Title: The Taming
Authors: Teresa Toten & Eric Walters
Release Date: January 24, 2012
Publisher: Doubleday Canada (Random House Canada imprint)
Katie likes to believe she's invisible. It's much safer than being seen as who she is - shy, awkward, poor. Getting up on stage to play the lead in The Taming of the Shrew should be torture, but it's not. Something completely unexpected happens and she's transformed from invisible Katie to visible Katharina. Evan's another story. He knows what it takes to get noticed, and uses every one of those skills. Okay, sure, it might be an abuse of the power the comes with money and privilege. But is his romance with Katie another version of the same thing, or is it real?
The Taming was a unique re-telling or re-imagining, or at the very least a unique 'drawing on Shakespeare as source material.' There were realistic characters and setting and plot, plus humourous dialogue at odds with a story that slowly turns dark and subtly dangerous. I couldn't help but continue reading, I needed to know how the book ended.
There are two sides to this book, Katie coming out of her shell and Evan attempting to start over in a new place. When they come together, it's not necessarily surprising, but the path they take certainly was. So much of the plot was unexpected.
Katie slowly comes out of her shell by becoming Katharina and sees a new world over the one she's lived for years, one when she's invisible, wounded, walked over and put down by her mother. I kept waiting for that moment when she would spread her wings and fly.
Evan is flawed, entitled because of his father's money but hating him all the while because he's been forced to change schools. Seeing Katie act wakes him up, but he becomes overwhelmed to turn her into the perfect girlfriend, to make her Katharina instead of Katie. He's blinded by what she becomes on stage.
To me, Evan was the handsome but wicked prince, trying to turn Katie the innocent princess into something she's not, and it's up to her to fight her way free and find herself again before she completely loses herself.
As unexpected as this book was in terms of the plot twists and and darkness, it was still enjoyable, still a great story told by two great authors. I feel the need to push this book into the hands of every teenager I can find, boy or girl, visible or invisible, lost or found.
(I received an e-galley to review through NetGalley from Random House Canada.)