DNF Review- Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

By: Claudia Gabel, Cheryl Klam
Release Date: March 18th 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Electronic ARC

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 Thoughts:
Elusion has been my second DNF so far this year. I honestly could have  made myself continue on but decided to give up around 25% mark. My problem with Elusion was my complete lack of interest regarding the characters. I felt that I could see where things were headed and the longer I read everything was falling into line with what I expected.

I found it near impossible to connect to the main character Regan (this is so sad but I completely forgot her name in the two days it’s been since I put the book aside). There was nothing that made her stand out to me. I can’t recall her appearance or anything beyond the fact of her father being involved in the initial development of Elusion. I found her father’s mentions more interesting than her own. Her relationship with Patrick, her best friend, (and the high school student that took over her father’s work and heir to the company) to be very typical of the young adult genre.

The world building had potential and I enjoyed some of what these authors created. Everything seemed logical and not that far off from our current reality. The air is polluted causing everyone to wear masks when outside. People are bored with their day to day lives so instantly love the escape of Elusion. Of course, things aren’t all that they seem and I think I could see the direction things were heading pretty clearly.

At the point of my abandonment the second male lead, Josh, had been introduced. Of course, he was mysterious, gorgeous and conveniently dropped into the story. I could already see the stirrings of a potential triangle (though of course I don’t know if it ever develops) but it was enough to keep me even further from this story.

I believe that if I was able to look beyond the one dimensional characters I would have been interested enough in the storyline to continue reading. The idea behind this novel is very interesting (who doesn’t love to consider virtual reality?)  Even considering this potential I decided that after reading 25% of the book and feeling nothing towards the lead I’d put this one aside (for now or for good).

Have you read Elusion? I would love to hear your thoughts about it and link your review if you’ve posted one.


  1. says

    Oh no! Elusion sounds like every other typical young adult book out there nowadays. D:
    A love triangle + predictable storyline + annoying/less interesting characters (OF COURSE that guy is mysterious and gorgeous) = no-no for me.
    Guess I’m going to cancel my preorder for this one now. This is like the fourth negative/DNF review I’ve seen from somebody I trust. :l

    • says

      It’s so sad! I had very high hopes for this because I loved that premise and come on…the cover is so incredibly beautiful. But yep…all of what you said. I’m going to have to go look at other reviews now that I’ve posted mine. Is it bad that I’m happy to hear I’m not alone? :-/

  2. says

    I wasn’t sure if I was going to read this book or not, so I decided to go ahead and read your review. I’m actually turned-off by the idea of virtual reality and the only reason I would have gone into this book would have been because of the cover (shallow, I know). The whole virtual reality thing is what initially turned me off with Veronica Rossi’s UTNS books, but I ended up LOVING them once I got past that. It doesn’t seem like that would be the case for me with Elusion. Glad I passed on this one! Thanks for the informative review. 🙂

    • says

      I didn’t know that the virtual reality stuff was a turn off to you. If it is done well I really enjoy it. This one just felt ‘done’ and couldn’t keep my interest or compassion for the characters. The further I read the less I cared about the outcome 🙁 The UTNS books have a completely different feel than this one did.

  3. Alyn Y says

    The summary alone makes me think that there is a love triangle but I have not read this book and I’m not sure if I will either because the summary doesn’t appeal to me. I do like the cover though but not enough to want to pick up the book either.

  4. says

    I’ve seen a few DNF reviews of this one and I’m kind of uninterested now. 🙁 The plot sounds totally unique and intriguing, but that romance and stuff sounds like a bunch of re-used ideas from other novels. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it, Kristen. 🙁

    Aimee @ Read by the Undead

    • says

      Me too. If I can’t connect it’s impossible for me to enjoy for the most part. Sometimes the story is so well developed and fun that I can enjoy it but that’s rare. Thanks Megan

  5. says

    I’m so sad that this one sucks! Noooo! I was so looking forward to it. But this is the second DNF review I’ve read in 2 days, and all the reasons everyone’s giving are really valid reasons that I would most definitely have a problem with. I think I’ll skip it. Reagan does seem like a fairly “norm” name these days in YA. Or am I thinking of Riley? Heh. Either way, I can understand why you’d have forgotten it. 😉

    • says

      Such a bummer. I really wanted to love this book but it just wasn’t for me. Sadly, it was less her name and more her attributes that were forgettable 🙁

  6. says

    Ah, man. This sucks. I was looking forward to this one because THAT PLOT. It just sounded so interesting and unique and bad-ass . . . and now I’m feeling rather cheated by that synopsis.

