla with a teacher is leaked online. Except it isn’t Kyla in the video. With only a week left until college applications are due, Kyla must figure out who is trying to sabotage her. And more importantly, why?

First off, Kyla Cheng was tolerable. To some people she may seem like the worst person in the entire world but she was okay. I wouldn’t kill to be her best friend but she wasn’t that bad. She did what she had to and just because she fell under the title of popular didn’t mean she was an awful human being. Most of the time. What she got was unfair and mean and there wasn’t a good enough reason for it.

I couldn’t figure out if this book was set in the future or an alternate universe. Every fact supported the future theory except one thing. It is constantly stated in the book that no mere citizen has the technology to edit a face onto a video when it’s clear that anyone could in our society. Video editing software is expensive and somewhat tedious to use but it can be done. If I had the time and money, I could probably do it under a month. This book makes it seem that CGI editing is basically impossible unless your in the government when that is definitely not the case (just take a look at Youtube videos). It’s a major nagging plot hole that I couldn’t shrug off.

I’m surprised that no of the adults did anything about the problem. I’m pretty sure sexually explicit videos of minors, even if they’re fake, is illegal. If this is supposed to take place in the future, wouldn’t the laws have become even more strict considering how technology based society is? Why did no one seem concerned that someone basically ruined this girls future and it wasn’t even real. 

The plot overall was fast paced and engaging, which I liked. It was very well written. The dialogue with all the weird saying was a bit difficult to get used to, but once you did it wasn’t that bad. The characters were pretty well fleshed out and I liked how they interacted with each other. Overall, the book was a good read.

*SPOILER WARNING*
Why wasn’t anything done about the guy even before it happened to Kyla? Did no one care? The general apathy in this book astounded me. What he was doing wasn’t legal yet no one stopped him. That’s a major problem.

Also, I’m surprised that someone would do something so big just because she was ditched in middle school. Really? That’s really immature. Not enough of a reason to ruin someone’s life I think. I’m not sure what it was supposed to accomplish either.

Final Thoughts: Read for an unrealistic yet engaging plot.

3/5

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