Sometimes it’s hard not to judge a book by it’s cover, that’s the case for me when it came to Eric Walters and Teresa Toten’s “The Taming“. The cover was intriguing to me instantly, as was the title of the book. After reading the description on the back, I knew I wanted to dedicate a couple hours it. So on an empty Friday night in December, I sat down on my couch with a bowl of popcorn, Christmas music playing in the background and cracked open “The Taming”. A couple of hours later, I looked at the clock as it read 12:34am and realized I’d spent the entire night wrapped up in a 21 century rendition of The Taming of the Shrew, it was that good!
We’re first introduced to a shy and timid girl by the name of Katie. Moved from town to town based on the men her Mother’s dating, Katie’s found it difficult to make friends. However, in her new school, she makes friends with two outcasts and the three of them are learning the dynamics of friendship together. When the three of them enroll in a drama class, Katie is forced to try out for the lead roll of The Taming of the Shrew. She then realizes that acting enables her to be a completely different person, to shed her weak, meager persona and become Katherina, a powerful force to be reckoned with.
Another new student rolls into town by the name of Evan. Evan, who’s been raised in private schools is thrown into a different world when he opens the door of public school. He knows he can get what he wants, he knows how to manipulate others and most of all, he knows that he can have any girl he wants in the whole school. His arrogance stems from his Father, who has very distinctive opinions about others and who has indirectly taught Evan how to treat others.
The whole school, especially Katie is shocked when Evan takes an interest in her. Her gripping acting skills intrigue him and he takes advantage of the fact that he knows she has very little confidence in herself. The two start up a serious and dangerous relationship that is a direct reflection on how your past can shape the person you become in the future.
The story is told consecutively by Katie (Teresa Toten) and Evan (Eric Walters), drawing you into each of their worlds and forcing you to see the root of who they really are. It’s a powerful story that deals with some very serious issues, issues that aren’t discussed enough in young adult fiction. I for one, always enjoy when authors decide to push the envelope and discuss topics that need to be discussed and this book will definitely open up conversation with fellow readers.