    Thanks for the warning review! I’m going to check out what some others have to say and then decide whether or not to drop this from my TBR.

    • says

      Since I only got 25% I’d say give it a go if you are really interested. It wasn’t for me but maybe you’ll like it? Concerning connecting to a character that’s pretty hard to predict. If you do read it I’d love to hear what you think.

  7. Pili says

    I had doubts about this one reading the summary. On one side the whole virtual reality sounds really great, but on the other the relationships between the main characters sounded too typical. Sorry to hear you were never interested enough to want to continue reading. I’m pretty sure I won’t be checking this one out now…

    • says

      Yep, very typical. I was so sad that the virtual reality bit couldn’t make up for the characters. Maybe if I’d read further…but I just didn’t feel like it would really be worth it 🙁

  8. says

    Yikes. I originally had this one high on the pile, and then I’d seen some dissenting opinions that made me move it down, but now I’m pretty sure I won’t even bother. VR can be such an intriguing topic when handled well, like as an aside in Veronica Rossi’s series, but it sounds like this story got bogged down in boring characters and potential relationship drama. If you saw it coming, it was probably to be expected, unfortunately. Thanks for your honest review!

    • says

      Yea, I was really sad because I wanted this one to be more than just a pretty cover. Perhaps the VR stuff got much better? I don’t know…I just couldn’t connect so figured I’d move on. I’d love to read someone’s positive review so I can see what I might have been missing.

    • says

      Yep, that’s about how I felt. I was really bummed out I couldn’t get into this one. And I’m so sad that a lot of the debuts haven’t been good 🙁 Hoping this changes and soon.

  9. says

    Aw, I’m sorry that you couldn’t finish this book. Sigh. But reading your review makes me think I don’t want to try reading it at all :\ Sad face. But thank you so so much for being honest 🙂 The cover is pretty gorgeous. <3 Just sad the book wasn't that amazing. Oh, well. All books can't be awesome 😀

  10. says

    I can’t say I’m horribly surprised. I was getting a bit of this vibe between the synopsis and cover. Still, it’s sad to see another one lost to the forces of evil. But congrats on making the decision to DNF! I just did my first of the year, and first DNF eARC, too. I felt a little guilty, but with so many good books out there waiting, is it worth it to waste more time on one you’re not enjoying?

    • says

      I sort of suspected that it might fall into the ya tropes but I had hoped it wouldn’t. Or if it did the writing would and characters would keep me invested. I agree, with so many books to read why make yourself read one that isn’t working? I figure it will just end up being a very low rating so no real point.

  11. says

    I didn’t download this one. I have a weird mental list of things that don’t usually work for me books, and virtual reality is one of them.
    I’ve been seeing lots of posts about people doing lots of DNFing tons in 2014. That has not been the case for me so far.
    Hope Let the Storm Break is working out better for you 🙂
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

    • says

      that’s really interesting that VR is on the list of what doesn’t work for you. I honestly haven’t really read all that many books that include it so don’t really know how I feel. Maybe that was why it didn’t connect with me. I’ve had a pretty mixed experience so far. I have read some I have enjoyed but they don’t release for a long while so my review has to wait. Seems that all these that released early didn’t hit me all that well 🙁 So glad that’s not been the case for you.

  12. says

    Oh no, you DNF’d this one?! I loved it so much! It was actually the first book I read in 2014 – and I loved the book (my review is HERE, if you’re interested in my complete opinion). The science fiction aspect in this book blew me away. I didn’t mind Regan much, and I thought the secondary characters weren’t too bad (though some were a little underdeveloped). I’m sorry this one didn’t work out for you!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • says

      I really wanted to love it just couldn’t get immersed. I might give it a go later since you loved it so much…at least try to pick up where I left off. I really wish I could have connected more. So glad to know that the sci-fi elements turned out really well. Thanks so much for sharing how you felt about this one.

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