Yours for the Taking: A Novel
With multiple narrators with diverse backgrounds and ideas, this book kept me guessing. This story is all about how different decisions one makes (as well as society), no matter the intention, can negatively harm what follows.
The year is 2050. Ava and her girlfriend live in what's left of Brooklyn, and though they love each other, it's hard to find happiness while the effects of climate change rapidly eclipse their world. Soon, it won't be safe outside at all. The only people guaranteed survival are the ones whose applications are accepted to The Inside Project, a series of weather-safe, city-sized structures around the world.
Jacqueline Millender is a reclusive billionaire/women’s rights advocate, and thanks to a generous donation, she’s just become the director of the Inside being built on the bones of Manhattan. Her ideas are unorthodox, yet alluring—she's built a whole brand around rethinking the very concept of empowerment.
Shelby, a business major from a working-class family, is drawn to Jacqueline’s promises of power and impact. When she lands her dream job as Jacqueline’s personal assistant, she's instantly swept up into the glamourous world of corporatized feminism. Also drawn into Jacqueline's orbit is Olympia, who is finishing up medical school when Jacqueline recruits her to run the health department Inside. The more Olympia learns about the project, though, the more she realizes there's something much larger at play.
When Ava is accepted to live Inside and her girlfriend isn’t, she’s forced to go alone. But her heartbreak is quickly replaced with a feeling of belonging: Inside seems like it’s the safe space she’s been searching for… most of the time. Other times she can’t shake the feeling that something is deeply off. As she, Olympia, and Shelby start to notice the cracks in Jacqueline's system, Jacqueline tightens her grip, becoming increasingly unhinged and dangerous in what she is willing to do—and who she is willing to sacrifice—to keep her dream alive.
At once a mesmerizing story of queer love, betrayal, and chosen family, and an unflinching indictment of white, corporate feminism, Gabrielle Korn's Yours for the Taking holds a mirror to our own world, in all its beauty and horror.
Praise for Yours for the Taking: A Novel
Harper’s Bazaar, The Best Queer Reads of 2023
Elle, Our Favorite Books of 2023
Autostraddle, Best Queer Novels of 2023
New York Times Best Books of December 2023
Los Angeles Times Best Books of December 2023
Women’s Health, LGBTQ+ Books That Make Queer People Feel Seen
LGBTQ+ Reads, Most Anticipated Adult Fiction
The Millions, Most Anticipated
Ms Magazine, Our Favorite Books of 2023
"The action of the book will keep the reader turning the pages... radically reimagines the world and challenges our ideas for living in it." —The New York Times
"Korn manages to grapple with weighty topics while also delivering a compelling read, rife with twists." —Elle
"Gabrielle Korn takes an oft-deployed dystopian/sci-fi literary premise and shreds it to pieces....Enthralling."
"Listen, just read the book." —Vogue
"An alluring story of a feminist dystopia... Korn’s conceits are as provocative as her characters are well-rounded. Readers will eat up this distinctive work of climate fiction." —Publishers Weekly
"Korn's premise couldn't be more timely....this novel sparkles." —Kirkus Reviews
"An intriguing exploration of how 'saving the world' can become warped by ego and ideology. Korn’s timely fiction debut indicts exclusionary corporate feminism." —Library Journal
"An immersive, future-focused, and highly engaging thought experiment that’s startlingly relevant to today’s society." —Booklist
"Tackling themes of feminism, capitalism, queerness, race and gender, this is a remarkably frightening, enlightening and unflinching take on dystopian literature." —Ms. Magazine
"Gatekeeping girlboss insidiousness, climate injustice and ecological inequality, love in the time of perpetual apocalypse—Korn’s thrilling work of speculative fiction, about billionaire-funded bubbles designed to seal off select people from inhospitable living conditions, trains a big, queer black mirror on the sociopolitical iniquities of our time." —Electric Literature
"If you’re into dystopian fiction, lesbians, and critiques of girlboss feminism, you’ll love Korn’s debut." —Them
"Stunning...a bracing, exhilarating read." —Esmé Weijun Wang, New York Times bestselling author of The Collected Schizophrenias
"Thrilling...with exquisite worldbuilding and a cast of complicated, multifarious characters, Yours for the Taking is a spectacular saga about the folly of control and the inheritance of that folly." —Michelle Hart, author of We Do What We Do in the Dark
"Through a rich tapestry of characters with diverse backgrounds and queer identities, Korn’s novel delves deeply into themes of white feminism, gender essentialism, and the climate crisis. [Yours for the Taking] is a testament to the importance of representation, particularly of queer individuals, in science fiction." —BNN
"Gabrielle Korn had me at feminist dystopia, but her layered, intriguing storytelling made the end of the world entirely her own. I stowed myself in a bunker and read Yours for the Taking in less than a day." —Amanda Montell, author of Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism
"A tender, thrilling, thoughtful examination of queer survival. Gabrielle Korn’s storytelling is engrossing as she paints a damning, clever portrait of the effects of exclusionary politics. Her debut novel is both a penetrating reflection of the anxiety modern generations face and a lesbian love story for the end of the world." —Jill Gutowitz, author of Girls Can Kiss Now
"A gripping page-turner about power and the consequences of inaction. Tender, wise, and achingly true-to-life, it is a haunting look at a possible future that feels entirely of the moment." —Camille Perri, author of The Assistants and When Katie Met Cassidy
"A startlingly realistic vision of where the climate crisis is taking us coupled with root rot in white girlboss feminism, Gabrielle Korn has imagined the defining feminist dystopia for our times. Yours for the Taking is a page-turner; its propulsive heat is matched only by the chills that come from realizing, as a reader, how close we are to the kind of world Korn so beautifully, and frighteningly, immerses us in. An electric, essential read. I couldn't put it down." —Jeanna Kadlec, author of Heretic
"Gabrielle Korn's debut fiction imagines a world that seems freakishly, frighteningly possible—no doubt because she's done such a fine job of creating characters that are vibrantly alive, and recognizable....A great, contemporary take on the classic what-would-an-all-female-society-look-like genre, full of suspense and fair warning." —Michelle Tea
"Beautiful, tender, and revelatory, this book took my breath away....I read it in one sitting and you will, too. A propulsive masterpiece and a queer reckoning." —Marisa Crane, author of I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself
"Gabrielle Korn expertly weaves together a complex web of characters and texts from various perspectives and times to examine how it is idealism can so easily degrade, the effects of which are claustrophobic and chilling. Written with necessary urgency, Yours for the Taking presents a terrifying vision of the future, yet what courses through its center are the connections that form under these bleak conditions, the love that keeps us living." —Katie M. Flynn, author of The Companions