Book Review: The Treatment, by Suzanne Young

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“The girl I used to be is dead-The Program killed her. And for better for better or for worse, I’m what’s left.”

Starting where The Program left off, Sloane and her boyfriend James are on the run. They barely survived The Program, an organization that “cures” teenagers from depression by stealing their memories, isn’t ready to let them go.

When forced to team up with some rebels, Sloane and James have the time to ask themselves who they are. Without their memories, so much of their past is unknown. How much of their life is a lie? The good news is, they have an orange pill, more commonly known as The Treatment, that can bring back their memories and ensure those memories will be safe from The Program forever. The bad news is, there are two of them and only one pill, a pill The Program won’t rest until they find.

This book felt less dark than the first. Since they have been “cured,” suicide is more a thing talked about other people doing rather than the main characters contemplating doing themselves. Instead, they learn to accept that they must live for the present, leaving the past behind them, if they ever want to live for the future.

It always seems more hopeful, at least for me, when characters are on the more instead of isolated in a single area when they are being hunted down. There are plenty more places to hide and ways to evade, but when The Program needs to keep their 100% success rate, it could only be a matter of time. If or when they are caught, it won’t be the same as before. Because this time, The Program won’t merely take their memories. This time, their personality will be sucked out of them as well.

I don’t think it is necessary to read the first book in the series. All crucial elements of The Program is revealed over the course of the novel, whether referred to directly or indirectly varied. Other than understanding the characters and their situation better, I think it would have been more interesting for me to learn along with the characters the past events and who people are versus who they claim to be.

Even so, I believe the mature content of the book she be reserved for older teens. Depression and suicide, even in a futuristic world, still seems so terrifyingly real.

This review is based on an advance reader’s copy. The Treatment, published by Simon & Schuster, will be available in bookstores everywhere on April 29.

-Nicole G., 10th grade

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