By: Melanie | February 24, 2014 | (26) Comments

DNF Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl KlamElusion by Cheryl Klam, Claudia Gabel
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Science Fiction, YA
Pages: 400
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.

My Review

I had to DNF Elusion at 86%. Sure, there was only a tiny section of the book left but I just could not bear it any longer. Apart from a  refreshing idea, I can not wring out any other points which made Elusion an antithetically good book.

Elusion probably failed most in creating three-dimensional characters that were strong, thoughtful and likable. This book’s main character, Regan, was neither strong, smart or a tolerable protagonist. Throughout this read, I kept on wondering whether this chick had a brain at all. She starts doubting her best friend that she’s known since a small age and believes in a guy who knocked up a fellow school mate horribly and has only known her for a few days. Pray tell; where is the logic in this reasoning? Just because he’s good looking doesn’t  mean you can trust him and start going around questioning your best friend’s motives. Sure, Patrick did a few fishy things but no way in hell does that mean you can flip your opinion on him so quickly. It is absolutely obscure.

My second criticism is the truancy of the world building. If you want to write a compelling dystopian, my number one piece of advice is to ensure you have some world building so we readers have a rough idea of what this world your writing about looks like, how it became the way it was and how things work. I loved the tech talk, that does cloud in with the world building but not enough for me to comprehend everything that was going on.

Furthermore, the romance. I just. No. There is instant love, a slight love triangle between her best friend, Patrick, and the new mysterious but hot guy, Josh. (TOTALLY did not see that coming.) I did not see the point of any of it. Why should there be a romance here? WHY. The idea the authors had would have perfectly sufficed. Mild spoiler ahead. Patrick nearly kisses Regan. Why does he decide to show his emotions to her now when she just met another guy. It is the same thing that happens in a lot of books and I never get the logic in it. Sure, the author(s) might want to create another plot line but it’s like a freaking universal thing that all authors must abide to now. End spoiler. 

Lastly, this book contains the same tropes like most other YA books do. There’s a love triangle, new, hot dude, best friend who might have share different feelings towards the MC, there’s a glitch and a secret in the system, there’s someone who you thought was dead but actually turns out to not be dead. The list goes on. It’s saddening, as then I saw most of the twists coming before I even started this book. (Exaggeration, but you get what I mean.)

All in all, Elusion was a disappointing novel despite a once again gorgeous cover. Please use your time somewhere else.

~Thank you Katherine Tegen for sending me this copy!~

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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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26 Responses to DNF Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

  1. Nooooo! NO I DIDN’T WANT TO KNOW THIS. *sobs quietly in dark corner* I was so freakishly excited about the blurb and cover (I’m a sucker for cool covers). But I suppose I should be grateful that you’ve probably spared me suffering. I’m so tired of some of those brainless YA tropes. Particularly the “ooh, you’re hot so I love and trust you of course”. It doesn’t inspire confidence in teenage girls. I think they deserve more credit then that. -_- I think I will probably skip this one. So sad. (But an excellent review, btw.)
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…The Bear by Claire Cameron (I’m never camping again)My Profile

  2. No, I can’t read another one with those YA tropes. otherwise I might fall into a reading slump and never want to pick up another YA book again. Thanks for the warning, looks like I’ll give this one a miss.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…ARC Review: Grim by Christine Johnson Review – Dark and twisted fairy talesMy Profile

  3. You did not just say “truancy of the world-building!” That is a brilliant phrase, Mel, I love it. I know it’s a bad, bad sign if you DNF a book as late as 85% in–some people would be all “why did you even get that far,” but I know the answer…you’re hoping it will get better. *sigh* I’m sorry that didn’t happen for you.
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Hook’s Revenge: exclusive cover reveal + giveaway!My Profile

  4. Siiri says:

    Oh, no. I’m sorry this wasn’t for you. It’s really hard to keep going if you don’t like the main character or cannot connect with one, so I totally understand. Yeahhh.. With dystopians world-building is imperative. Cannot write one without it. Eh, I’m sorry it fell so flat for you. Better luck next time, I hope!
    Siiri recently posted…Review: Through the Ever Night by Veronica RossiMy Profile

  5. Aimee says:

    I’ve been really intrigued by the synopsis of this one but never read the review copy because of the many ways I thought it could go wrong. Guess I made the right choice. Regan seems like a sissy. And that romance? *cringes* No, just no.

