Author: William Sutcliffe
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s
‘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 went into this book thinking it was going to be an interesting read. The plot line sounded promising, both informative and fun. This was not the case. I was expecting much more than what was given.
I actually only got about 80 pages through before I had to give up on it. I tried so hard to get into it, but I just couldn’t! Those 80 pages felt like such a task to get through.
The writing style was extremely difficult to get used to, and made the characters feel two dimensional, maybe even one dimensional. None of them seemed realistic, nor could I identify with any of them.
One of the main characters was narrating he book, but I couldn’t figure out who it actually was, there was absolutely no indication. It genuinely could have been any of them. I was seriously confused!
Talking of theses characters, each one seemed to speak in slang, which really made everything seem a little off to me as there were many grammatical errors. Now I am aware this was supposed to be the idea, but personally, I didn’t like this, at all. It made it hard to keep up with what was going on, and what was being said. It felt incoherent, and did not make sense to me at all. I really don’t get slang.
Finally, the story line was really lacking any development, even after the 80 or so pages. Every page felt like such a blur to me, and to be honest still does. I am still trying to work it all out.
Confused! That’s pretty much how I feel!