Title: The Treatment (The Program #2)
Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Buy This Book: Book Depository
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? (Goodreads Summary.)
I first want to start off by saying that I love the pill cover, I think it works really well with the first book cover and ties in with the story. I thought the case cover was a really cool idea, like on the first book but I wasn't the biggest fan of the one for The Treatment. Now they're using it as the actual book cover and I'm even more disappointed.
Reviewing this book is really hard for me, especially since I loved the first book so much(review can be found here). But I can't lie, I was really disappointed by The Treatment. It wasn't a very satisfying ending and the rushed conclusion really left me feeling deflated and let down. As always, I will try to be as honest as possible and explain why this was without giving away spoilers.
James and Sloane are now on the run, unwilling to let The Program find them and take away their memories. They must trust Realm and the rebels he leads them to, to keep them safe and to keep them out of The Program. The Treatment, a pill that can bring back the memories The Program took away, seems like the exact thing they need. But it's not that simple, memory recall can come with it's own problems. Do they really want to take it if it just makes them sick again?
I thought the main storyline was really good and interesting, the idea that they could get their memories back really appealed to me. Sloane, without her memories, isn't anywhere near as likeable as the girl we met in book one. In fact, most of the time she was absolutely intolerable and infuriating and I wanted to hit the girl. My favourite character is still James. I thought he was brilliant in the first book and I really wish he had more time to shine in this. I also began to realise that I didn't like Sloane half as much when she wasn't around James, he definitely brings out her better side.
Realm was one of the biggest issues for me when it came to this book. The whole forced love triangle just felt silly and really grated on me the entire book. I couldn't understand the way Sloane acted or why she had such strong feelings for Realm. If you've read my review of The Program you will know that I hate the guy. He is strange, manipulative and really creepy. He knew Sloane for about three weeks in The Program and is insistent that he is head-over-heels, would-die-for-her in love with her. That just makes zero sense and wound me up constantly. Every time I had to sit through another one of his speeches about how he loves Sloane more than James ever could, I was about ready to throw my Kindle across the room and give up entirely.
The story moved along nicely and there was a lot going on. This did keep me guessing, which I enjoyed and I wasn't able to predict what was going to happen. I was a little bored at times but for the most part I thought it was a really entertaining sequel. I didn't want to put the book down, I had to keep turning the page which is always a good sign.
Something that I didn't get from the book was answers. In the first book I didn't think the suicide epidemic was explained well enough. Why do hordes of teenagers suddenly start killing themselves? I was really upset that you don't get any real explanation to that in this book. It seems like suicide is just something teenagers start turning to as the answer to everything, or just because someone else did. I couldn't get over that, it seems so ridiculously silly to me. I feel it portrays suicide as some really flippant issue, and that teenagers are just hormonal, overly emotional people incapable of finding another solution to their problems. It doesn't work that way and I don't think it's good to show suicide or depression in that light. It makes the whole issue seem trivial. It was very 47 Ronin in that sense.
The ending was way too rushed for my liking. And something that you would expect to have a whole chapter written for it, is actually just summed up in two or three paragraphs. It does have the added bonus of showing you what's happening six months later, which is always quite nice. But then adds on an epilogue that just didn't seem to fit. The rushed ending just made this all seem very anti-climactic and I was left unsatisfied. I didn't feel this packed the same punch as the first book, it fell a little flat for me.
Disappointing and anti-climactic rushed ending. Sloane isn't very likeable in this book, Realm is infuriating and James needed more time to shine. The love triangle was just way too much for me. A good book, but not the satisfying ending I was hoping for.
*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Edelweiss in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.