Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. For this week, we spoke with Jonathan Sanchez, the owner of Blue Bicycle Books in Charleston, S.C.
Kyla Cheng tells you in the very first sentence that you aren't going to like her — but that's what hooked Jonathan Sanchez.
Kyla is the central character in Corrie Wang's young adult novel, "The Takedown." She's got it all: the grades, the boyfriend, the close clique. She's popular at high school, with a capital "P."
"The Takedown" is set in a (scarily) plausible near future, where tech rules all. Privacy is a thing of the past. (It doesn't seem so futuristic, Sanchez said, when you think of how obsessed with with our phones we already are.)
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Enter the scandal: Someone posts a fake sex tape of Kyla. It's not her in the video, but no one believes her. Desperate to clear her reputation, she starts to dig into the darkest corners of the ultra-connected world to try and erase the video. Thus the title, "The Takedown."
"If you're a fan of 'Mean Girls' or 'Clueless,'" Sanchez said, "it's very much like that."
"What I like best about it is that it's a social novel," he said. It's not fantasy. It's not dystopian. Those types of books seem to be flooding shelves today. Instead, "it's a relatively realistic book, it just happens to be set five, ten years down the road."
"The Takedown" will be published on April 11.