The Take Down
If you had to describe your high school experience in one word, what would it be? Awesome? Horrible? Rad or cool? According to the heroine of Corrie Lynn Wang’s The Take Down there are only two ways to emerge from high school: Scarred or Worshipped. By the end of senior year though, she’s fairly certain there’s only one way to emerge – and it’s not worshipped.
Kyla Cheng doesn’t care if you like her or not. She’s smart, she’s beautiful, she’s with the school’s hottest guy and she’s in the “in crowd”. All that changes with just one upload. The day starts out normally – she walks down the hall with her besties in coordinating outfits, does an air kiss with their Docs (futuristic smart phones) and then slips off to meet Mac, her guy, in the boy’s bathroom. Why? Cause they aren’t public yet. Anyhow, next thing she knows the creepy countdown that’s been coming in on her Doc gives place to an epic video of her doing it with her English teacher. Only thing is, it never happened. The video gains amazing traction very quickly and before she can quite grasp what is happening, her guy has dumped her, her friends are calling her a liar, the world has labeled her a slut and her college admissions are in deep jeopardy. Naturally, she is about to go through one of those big teen experiences wherein she learns what true friendship is and why life is about more than just looking good on screen, it’s about actually being good for real.
Tackling the dangers of our current technical connectedness, feminism, how to deal with female sexuality, dating, labeling, the importance of authentic friendships and how easy it is for us to miss the obvious when we’re focused on the unimportant, The Take Down fails under the weight of its own aspirations. Too many issues are woven throughout the text, resolutions tended to raise more questions than provide answers and the difficult heroine made going on the journey less than enjoyable. I’m sorry to say it but I would definitely give this book a pass.