Concentr8 Review

Rating: 3/5
Buy or Borrow: Borrow
Source: Copy courtesy of Bloomsbury (released in paperback 30th June 2016)

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...

Now, I just want to start this review off by saying that it was a great storyline. I loved the plot and the characters but the way it was written, it just annoyed me. I’m a real grammar geek and I found that instead of getting into the story, I spent most of the time correcting the grammar in my head. Mostly, it’s written in “street” style, which obviously makes the content seem more genuine and authentic as the story focuses on 5 troubled youths but I found it difficult to get used too, hence the rating of 3/5.

Bloomsbury sent me a copy of this to review and I’m glad I read it because apart from the narrative, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Once I’d got past the initial 50 pages of struggling (which took me a few days), I finished it in one sitting.

Concentr8 is written from a LOT of different perspectives. There are the 5 main characters; Blaze, Troy, Femi, Lee and Karen but also some chapters from the perspective of the hostage, the mayor, the negotiator and the journalist.

I’m not going to lie; I’m struggling to write this review as I don’t feel as though I connected with this book in the way the author intended the reader to.

There’s a prescription drug available for children which is supposed to be given to children only with ADD as it subdues the condition but it seems more children are being given this drug than supposed to…

The group of 5 teens have all been taking this drug and for some reason, the Government have withdrawn it and refuse to give it. The teens are angry and want to rebel against this decision so decide to kidnap an unbeknownst man and hold him hostage until they get what they want…but what do they want?

As the story unfolds, you discover more about the secrets of the drug and the effects on the children and what the teens really do want from this kidnapping…

I’ll end this review here as once again, I’m struggling. I think if you’re good with different narratives and like unique books, give it a read but this book just wasn’t for me.

No comments