Review: Counteract by Tracy Lawson

April 19, 2018     laurathebibliophile     Book review

Review: Counteract by Tracy LawsonCounteract: Book One of the Resistance Series by Tracy Lawson
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on August 25, 2015
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 194
Format: Paperback
Source: Author

Who do you trust when your world unravels and everything you believed is a lie? For the past fifteen years, The Office of Civilian Safety and Defense has guarded the public against the rampant threat of terrorism. Teenagers Tommy and Careen have never known life without Civilian Restrictions. For them, there's no social media. No one is allowed to gather in public places or attend concerts or sporting events. Only a small, select group of adults have driving privileges, but it's a small price to pay for safety. Now a new, more deadly, terrorist threat looms: airborne chemical weapons that can be activated without warning. The OCSD is ready with an antidote to counteract the effects of the toxins. Three drops a day is all it takes. It's a small price to pay for health. The day the disaster sirens signal the dreaded attack, Tommy shares his last dose with Careen, even though doing so might hasten his death. It's a small price to pay for a friend.Follow Tommy and Careen as they uncover a web of lies and deceit reaching to the highest levels of the United States government and join an underground resistance group that's determined to expose the truth.

Hey, all! Last weekend, Erin and I went to the Ohioana Book Festival in Columbus, which was incredible. While there, we got to meet many fantastic Ohio authors, one of whom was Tracy Lawson. I missed her table at first, but then I caught sight of it and was drawn in. The books she had were historical and dystopian, two of my favorite things, and I had to know more. Ms Lawson graciously gave me a copy of her book, Counteract, to read and review.

I didn’t get around to reading it until yesterday, but oh man. I couldn’t put it down. Every time I thought, “ooh, a stopping point,” the plot and characters kept nagging me to continue. It’s fast-paced and high stakes, and the unreliable narrators kept me guessing.

I did not see the ending coming, and I’m a little frustrated with it because now I’m going to have questions until I get hold of the sequel. There are four books in the series, so hopefully there are lots of answers in store.

Now you’re going to hear me say something that I almost never say: I liked the quick-romance element of the story. It does read a little like insta-love, which I detest, but the extenuating circumstances lend it credibility, and they retain a sense of newness that keeps it believable.


The main point of conflict in this book is the government’s dispersal of CSD, which is meant to be a miracle antidote to airborne toxins but is actually a hallucinogenic drug.

I felt so disoriented just reading the descriptions of the characters’ experiences. In reading the description, I thought the drug was just a placebo, but it quickly became evident this was not the case. I’m very interested to see how the characters deal with their drugged experiences when they have the chance (if they get the chance) to decompress a little.

The dystopian premise is terrifying, mostly because I can absolutely see it happening in the future. Just reading it makes you question yourself and really ask:

What do I know for sure?

From my bookshelf to yours,


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