Book Buddies is a discussion-style review that takes place with one of my two buddies. (Learn more and see past reviews here) We both read the book and then have a private discussion about it. We post our discussion as a review on the last Wednesday of each month. You’ll be able to see our similar/different opinions on the overall book, characters, writing style, etc. – just like a regular review. The first half our discussion will take place right here, and the second half will be on Kaitlin’s blog! (Link at the bottom)
The Treatment by Suzanne Young
Series: The Program #2
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia
Published by Simon and Schuster on March 24th 2015
Also by this author: Just Like Fate, The Program, The Remedy, Hotel Ruby, The Epidemic, The Adjustment, The Complication , Girls with Sharp Sticks
Format: Paperback (368 pages) • Source: Purchased
Goodreads • Amazon • Barnes & Noble
Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”
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?
View Kaitlin’s part of the discussion here.
Some spoilers ahead!
Do you agree with Sloane’s parting words at the end? She explains how the NOW is all that really matters; the memories don’t matter as much.
Kaitlin: Well, I think this really depends on the person. I personally think that childhood memories are super important to have because they are the ones that are truly carefree and fun and happy. Sloane could have had a childhood that was happy and I would like to remember that stuff but if she didn’t have a good childhood then obviously you wouldn’t mind letting go of those memories. One important factor in her childhood though was Brady. Based on what I’ve read, Brady and Sloane have been pretty close for a lot of their years in her life and that’s something you don’t want to forget, especially because Brady is no longer around. She does have James and her parents to feed memories to her though. I don’t know honestly. In the situation she is in, I think it’s okay that she doesn’t remember stuff from her past because there can always be reminders of them. Because she is still young there is a lot of time for her to be able to create new memories.
Lauren: I totally agree with you. I can’t believe that Sloane doesn’t care about her childhood memories at all! Living in the now is important but at the same time, your past can really shape you and make you who you are. For her, she doesn’t have much of a choice…which is probably why it’s easier to live that way. Her memories of Brady may be painful but I’m sure she wishes she could have them back. I think maybe we take for granted the fact that we CAN have plenty of memories to look back on. We’re lucky in that we’re able to live based on our personality, our experiences, and what happens now. Sloane will hopefully at least be reminded of her old life and memories through her parents and James.
If you went through The Program and had the option of taking The Treatment, would you? Or would you agree with Sloane and focus on the present day and moving forward?
Kaitlin: Oh this is hard. I think it just really depends on how many memories I will have to intake. Like if the Program were to take me in right now and somebody were to hand me The Treatment I would definitely take it because I like the memories I currently remember. I guess I also have to look in this situation as if I were a person who just came out of the Treatment. Yeah I guess I would want to take the Treatment because memories are precious things you cannot replace or buy and it’s what makes a person truly truly unique. Despite the fact that it is a very painful process, I would definitely take the Treatment if I ever had the chance.
Lauren: I think I would too, without much hesitation! I know it would be painful but I’m sure it would be possible to move past it with some therapy and help from others. I would rather have my memories and just deal with a little bit of pain in the meantime. I guess if I were Sloane the decision would be a little bit harder because of James. I’m sure its not easy for him because he remembers everything and she doesn’t now. She didn’t want that situation to happen in the first place because it must be hard to be the one who remembers.
Do you think it will be difficult to read a prequel now, knowing everything we know about The Program? If you haven’t already read the synopsis, what do you think it will be about? (If you have read it already, are you excited to based on the synopsis?)
Kaitlin: I read the synopsis awhile ago and I don’t think I remember much from it. I don’t know how I feel about the prequel. It would be nice to read from a different perspective and their experience with The Program. Hmmm what do I think the Remedy will be about? I’m hoping for a story about how it was to live when the Program was first being developed and suicide was already an epidemic. That would be interesting to read about since we know how bad the Program is and how bad it soon gets. I also want to see how people first reacted to The Program when it was first introduced because the people in Sloane’s time were pretty much all for it because The Program was just something they were very familiar with.
