I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Treatment by Suzanne Young
Published by Simon Pulse on 2014-04-29
Genres: Coming of Age, Depression & Mental Illness, Family, Romance, Science Fiction, Social Issues, Suicide, tough issues, Young Adult
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Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”
How do you stop an epidemic?
Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.
Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.
Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?
Today we’re featuring The Treatment, the second in The Program series by Suzanne Young. This young adult sci-fi thriller will be released 4.29.2014.
The Program is a book that has been on my to-read list since it first came out (actually since before it came out). Due to a malfunction on my library ebook downloading skills (I wasn’t that good yet) and other misfortunes, I never got around to it until recently.
Now that I finally got to it, I realized it was a book that I really enjoyed, but wasn’t head-over-heels for like I thought I might be. I read it in just a few short hours, but I didn’t find myself wanting to start The Treatment right away. I think the really fast jolt of the love triangle threw me off. It never seemed natural, but a plot point we had to be given in order to make the story work. Other than that, The Program had some amazing ideas and really looked at who it is we are without our memories. Are we bound to make the same choices and mistakes or with the slate wiped clean, will be become a better person? Is brainwashing kids really the best way to prevent suicide? These questions and ideas really fascinated me. In the end, it was just a book that had a lot of great ideas, was enjoyable, and had room to up its game.
And I think that Suzanne Young really did that in The Treatment. I don’t know particularly what it was about this book that was different, but I had much more of an emotional connection with the characters.
Ironically, the romance in this book wasn’t as big of a deal as it was in the first book. Sure there are still some unrequited feelings from other characters, but for the most part we see a Sloane and James who fully understand they are and were in love and are committed to one another.
Most importantly, the book had a spectacular ending. The entire last few chapters were just done really well. I hate books that end only to set up the next book or that kind of just drop everything and run, but The Treatment didn’t do that. It felt natural, but left everything tied up nicely for us readers.
In the end, this is a series that I really liked because of the social implications and the questions that it brought up. Is our current medication/environment a breeding ground for a mental health epidemic. And if so, will a treatment like the one in these books be the answer or just another symptom? There are a lot of life lessons to be drawn from these books and the answers are never black and white.
One quick mention — the ARC of this book had a fabulous cover — one that very much matched the first book. One of the things that first drew me to The Program was the cover and I think the ARC cover stood up to that legacy. While they chose a different route for book two, I think book one’s will still reign as one heck of a cover.
I love that the cover at first look is very clean, with the focus on the “orange pill”, which plays a huge part in the book. And honestly, until I uploaded it, I didn’t even see the shadows of Sloane and James at the bottom, but I actually really love that. I think those shadows probably led to the cover we will see on the printed copies. However, the Treatment’s new cover has the opposite coloring of the first book – we see a grayed out Sloane, which is also something we see in the book, so the idea behind this one is still germane to the book in a unique way. It’s weird to love both editions so much, since they are so different. I can’t imagine having to make the final choices when it comes to these things!
Speaking of the orange pill, I love, love, love how much of an impact that one tiny little thing had on the story. It’s so much more than I expected (and I really expected it because of the circumstances of Sloane’s receiving it in The Program). I love the fate Young chose for the pill and think it was a really interesting move. I know I sat and thought about it for awhile. That’s just what this series does — really makes you think.
Overall, I am glad that the series got another book to finish out the story and I think it fit perfectly with the progression of the first book. It set a different tone, one that made you think and wonder. Where book one was focused on the introspective — relationships and the idea of our identity and just who we are without the memory of our experiences, book two was a bit more wide-scale. we had already seen the deadly effects of The Program in book one, but in The Treatment we get the chance to explore just what kind of ramifications those effects have on our society.
More About The Program
The Program #1
Pub: Simon Pulse
Release Date: 4.30.13
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Mental Illness
In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.
Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment.
Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.
Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything.
But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.
One lucky winner is going to win a set of The Program series (The Program and The Treatment). This contest is open to US/CAN residents. Please see the Rafflecopter’s terms and conditions. Be sure to follow the instructions as the winner’s entries will be verified!