I didn’t take the SAT when I was in high school. I actually took the ACT because I thought it would be easier, and in some ways it was, because it also had a science section, a reading section, and an English section, so I could focus less on math. I scored a 26, which seemed low at the time, but in retrospect that was the 85th percentile and I came from a poor family and I didn’t study at all before the exam. Anyhow, I remembered the stress I felt taking this test, because it kind of felt like it determined which college(s) I applied to. And I knew kids, the AP kids, mostly, who were consumed with getting a high score on the SAT.
So with that said, I thought The Taker by J.M. Steel was a really unique idea. Well. Maybe not super original, but a thought-provoking concept nevertheless. Carly’s college future depends on her SAT scores. Her dad expects her to go to his alma mater. So when her scores come back way, way, way lower than she anticipated, she is totally freaked out. And then she gets a mysterious text from The Taker, who says he will take her SATs again in return for a whatever he wants from her. Although she is scared, she agrees because she needs her scores to be higher. During the few weeks leading up to her retake of the test, Carly’s friend Jen, who works for the school paper, is preparing a big expose on “The Taker,” the mythical person who will take your SAT exam for a price. Cue Carly’s uber-paranoia.
Short summary. Time for review. Honestly, this book just made me irritated. And mad. And it pissed me off. First of all, it’s horribly cliche. Smart, pretty girl with a jock boyfriend. Awesome friends. Dorky kid next door. Pretty girl needs tutoring, dorky kid does it, pretty girl falls for dorky kid. Blah blah blah. And even worse, everything about the cliche was true. For instance, Jock Boyfriend was a man whore who was cheating on Pretty Smart Girl, and when Pretty Girl found out, she immediately fell into the arms of Dorky Kid. Seriously. Come up with something original! And here is the rest of my complain-y, disappoinred review.