Lauren: I agree, I read the synopsis a while ago and forgot what it’s about… I hope that the prequel takes place a while before the first book in this series, because – I’m with you – I want to know more about how the Program came to be and what life was like before it was started. Sloane’s story takes place right when things start to get bad and have been going on for a while. It’ll be really interesting to see some of the events that led up to the creation of the Program. As we talk about below, I’m really curious about what exactly started The Epidemic. The Program mentions a bit briefly but there has to be more to it than “depression medication” causing the problem. Because, really, there are plenty of people who take it today without side effects!
What are your theories about The Epidemic? What do you think started it? Do you think they’ll tell us in the prequels?
Kaitlin: I really hope they do tell us in the prequels because I am very interested to see how it becomes an epidemic. Obviously, suicide is a huge problem now and people have been doing their best to find ways to prevent it. Suicide can be caused by depression, bullying, and just the thought of not wanting to live anymore. Suicide is never going to be a thing where we can get rid of completely but we can lower the numbers of people who commit suicide. I think what really caused it to become an epidemic is just a growing amount of people who commit suicide every single year. The number probably just got bigger and bigger until someone put their foot down and found a way to stop it. I don’t agree with The Program’s methods of curing the Epidemic and I do think that there is a more gentle treatment to everything.
Lauren: Suicide in a general sense, in our society, is exactly like you described. There are so many different ways it can start: bullying, depression, feeling unwanted… I think because suicide has been a major issue lately (especially for trans teens and cyberbullying), this book really is coming in at the right time. Clearly it’s not as bad as the Epidemic, like in the books, but who knows? Maybe it could happen in our society. I want to see the progress of how suicide becomes a regular issue, like it is today, into a full-blown holy-shit-we-need-to-fix-this-NOW issue. I think that The Program definitely perpetuated suicide a bit more, so maybe it’s a major reason that the Epidemic became so huge. That’s my biggest theory at this point. Suicide, in our world, isn’t “contagious” like it is in these books… but if you had multiple friends and family members commit suicide, you may second guess everything. That seems to be how things got started in the Program.
The Recovery is a short story focusing on Realm, taking place after The Treatment. Do you think you’ll read this one? What do you hope to find out about Realm, if anything?
Kaitlin: Ugh, well I really despise Realm so really, I wouldn’t give a damn for him. If I do read The Recovery, I would really like to see him come to his senses and realize that he has been an ass to everyone. Disrespecting Sloane’s relationship, being such a jerk to Dallas, and lying to everyone. Then he would realize that he is better off leaving everyone alone because despite the fact that he really helped Sloane and everyone survive when they were on the run, he really emotionally damaged to everyone; especially Sloane and Dallas. I just really dislike him and I probably wouldn’t have a fun time reading about him. It would be interesting to see his time as a handler and see what it was like to take the Treatment but that all happened before the book.
Lauren: YES I do not like Realm at all. I hope he comes to his senses about everything. I understand that he wanted to keep things moving in the right direction and make the best decisions in the long run, but he was so dishonest with everyone ALL the time! I agree, if this book were a prequel I would love to find out more about how he got involved with everything and his time as a handler. I don’t think I’ll really enjoy reading it, but I’m a sucker for novellas! I don’t like reading them too much but always feel like I NEED to in order to get the full picture.
Do you think this series would make good movies? Who would you cast as the main characters?
Kaitlin: I really had to think about this because this is not your typical dystopian novel. It is a bit slow and honestly I don’t know if I would want it to become a movie. Movies tend to cut off a lot of information and important events and this book is nothing but important events. I think with the right director and writers it would work really well as a movie. I am really bad at casting things so I’m going to try my best to cast as close as possible. My Sloane would have to be someone like Danielle Campbell or Kay Panabaker. As for James a younger version of Rick Cosnett would very well.
Lauren: That’s a really good point. It would probably be a good movie because there are lots of more pointless events that could be cut out and only the important ones would be shown. I’m not sure how the movie would work though, because I feel like there’s no major rising action. There aren’t as many defining events and it would be hard to make it dramatic enough to be completely entertaining. If they made a movie for each book, I could probably get on board… but they’d have to up the intensity for the second book! Also, I love your casting! I can’t lie I had to Google two out of the three people you listed… but they’re spot on! I’d watch that movie 😉
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