As I mentioned in my April wrap up, I ended up reading this book a bit earlier than anticipated because my hold for it at the library was ready.
The Takedown follows a very unfortunate case of Kyla Cheng who experiences some pretty bad cyberbullying during her senior year in high school. There is a video that is leaked of her having sex with her English teacher. The catch? The girl in the video actually wasn’t her. Using a very sophisticated technology, someone had it out for Kyla and manipulated the video to destroy her. It goes further where college applications are submitted on her behalf and incident after incident, Kyla becomes known as a slut and her life is starting to fall apart.
This was Corrie Wang’s debut novel and I’ve got to say, she hit the ball out of the park. She had short chapters (which I love in a book!) and of course, each chapter ended on a cliff hanger. The concept of the story is very relatable when you look at how much people post on social media. How many times have you gone on social media and just assumed that the information you’re seeing is true? This is why no one even second guessed that the girl in the video couldn’t possibly be Kyla (or her English teacher for the matter). The book provides a sobering experience of the dark side of the Internet and how dangerous and life-altering the consequences of what’s on there are.
There was a passage in the book that really summed up the consequences of over sharing on social media and how innocent posts could later find their way to cause havoc in your life:
With this many views, the video would never be pushed down in my profile. My children would see this. Their children would see it … If I didn’t take down the video, it would forever by the first thing anyone knew about me. If I didn’t take down the video, I wouldn’t be able to escape it for the rest of my life. – Kyla Cheng from The Takedown
I often think of future generations that will more than likely have to live with the consequences of what we post. I mean, how many selfies, pictures, or videos are posted online with scantily-clad girls or people (boys or girls) doing questionable things with no regard of how this may bite them (or their future children) in the butt later on?
I have to say that the content of the book was very relevant to what’s happening today but I also felt that the book dragged on a bit near the end as Kyla gets closer to figuring out how this fake video made it on the Internet on who posted it. Some may argue that it was Wang’s efforts to cause you to sit at the edge of your seat, but I think that some of those twists and turns could have been left out.
Although this is a fictional story, I’m pretty certain situations like this happen more frequently and as technology continues to advance and make things so easy to share out life’s moments, this book will at least make you think twice before posting anything and will probably make you wonder how/if your content can be manipulated in a way that could have long-term effects on your life. This book gave me a real “13 Reasons Why” kind of vibe and I’ll be putting up a post on that very soon!
With the instantaneous nature of social media, we often don’t give our posts a second thought – perhaps we should …