FROM THE COVER:
High school senior Carly Biels is a shoo-in for acceptance into Princeton, her dream school. (Dad's an alum - love that legacy status!) As long as she does decently on the SAT, she's good as gold.
When Carly gets her scores, she has to face facts: she tanked. Really tanked. Now she only has one more chance to take the test, and she's going to have to buckle down and get some help. Unfortunately, her boyfriend Brad seems to have other, less academic things on his mind. Her geeky neighbor Ronald turns out to be surprisingly helpful (and sweet), but will his tutoring be enough to get her the scores she needs? Desperate, she turns to the mysterious Taker, who will take the exam for her. But that decision will have consequences that affect every aspect of her life.
All of the following can be inferred from the text above except:
(A) Carly is not good at standardized tests.
(B) Carly discovers that love and the SAT don't mix.
(C) Carly gets in way over her head.
(D) Carly finds her perfect life thrown upside down.
(E) Carly knows what she's doing.
My rating: 4 stars.
A humorous and fun read, albeit typical.
Carly is a nice, well-rounded character. Although she starts off as that character you just want to hate - the one with the all-too-perfect grades, boyfriend, parents, and lifestyle. But she eventually eases into situations nicely and less stereotypically. As for Brad, he's pretty much your typical meathead jock of a boyfriend; you don't quite hate him but you don't quite like him. He's just there. Ronald is, of course, such a sweetie. And we all want the geek to get the girl, right?
The plot isn't too straightforward/black-and-white/predictable. There are a few twists and turns. None that throw you for a loop, but they keep the story fresh. It doesn't drag; it moves at a nice, even pace. The writing itself is respectable and provides Carly with a believable voice. Also, the format is fitting. Occasionally SAT-like questions pop up, like the one from the cover's description. They're fun to get to.
The Taker is simply a good, quick read.
And really, who hasn't stressed out about the SATs or other standardized tests at one point or another?