Monday, June 22, 2015

Title: The Remedy
Author: Suzanne Young
Narrator(s): Rebekkah Ross
Series: The Program, book #0.5/#3 (prequel)
Length: 9 hrs 45 mins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Source: audiobook received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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In a world before The Program…

Quinlan McKee is a closer. Since the age of seven, Quinn has held the responsibility of providing closure to grieving families with a special skill—she can “become” anyone.

Recommended by grief counselors, Quinn is hired by families to take on the short-term role of a deceased loved one between the ages of fifteen and twenty. She’s not an exact copy, of course, but she wears their clothes and changes her hair, studies them through pictures and videos, and soon, Quinn can act like them, smell like them, and be them for all intents and purposes. But to do her job successfully, she can’t get attached.

Now seventeen, Quinn is deft at recreating herself, sometimes confusing her own past with those of the people she’s portrayed. When she’s given her longest assignment, playing the role of Catalina Barnes, Quinn begins to bond with the deceased girl’s boyfriend. But that’s only the beginning of the complications, especially when Quinn finds out the truth about Catalina’s death. And the epidemic it could start.


So, I've gone through a whole gamut of emotions where this series -- and most especially this book -- is concerned. I loved The Program...it was so different from anything I'd read before. I was a tiny bit disappointed with the follow-up because The Treatment didn't pack the punch that the first book did, but overall I enjoyed it. And I found myself immensely excited about The Remedy when it was first announced, then apprehensive as release date loomed, and then almost completely apathetic because I was so sure I wouldn't love it as much as the previous books, and nowhere near as much as The Program.

Needless to say, I was wary, though after listening to this prequel to The Program, I can tell you I really had no reason to be. But I kind of feel like these books should incite these types of feelings in readers. After all, they're tackling the subjects of teen death and suicide and the programs the government puts in place to subvert these issues. That aspect alone is reason to tread carefully.

The Remedy brought to mind all of the things that I loved so much about The Program: the secrets and lies, the government involvement, the main character's loss of self, and the emotional manipulation that comes with the territory. But it also gave me a new character to completely agonize over. Where Sloane had her memories taken away from her in The Program, this prequel gives us a protagonist who has too many memories swirling away in her head -- a lot of them not her own -- to the point that she sometimes can't separate her reality from those of the deceased people she's portrayed.

I really enjoyed the pacing and characterization in this novel, especially Quinn's interactions with those she knows from work and with those of her host families. It's creepy in its own right, what she does for a living, but I can also see the value in it. Though I hope our society never resorts to this method of coping because I can also see why outsiders had a hard time with Quinn's presence when she was on assignment.

I'll be honest, I loved this book, but I'm a tad worried about the "sequel" since it'll be an "on-the-run" type book, much like The Treatment was. I think I prefer the "edging closer to the cliff" setup of Young's first books when it comes to her duologies, over the chase-and-answer sequels. But I could be completely wrong on that front, especially considering what happened in that epilogue. (!)

At any rate, this was another fabulous audiobook from Rebekkah Ross, aka Elizabeth Louise. I listened to this last week and then picked up Confess almost immediately after, and I couldn't help but notice that the narrators sounded the same. Ya know, I'm not complaining, but I really wish there was a list of narrator pseudonyms somewhere so I knew who I was really getting. Actually, I'd probably listen to even more audiobooks if I knew this info. But I digress. :)

This was a great prequel. I can't usually say that, especially because I don't usually like to read prequels. It was also very creepy. Even more so than The Program. And I can't wait to find out how Quinn's story ties into that one, though I have my theories already. Mostly concerning a certain someone's daughter. Really hope the next book delivers the same oomph.

GIF it to me straight:



About the author:

Originally from New York, Suzanne Young moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She currently resides in Tempe, where she teaches high school English. When not writing obsessively, Suzanne can be found searching her own tragic memories for inspiration.

Suzanne is the author of several books for teens, including THE PROGRAM, A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL, and A WANT SO WICKED.

Find Suzanne:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



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