ARC Review: Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe


Series: None
Author: William Sutcliffe
Published August 27th 2015 by Bloomsbury Children's

Goodreads Synopsis
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.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

This is a Did Not Finish (DNF) review, and about 20% into the book. Unfortunately this just didn't work for me, for a few reasons. 

Firstly, it was a bit of an impulse request, via NetGalley, and I hadn't really looked at the synopsis much. I have absolutely no experience with ADHD, and honesty don't really understand what it is. I know it means Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and means people with it can't keep focused on one thing at a time. That's about it. I know there are drugs that are used to help the condition, but how, I have absolutely no clue.

Secondly, the characters were completely unrelatable. I hated each and everyone of them, and couldn't bare to read any more about them. The only chapter that was palatable was that of the journalist, and that wasn't exactly enjoyable. At least it had proper punctuation. The lack of commas, speech marks, etc. in the other chapters/ points of views were too distracting, as was the language. I understand that some people won't mind these things, but for me, they ruined the whole reading experience.

Thirdly, I couldn't care less about the plot. All that had happened so far were some rioting in London, because the government banned Concentr8 for ADHD patients. The protagonists, lead by a guy named Blaze, abducted a civil servant who worked for the Mayor. They robbed him, and held him at 'shank'-point, and then sat in an abandoned building, drinking, etc. The Mayor and Journalist had a meeting, and the kidnapping was mentioned, but they didn't seem bothered about it. Nothing really gripped me, and I didn't want to waste time reading for any longer.

I'm sorry, I really am. I wanted to enjoy this, but just couldn't. Perhaps other people might enjoy this much better, just not me.

Dates Read:
August 16-18, 2015

0 Stars/DNF

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