Last year when I listened to The Program, I noted how the story improved once the main character Sloane was out of The Program. With this sequel to Suzanne Young’s YA sci-fi thriller, sort of the opposite occurs.
Sloane and James are now on the run. They’re in love and no longer want to be controlled by The Program. In addition to their current situation, they hold a pill, the one that Realm had given her. It’s the anecdote to The Program. Swallow it, and you get all of your memories back that were erased. However, only the strong can survive the onslaught of returned memories. It’s a dangerous decision to make and one that James and Sloane decide to put on hold until they find some stability in their lives.
It’s not easy out there for any rebels. When trying to meet up with Lacey, the rebels actually end up kidnapping (but not really) James and Sloane and take them back to their headquarters. There, they share their plans that for the most part sound exactly what James and Sloane had planned on doing. But the issue is if they can trust the rebels. After all that they’ve been through, can they trust anyone?
The Treatment opens up with the promise that we’re on the path to answers. Why is there a suicide epidemic? What can possibly cause it? And what is The Program truly about? Those are the main motivators to continue on this journey. I guess that’s why I found the first half of The Treatment to be pretty boring. We see the status of the rebellion, which isn’t much of anything, and sit around for a while.
A highlight though is a new character, Dallas. She’s the leader of their little rebel group. She’s fiery and passionate. She’s not exactly likeable in the beginning, but I did find her interesting. I like seeing how her character progressed and became something much more as the story goes on.
The love triangle between Sloane, James and Realm comes back into play. It seemed like it was there as a device to help us pass time because I don’t think it was ever really a question who Sloane would choose in the end.
The second half of The Treatment gets infinitely better. The stakes get so much higher, and there are some surprisingly terrifying moments, especially for Sloane. It’s here when I feel that we’re getting close to some real answers.
As for those “answers,” I somewhat understand what the author tried to do but still am slightly disappointed. It’s hard to elaborate completely on how I feel about how the explanation for the epidemic is handled. It just comes down to the fact that this isn’t a story about the suicide epidemic. It’s the story of girl, Sloane, who is living in that world.
I decided to come back to this world in audiobook form. This time around narrator Joy Osmanski sounded less robotic, still a little nasally when doing the guys’ voices. Is it worth experiencing this story with the audiobook? It’s really up to you. I thought The Program would be better read, but I think the experience of reading or listening to The Treatment is more on the same level.
The Treatment wraps up Sloane and company’s stories well. It’s hard not to feel happy about the state of each character by the end. In fact, the ending for one particular character is shared with an epilogue, and it honestly was my favorite moment in the entire book.
The Program series rating: 7/10
The Treatment by Suzanne Young is now available wherever Digital Audio is sold. Listen to an excerpt from the audiobook below.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio (April 2014)
Length: Approx. 9 hours
Series: The Program – Book 2 of 2
Source: Unabridged Audio Download (Provided by publisher)
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
Completed: May 2014