BOOK REVIEW ~ PROTOTYPE BY GRETCHEN DE LA O

Lauren Matthews believes she will be dead in seven days. She’s done witnessing others around her meeting that exact fate. With the device Marshall Grayson installed in her head as the only golden thread linking them, Lauren is left with no choice but to believe it is her destiny to die.
Unable to see her professional world in Washington DC is about to be ruled by her personal life in San Francisco, Lauren’s two realities collide when Grayson Industries’ influential financier, Alejandro Fernandez, infuses himself in her life. Enchanted by Alejandro’s old world charm and modern sensitivity, Lauren becomes tangled in a web of sex, love, deceit, and murder. She struggles to find a balance between self-preservation and ethical responsibility.
With the full scope of the prototype slowly possessing her every thought, she truly understands―her life is not her own. Will Alejandro’s love be enough to reawaken her soul and change her destiny?

2.5 stars!
First, WTF was this book?!?! Yeah, this is one of those books where you finish and you don’t even consider how good or bad it is. Instead, it’s just you chanting WTF over and over again. And even though I’ve had a couple hours to mull things over and decide on a rating, my thoughts are still frazzled and in chunks…so my review will be styled that way as well. It’s going to go in the order of how it went from a potential 5 star read to 2.5 stars.
5 star beginning
This book premise is so unique and the story started off strong. I was definitely clueless about what exactly was going on, but I was looking forward to reading how this mystery would unfold.
3-3.5 stars after the first 40%
There were a lot of things that made me question the believability of the story. First, the female protagonist Lauren is injected with a ‘prototype’ and after accessing secret files learns that she’ll be dead in 7 days. Her mission is to meet up with a financier of this prototype project, Alejandro. As the story progressed, there was no sense of urgency, like ‘oh, I’m going to be dead in 7 days if I don’t find out more about this device’ wasn’t emphasized. Instead, I read about her jealousy issues over Marshall, her inner dialogue complaining she never asked for all of this, and how much she swoons over Alejandro (which brings me to my next point).
“My god, he looked like he had been plucked from the pages of a GQ magazine.”
Insta-love alert!! I was under the belief that Alejandro was supposed to be the enemy as he knowingly financed prototypes and Lauren is one of them but it just didn’t feel like he was. The first chapters with them together were all about Lauren being speechless over his beauty and Alejandro repeatedly complementing Lauren’s looks.
“My name is Alejandro Fernandez. You must be Mrs. Matthews.
It’s Miss. I’m not married.
Oh, my mistake, I just assumed – you are such a beautiful woman.”
Mind you, this is right after Lauren fought with someone and has bruises all over her face. Ugh. And another thought running through my head was how the heck does a CIA agent act as clumsy and idiotic as Lauren does?
“I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t need this. All I wanted was to be a good CIA agent and do some insignificant side jobs for Marshall.”
Yeah…ok. I honestly don’t understand why Lauren thinks doing illegal ‘insignificant’ side jobs involving revolutionary prototypes wouldn’t get her into any kind of trouble. What was this woman thinking?!
2.5 stars for the last 60%
After the halfway mark, things really started picking up plot-wise but it wasn’t enough to answer questions brought up in the first half. Details were skimmed over and the main storyline (why these prototypes were manufactured in the first place, who was the mastermind, etc…) flopped and all the bad was pinned on the one obvious person responsible for everything. I did like Alejandro’s character but Lauren’s stupidity and dramatic antics really annoyed me.
Usually I can tell how much I enjoy a book just by how fast I read it – the best books take me mere hours to read. This book, however, took me almost a day and half to trudge through and every chapter or so that got my eyes rolling I had to force myself to not DNF and continue. In short, this is a book with an interesting concept but completely failed at its execution.
Prototype is the first book in the Possession series and not a standalone. The ending isn’t an exact cliffhanger but leaves the reader with tons of unanswered questions.