Title: The Treatment
Author: Suzanne Young
No. of Pages: 352
Genre: Science Fiction; Young Adult
Origins: Simon Pulse
Release Date: 29 April 2014
Bottom Line: Heart-poundingly, pulse-racingly awesome
“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?”
Thoughts: The Treatment picks up at the moment The Program ends, as Sloane informs James of the existence of one lone pill that will let someone regain his or her full memories lost to The Program. Given that the suicide epidemic is gaining traction in even the adult population, the potential hazards of regaining lost memories is not something either Sloane or James can easily ignore. As they struggle to decide what to do with this miraculous windfall, they know without a doubt that they must keep The Treatment from the hands of The Program. Much running away and chasing ensues.
At the heart of the series lies the very real question of whether an epidemic, like the suicide epidemic that exists in the stories, becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Does the hysteria created by the media and governmental reactions cause such situations to become worse or better? These are questions raised in the first novel, and Sloane only now gets around to discovering she is not the only one with such doubts. In their narrow escapes from recapture, Sloane and James come into contact with an eclectic group of people, and they must determine whether such self-expressed doubts are real or a mere cover to infiltrate their little band of rebels. It’s a taut web of fright versus flight, trust versus betrayal, and questions with answers buried among the lies.
Suzanne Young really knows how to tell a story. The first novel in this series was absolutely outstanding, but this second novel exceeds even that. The Treatment keeps readers’ hearts racing, increases blood pressure, and starts their bodies pumping out adrenaline to the point where going to sleep after reading it will be an exercise in futility. Ms. Young draws the reader into the action, making one a mute witness to everything Sloane and James encounter. The resulting emotional involvement creates the quintessential “must read in one sitting” reading experience.