takenTaken by Erin Bowman
Release Date: April 13, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARC provided by Publisher
Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Buy It: Amazon|IndieBound

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side? – Goodreads

Review:
My original review of this book when emailing a friend was “THIS BOOK IS AMAZEBALLS.” I really wish I was joking, but no. I was that eloquent. Which is shocking because this is not a “me” book at all. I am over the dystopian trend, much like the vampire trend. I had enough of it. That being said, Taken made me want to read ALL THE DYSTOPIAN! Things this book had going for it:

-male pov. (I LOVE YOU GRAY!)
-the romance aspect is almost non-existent to the point the triangle didn’t bother me nearly as much as most love triangles bother me (see: loathe them)
-Bowman’s world-building.

The mystery of the Heist, going over the wall, the whole world involved in this book had me holding it as close to me as possible without making it awkward. Taken is the first book in a trilogy by Erin Bowman. It is the story Gray, who lives in a town where no one lives to the age of 18. Like clockwork, on their 18th birthday the men of the town have what they call the Heist and they disappear, while the whole town watches. After Gray’s older brother gets ‘Heisted’ he starts to destruct things in his home, mostly because he’s a 17 year old boy who’s pissed at the world for being left alone. Can you blame him? His elder brother was Heisted, his father was of course Heisted, and his mother died. However, while destroying the house, he comes upon a letter his mother wrote to his older brother that changes his world.

His world isn’t everything he thought it was, he decides he is going to go over the wall. The wall that protects his city, Claysroot. It is known once you go over the wall you don’t come back. It’s dangerous. It burns you. But Gray goes over the wall because he can’t stop asking questions about everything he’s ever known. While the thought of the wall scares him, he has to go over, as the unknown scares him less than the known. On his way over the wall, his friend Emma goes with him. Emma ends up being part of the love triangle. She loves him for him, and loves the inquisitive side of him, and there is a really good back story with them.

Emma and Gray don’t die going over the wall. (YAY!) However things go downhill quickly and for various reasons the two get separated. Gray then meets Bree, hello other half the love triangle, which will equally pull at your heart strings. Usually I am obviously one team and this book isn’t obvious to me. Which is props to Bowman’s writing. It is extremely well written and realistic. I don’t feel that it is a triangle just to write a triangle like I often feel like they are. This one is so realistic that my heart went out to the whole triangle.

Gray’s life is forever changed by his brother being “Heisted” and then going over the wall, so it will be interesting to see how else his life changes in the rest of the trilogy.

The end of the book left me satisfied yet wanting more. I can’t wait to see what else Bowman will write.