Google+ Reading Teen: CONCENTR8 by William Sutcliffe \\ Almost a DNF

Monday, December 21, 2015

CONCENTR8 by William Sutcliffe \\ Almost a DNF

Review by Sara

CONCENTR8
by William Sutcliffe
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (January 19, 2016)
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon

In a not-so-distant future London, riots have become the norm. But when the government suddenly stops distributing Concentr8--a behavioral modification "miracle" drug akin to Ritalin--the city's residents rise up fiercer than they ever have before.

Amidst the chaos, five teens pick a man seemingly at random and chain him up as a hostage in a warehouse. Blaze is their leader, and Troy has always been his quiet sidekick--the only person he has ever trusted. But even Troy didn't see this coming, and as their story unfolds over six tense days, one thing is clear--none of them will ever be the same again.

Told from the perspective of multiple characters in a world familiar to our own, this searing look at a group of teens who push back from the margins of society is perfect for fans of thoughtful fiction like Panic and The Program series.
The premise of this book was incredibly appealing to me. Anyone that knows me knows I love a good dystopian. This, unfortunately, was not a good dystopian. This story is set in futuristic London where a drug known as Concentr8 has been banned by the government and the population starts to riot. That is where the story should stop. It just gets worse the more you read.

I did not care about any of the characters and felt they were very poorly written. The teenagers are portrayed as stupid and mindless, which I am sure they are based on society and whatnot. But they made the story difficult to read. They had no redeeming qualities so you, as the reader, just dislike them as the story progresses. The story moved at a snail’s pace and went on about nothing. I kept waiting for something big to happen but it never did.

The thing that bothered me the most about this story was the narrative. There are far too many and it made my head hurt after a while. I started to care less and less about what all of these people were saying. The other thing that was annoying was the grammar and lack of punctuation. Sure, the author may have felt he was on to something while writing that way but the reader will only get a headache from trying to understand it all. Skimming was the only way I was able to make it through each page.

Overall, this book was just not for me. Yes, the book gives you some things to think about, such as the ethics of over-medication of today’s youth, but that is as deep as the story goes. I almost DNF’d this book several times but pushed on since it is a short read. Do yourself a favor, do not do what I did. Pass on this book and read something else.

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