    Lovely review, Melanie!
    Aimee recently posted…Review: Cress by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  6. 85%..I am afraid, very afraid. Yeah, I need, no I demand world-building in this genre. So sorry this one failed, it sounds young too.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Three by Kristen SimmonsMy Profile

  7. Why do most of the books with gorgeous covers fails? This isn’t my usual read but I do like that cover and it sounds good so I was gonna try it out. Now, not so much…
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Let’s Talk About: Cliffhangers!My Profile

  8. Ehhh Mel. You make me not want to read this book anymore. Everything you’ve talked about are stuff that usually bothers me in these dystopians. It’s such a shame because I was looking forward to reading this one because of the pretty cover. Now I think I’m going to stay away from it. Bland characters, little world-building, love triangles and insta-love are not what I look for in my books.
    Thanks for the honest review. 🙂
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : Maybe One Day by Melissa KantorMy Profile

  9. Lily B says:

    Hot dang I was actually looking forward to this but…. insta love? trusting a guy just cause he is hot? bad world build?
    Lily B recently posted…Book Monster Promotions: Dark Heroine SeriesMy Profile

  10. Sigh. I feel like this must be the same-old, same-old now. I’m not sure I’ll even be picking it up if the world-building isn’t there. Boo. Thanks for the honest review though, Melanie!

  11. Tanja says:

    Well you say not strong characters with which you can connect to, then there is insta love and love triangle. NO! One of these things and I could live with it, but all three. No really I cannot. I’m so sorry that this book disappointed you. Great review, Mel 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Finding Lichgates Blog TourMy Profile

  12. Yeah I honestly feel like I had the same reaction but I read this book only a month ago (probably a little more actually) and I don’t remember ANYTHING that happened. I feel like I DNFed it, too, just because the ending and everything in between is a huge black hole for me. I rated it a star higher, maybe because I liked the science fiction aspect of it, but the world building and romance was ridiculous. Like the Elusion technology part was cool but everything else was so stupid and I was like “Wait what?” Fantastic review, Mellybean! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Random Talk Time (5): Does Hype Turn You Off?My Profile

  13. I’ve been DNFing books a lot more often, lately, mostly because of the reasons you mentioned – too tropey! I’m tired of seeing these cliches and tropes recycled through YA in the same manner, so I’ll be skipping this one for sure. Thanks for such a helpful review, Mel! 🙂
    Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings recently posted…Review: When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat HellisenMy Profile

  14. I had to jump ship at 25%. I could have pushed on but I didn’t see any reason to-especially after we talked on GR. I’m so sad this one hit the typical tropes and didn’t stand on it’s own utilizing the great basis of the storyline. I wanted so much more than what this offered. This is perfectly articulated and describes exactly how I felt. Is it bad I’m glad I wasn’t alone?
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…DNF Review- Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl KlamMy Profile

  15. Amir says:

    I can totally understand where you’re coming from. I’ve DNF books at 70% and its actually more painful when you only have a few more pages to go but it just can’t be done anymore. I feel you. I do think the cover is pretty but the points you mentioned will just make me want to pull my hair out. WHY do authors keep on writing about insta-love?? It just doesn’t work for readers anymore.
    Amir recently posted…Review: Tempus by Holly LaurenMy Profile

  16. Ugh, this sounds like a chore and I’m dreading it already since it’s one of those Up-Next books I have. I’ve peeked into the first few pages but it was kinda bad but I thought it would eventually get better but evidently, from your review, it won’t >< I wonder if I should run for the hills now or just forget about it '-'

    Lovely review, Mel! Sorry this was a lame-o! D:
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…Review: Cress by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  17. Melliane says:

    oh that’s sad I’m sorry it wasn’t for you. Too bad it sounded interesting but I can understand the problems as well.
    Melliane recently posted…Hell Bent by Devon MonkMy Profile

  18. What a shame! It’s such a pretty cover. But I hate those tropes so I think I’ll stay away from this one 🙂
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday REWIND: Books From My ChildhoodMy Profile

  19. Omg another copy of the classic dystopian?! That’s disappointing to hear because the synopsis sounded so promising. 🙁
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#2)My Profile

  20. Emily says:

    I have the same thoughts as you too, Mel!! :O The characters for this one were really just so bland I went to zzzz… And the instalove, goodness!! D: I couldn’t stand that; I was basically rolling my eyes so many times, I’m surprised they didn’t get stuck up there :\ The tech concept for this one was pretty cool like you said, but meh. I got pretty bored after a while… 🙁
    Wonderful review, all the same, Mel!! 😀 <33
    Emily recently posted…Me Since You by Laura WiessMy Profile

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