Kyla Cheng doesn't expect you to like her. For the record, she doesn't need you to. On track to be valedictorian, she's president of her community club, a debate team champ, plus the yummy Mackenzie Rodriguez has firmly attached himself to her hip. She and her three high-powered best friends don't just own their senior year at their exclusive Park Slope, Brooklyn high school, they practically define the hated species Popular. Kyla's even managed to make it through high school completely unscathed. Until someone takes issue with this arrangement. A week before college applications are due, a video of Kyla "doing it" with her crush-worthy English teacher is uploaded to her school's website. It instantly goes viral, but here's the thing: it's not Kyla in the video. With time running out, Kyla delves into a world of hackers, haters and creepy stalkers in an attempt to do the impossible-take something off the internet-all while dealing with the fallout from her own karmic footprint. Set in near-future Brooklyn, where privacy is a bygone luxury and every perfect profile masks damning secrets, The Takedown is a stylish, propulsive, and provocative whodunit, asking who would you rely on if your tech turned against you?
What I liked: This is a futuristic PRETTY LITTLE LIARS meets intrigue. Kyla isn't the most likable character. She admits that right at the beginning. She only goes for things that will help her and if that means parting with a life-time friend to join a more popular group, she'll do it. What makes this novel stand out is how fast her fall happens when a incriminating video of her having sex with her one teacher pops up. It shows up everywhere. AnyLiesUnmade is her hater. Kyla is dropped from her clubs and even turned away from babysitting jobs. Her tight group of friends even question her innocence.
This novel opens up so many questions: sure we all love our social media and technology devices but how far will this same technology go with our privacy? Kyla's hacker was able to not only destroy a teacher's career, but is able to hack into her college apps and other things. How much does the first amendment protect when it comes to your privacy?
I really liked the interactions Kyla has with her friends(more like freenemies), the cute guy Mac, and even her family. There's a Nancy Drew element involved when Kyla and her friends try to see who made the video and why.
Not everyone is what they seem. I had a guess on who the main hater was but was surprised on the true character of someone close to Kyla. There also is insight on the whole 'slut-shaming' society. When Kyla looks at the comments of one of her best friend's favorite websites, 'Bra and Panties', it's not the guy comments that are alarming but rather girls that call anyone who posts revealing posts, 'sluts'.
A big reveal from Kyla's mom is you reap what you sow.
Intriguing look into a futuristic world where anyone's privacy can be comprised with one click. Fans of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS are sure to enjoy this not too futuristic tale that shows the consequences of wanting to have everything out there on social media.