It would have been funny, if it just wasn’t.
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 and 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.
Potentially Sensitive Areas: Mild language, Strong sexual themes, Discussion of an inappropriate relationship between a teacher and student
Booklist (March 15, 2017 (Online))
Grades 9-12. Park Prep senior Kyla Cheng owns her school: shoo-in for valedictorian, debate team champ, and one of a group of four popular girls who always have one another’s back. She’s also finally snagged the attention of reigning hottie Mac Rodriguez. Then a (fake) video of her having sex with the attractive English teacher turns up online and suddenly Kyla’s facing trouble on every front. Wang’s debut, set in a barely future Brooklyn, hinges on privacy and betrayal, with cleverly placed clues to guide the reader as Kyla searches for her unknown tormentor. Tech geeks will revel in the unapologetic computerspeak that permeates the text, as well as the humorous (and sometimes stereotyped but always positive) depiction of techies, female and male. In Wang’s future world, one’s cell phone takes on primary importance, something most teens can certainly identify with. Snappy dialogue, a keen empathy for the pressure cooker of high school, and a wryly self-conscious narrative tone combine for a page-turner that may feel dated in 10 years but is extremely relevant right now.
Kirkus Reviews (March 1, 2017)
A fresh take on a tired high school trope.Living in a technologically advanced near-future Brooklyn, 17-year-old Kyla Cheng, better known as Kyle, has it all: top grades, popularity, three fabulous best friends, and the attention of Mackenzie Rodriguez. But in one click, she risks losing everything when a video of her and her English teacher having sex surfaces. Even though Kyle knows the video is fake, no one else seems to believe her. As the views reach astronomical heights and Kyle ascends to internet infamy, her only option is to figure out how to take down the video—with or without the help of her friends. A key player in this mystery is the pervasive nature of technology and social media, which has boomed to encompass all aspects of life in the future. Wang brilliantly balances the complexity of lives lived online, teenage relationships and insecurities, and the double standard of slut shaming. In this world, and reflecting demographic projections, most people are multiracial, a fact which is sometimes strangely emphasized. A classmate who has two white parents is mockingly styled “Aryan Audra”; Kyle herself is half Chinese, half French. A thought-provoking, entertaining read, Wang’s debut illustrates a future that is easily conceivable. (Science fiction. 14-18)
About the Author
Corrie Wang owns and operates the award winning untraditional Japanese food truck, Short Grain. She is passionate about libraries, road trips, and eating all the food, everywhere. Before moving to the south, she lived in Brooklyn where one of her last paying gigs was managing a three story nightclub on the Lower East Side. She and her husband, Shuai, currently live in Charleston, SC with their pup, Moose. The Takedown is Corrie’s debut novel.
Her website is www.corriewang.com
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