Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe

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(The kind people at Bloomsbury sent me this to review, so thanks to them! The review you’re about to get is honest, and I haven’t changed my opinions because I was sent the book.)

Confession time: I didn’t like The Wall by William Sutcliffe. To be honest, when I was asked whether I’d review this, I don’t know what caused me to request it. I started reading it, and I was so gripped by it that I was literally reading it sitting in the busiest section of my local Harvester, just because I needed to find out what happened.

London’s in trouble. The ‘troubled’ kids of the city used to be given Ritalin. Then a pharmaceutical company invented Concentr8. It worked like a charm, making ADHD sufferers co-operative. Completely unlike themselves. So the city decided to give it to all the troublesome kids. Fake an ADHD diagnosis. Prescribe them medicine. Parents get Disability Living Allowance. Everyone’s happy. But then there isn’t enough to go around. The supplies stop. This is what happens when you take London off it’s meds.

This book combines everything you love about contemporary and thrillers and adds a sprinkle of sci-fi, to create a blend not even Starbucks could dream of.

It’s, to me, a really simple story. It’s heavier on characters than plot and it has a lot of backstory rather than current-time story. If you like action, it might not be for you. If you like romance, it might not be for you. But if you like books that have been executed amazingly, then this is the book for you.

Usually I hate books that are told in multiple narratives, and this book uses them to the excess. You get about 10 different characters all telling their viewpoints at different points in the book. But because of this, you get a different angle to the story you failed to get in the last chapter, so the multiple narrative worked.

As well as that, and I thank you so much for the William, you get such a broad understanding of the characters in this book. You know a lot about the group of ‘youths’ (no spoilers here!), but you also get to learn, subliminally almost, about the personalities and traits of the other characters in this book.

Even though it’s not heavy on plot, and it’s not the biggest of books to read, it will still have you hooked, and will have you hanging onto the corner of every page with that fear of the unknown.

I dare you to dislike this book. Just go read it. Right now. Go!

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