Sunday, April 15, 2012

Review: Take Me There by Carolee Dean

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Simon Pulse)
Spoilers?: Minor

Goodreads Synopsis:

Dylan has a bad-boy past and a criminal record. Trouble follows Dylan wherever he goes, and a deadly mistake soon forces him to hit the road and leave his dreams behind. He's on the run and in search of answers--answers to questions he wishes he'd never asked.


This was so good. I'm rather surprised by how much deeper, darker, and more serious it was than I thought it would be. I thought it would be like Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry series, maybe a little like Lauren Barnholt's Two-Way Street, (both of which I loved,) with a lot of romance and a bad boy that has gotten in a lot of trouble, maybe some family problems, and a happy ending. But instead it turned out to be more like the TV show Hidden Palms, a little like Veronica Mars, (both of which I also loved) as in, a teenage mystery drama on television. And, what with how much I enjoy those types of shows (go ahead and recommend some in the comments!), I'm not surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.
The book is about Dylan, who has gotten into some trouble with the law, has already been in juvie and is now on probation, when his close friend Wade drags him into some more trouble, and forces them on the run. Dylan's father, D.J., is on death row after eleven years of being in prison, and Dylan wants some answers before he's killed or Dylan is caught. Some answers that might just be darker and harder to handle than he thought. Plus, there's a girl back home, Jess, that he loves and that loves him.
So, Dylan. I didn't fall in love with Dylan, but I did understand what he was doing and his motivation behind all of it. And I loved his poems and how he can't write, it just added to his character, and definitely added some sympathy and love for him. (But with his reading, it made me wonder if he's dyslexic? Or no? I wanted him to talk to someone about it, get help with it, but I understood why he didn't want to, and was glad that he was getting better through the book.) At one point, it would have been nice for him to have caught on to what happened a little earlier, but I understand that he didn't want to. He wanted things to have a better solution, for things to work out better than they did. I did like that he was trying to stay clean, get away from everything gang-related or to do with alcohol and drugs. That was nice to see.
Some of his relationship with Jess I didn't totally buy. I got why he liked her, what with her catching his interest and wanting to help her and have her help him, with all of his dark things while she seemed a good, nice girl with some family problems. But I didn't really buy how easily it was for her to love him. She should have, yea, but it happened too fast, I think. Didn't give enough reason or time for her to come to the conclusion that she needed him.
And Wade. I'm upset about him. He had the potential to turn into the boy that you feel sorry for because of his family, that is adorable, who you just want to hug to make it all better. But instead that part was weak, and he turned into one of those dumb teenage boys who just want something good and so hook onto anything they can. How he sticks to Dylan, and wants to be a part of the gang because he thinks that's the smart way to get protection. And then with what he did with Dorie. That was just stupid, and I don't see how anything good can come of it. I'm a little disappointed by how much I came to dislike him.
Everything that happened with Dylan's father and mother and uncle and the whole murder thing... it was all messy and sad and I'm unhappy with it all. And I liked D.J. and am so unhappy with how that turned out. (I don't want to spoil it; does that spoil it?) Plus, at the end, what happens with Dylan? I feel like it's all just starting all over, Dylan is going down the same path, and it's not going to be good. But, with what Dylan said, I guess it is possible for something good, that he could get out or that it won't happen to a later generation? But maybe it will with Wade? Ahhh, I want to know! I'm dying with curiousity over here, with questions that I want answers, with speculation. Again, I want to know!
The story line and pace was done really well. Again, like with a teenager-y mystery drama show, it kept giving clues to what happened and who did it and pieces of his past without telling all of it at once, making you wonder, keeping you connected to the book as you found more out and guessed. It was really good. And throughout all of the book, you're inside Dylan's head, and I liked that, plus you got to read some poems by him that were nice, as well as snippets of D.J.'s book, which were very interesting and made me like D.J. even more.
I'm still so upset about the ending and D.J. and Dylan and everyone. I'm reeling, upset, and frustrated over this book. But that shows how good it was, right? Because I feel so much about it. Either way, it was good, really good. And I would love there to be a sequel, but I don't think there's going to be one.

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