ARC Review: Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe

Posted February 23, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

ARC Review: Concentr8 by William SutcliffeConcentr8 by William Sutcliffe
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on January 19th 2016
Genres: Boys & Men, Dystopian
Pages: 256
Format: hardcover
Source: Free for Review
Buy on Amazon

In a future London, Concentr8 is a prescription drug intended to help kids with ADD. Soon every troubled teen is on it. It makes sense, doesn't it? Keep the undesirable elements in line. Keep people like us safe from people like them. What's good for society is good for everyone. Troy, Femi, Lee, Karen and Blaze have been taking Concentr8 as long as they can remember. They're not exactly a gang, but Blaze is their leader, and Troy has always been his quiet, watchful sidekick - the only one Blaze really trusts. They're not looking for trouble, but one hot summer day, when riots break out across the city, they find it. What makes five kids pick a man seemingly at random - a nobody, he works in the housing department, doesn't even have a good phone - hold a knife to his side, take him to a warehouse and chain him to a radiator? They've got a hostage, but don't really know what they want, or why they've done it. And across the course of five tense days, with a journalist, a floppy-haired mayor, a police negotiator, and the sinister face of the pharmaceutical industry, they - and we - begin to understand why ...This is a book about what how we label children. It's about how kids get lost and failed by the system. It's about how politicians manipulate them. Gripping and controversial reading for fans of Malorie Blackman and Patrick Ness.

So I was a little excited about this book. There were parts of the summary that I felt pulled aspects of classics. For example,  the drug Concentr8 reminded me of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, which has Soma. Or the children running wild and the kidnapping reminded me of Lord of the Flies or A Clockwork Orange. To be fair. I loved Brave New World but I was not a fan of the other two. Still I was excited to see how this book played on the old classics.

So, I am really disappointed to tell you that don’t if my imagined similarities match up. I don’t if the plot works well as a commentary on the use of Ritalin in today’s society. I don’t know if this is a brand new soon to be classic. I don’t know much at all, because I simply couldn’t finish this book.

I tried though. The first time I picked it up, I read 4 pages. I just couldn’t get into it. The words made no sense. I kept having to go back and reread. The characters speak in a dialect that I found hard to follow. I decided I was tired and I went to sleep instead. Tomorrow would be better.

Tomorrow was not better.

I tried two more times but I never got into the story. I didn’t care. I couldn’t focus on it. I needed some Concentr8 myself. (too soon?) This book was just not for me.

I always try to find something good about a book. However, this one is going to be tough.

It has a great cover. I liked the graffiti look.

Did you read Concent8? Tell me I’m wrong in the comments!


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