ARC Review: The Treatment (The Program #2) by Suzanne Young
I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.
The Treatment by Suzanne Young
Series: The Program #2
Published by: Simon Pulse on 4/29/2014
Genres: Depression & Mental Illness, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Suicide, YA, Young Adult
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
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?
Even though I didn’t write a full review for book one, The Program was such an amazing and kick-a$$ novel. Suzanne Young’s world building was outstanding and her imaginative take on something as complex as suicide left me in awe of her genius. I’d say The Program is probably one of my favorite dystopians since my discovery of the Delirium Trilogy. Discovering beautiful stories where writers try to eradicate things we take for granted (or try to pretend don’t exist) every day such as love and suicide are always my favorite. And I had no idea going into this book that it would only be a duology *epic sad face*. Imagine my surprise when I finally reached the ending of The Treatment and the conclusion was wrapped up half messy and half perfectly satisfying. With that being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed every single page of The Treatment, even the slow parts, the cringe worthy almost love triangle (that was unbearable to read at times), and Realm (who’s borderline insane – but with good reason). It was all so very worth it.
The Treatment picks up where The Program left off and James and Sloane are on the run. With no options left for them they decide to trust a group of rebels which, against James’ better judgment, includes Realm a manipulative boy who’s in love with his girlfriend. Sloane and James are also trying to rediscover the love they shared before The Program wiped their memories. Often times this causes frustration because they want to know the truth so badly, but it’s still wonderful to watch them fall in love with each other all over again even with all the challenges they must face. The novel is centered around the actual Treatment to The Program and the characters trying to decide if the little pill which could bring them joy is worth the risk. The Treatment has dangerous side effects, and really, is remembering more important than your life?
My one downside to these novels is the actual suicide epidemic. It’s never really explained, but it seems suicide is just a means to an end for these kids. Almost as if they just wake up one day and say “I’m done” and decide to take their lives. And some seemed to be doing it because hey, that’s what their friends were doing. There’s never an explanation (which I assumed there would be) why. In a dystopian science fiction novel (because I love me some science!), I expected the answers to be something along the lines of an actual disease or some mutated gene. Something tangible and real that caused these sudden outbreaks of suicide other than “just because”. Later in the books, the suicides seemed to stem from the fact that kids wanted to avoid The Program – and this makes sense. Cause and effect. But how did it begin in the first place? What is the cause? Suicide, though terrible, does happen. But I just can’t seem to figure out why it just all of a sudden gets massive in these novels or why the government is so hell bent on stopping it. Or are we supposed to believe adults didn’t know so that’s why they invented the crazy a$$ Program? I think if this was better explained I would have given The Treatment a 5 Controller review.
Overall, if you can suspend disbelief The Program and The Treatment are phenomenal stories. The characters will suck you in and the mystery behind the epidemic will keep you engaged until the very end. There’s love, betrayal, gut-wrenching reveals and lots of cheering and sadness. Every twist and turn will make you wish this duology was actually a trilogy.