FICTION

The Takedown

384p. Freeform. Apr. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781484757420.
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RedReviewStarGr 9 Up—The near future in this novel is just close enough to feel incredibly eerie. Wang's characters are plugged in to a degree that will leave some readers exhilarated and others delightfully spooked. Kyla Cheng and her three best friends are uber-popular girls who constantly use their Docs (next-next-next-gen iPhones) for absolutely everything. Sounds familiar, but the reach of this version of social networking is far greater than anything readers will have experienced, having become not only unavoidable but also unavoidably public. Kyla becomes the victim of an elaborate game of revenge when a cyberbully circulates a fabricated sex video of Kyla and everyone's favorite young teacher. Using technology not available to the general public, the cyberbully leaves no doubt in anyone's mind that the video is real. Desperate to reclaim her reputation as a community activist, Ivy League—bound student, and future presidential candidate, Kyla, along with her loyal boyfriend, Mackenzie Rodriguez, teams up with friendly hackers to take down the video and her cyberbully. While the tech details may, at times, disrupt the flow of the plot for some teens, Wang has managed to write an exciting, prescient story that brings to mind the unlikely combination of M.T. Anderson's Feed, Cory Doctorow's Little Brother, and Sara Shepard's "Pretty Little Liars" series, with a little of Libba Bray's "Gemma Doyle" trilogy and the cult classic film Heathers thrown in the mix.
VERDICT Highly recommended for all YA collections.—Nora G. Murphy, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, CA

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