ARC Reviews: The Epidemic and Dream On

Posted April 25, 2016 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

ARC Reviews: The Epidemic and Dream OnThe Epidemic by Suzanne Young
Series: The Program #0.6
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia
Published by Simon and Schuster on April 19th 2016
Also by this author: Just Like Fate, The Program, The Treatment, The Remedy, Hotel Ruby, The Adjustment, The Complication , Girls with Sharp Sticks
Format: ARC (384 pages) • Source: Publisher (ALA Midwinter)
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four-half-stars

Can one girl help others find closure by slipping into the identities of their loved ones? Find out in this riveting sequel to The Remedy and companion to the New York Times bestselling The Treatment and The Program.

In a world before The Program…

Quinlan McKee has spent her life acting as other people. She was a closer—a person hired to play the role of the recently deceased in order to give their families closure. Through this process, Quinn learned to read people and situations, even losing a bit of herself to do so. But she couldn’t have guessed how her last case would bring down her entire world.

The only person Quinn trusts is Deacon, her best friend and the love of her life. Except Deacon’s been keeping secrets of his one, so Quinn must set out alone to find Arthur Pritchard, the doctor who’s been trying to control her life. The journey brings Quinn to Arthur’s daughter, Virginia, who tells Quinn the truth about Pritchard’s motives. The former closer will start to see that she is the first step in fighting an epidemic.

But Quinlan doesn’t want to be a cure. And with all the lies surrounding her, she realizes she has no one left to rely on but herself—even if she doesn’t know who that is anymore.

my thoughts pink

I was SO excited to grab this one from ALA back in January, but OF COURSE I waited forever to finally sit down and read it. There’s something wrong with me, okay? But after the cliffhanger at the end of THE REMEDY, I knew I had to get to it as soon as there was a break in my reading schedule. Honestly, I kind of created a break in my schedule; I knew this book was one I could finish in three sittings or less because I get sooo addicted to Young’s writing. This was definitely the case with THE EPIDEMIC!

It took a few chapters for me to be reminded of what happened in the previous book. Thankfully, there was a pretty solid amount of recapping THE REMEDY without feeling like too much information. I still loved Quinn and was wondering what would happen with Deacon, after the previous book’s major cliffhanger about him.

The biggest question I had throughout the story was HOW. How is all of this happening? Does Virginia have something to do with it all? How is it possible that suicide became an epidemic – something contagious – instead of something just related to groupthink. I was so eager to get to the end see everything tie into THE PROGRAM and THE TREATMENT. It’s weird reading a prequel series because you know how the world ends up afterwards… and it’s not a pretty place to be.

I knew that my final rating for this story (and if it would be added to my “favorites” shelf) would depend completely on the ending and the explanation of everything. I was so curious to see how the series ties together and how the epidemic began; it’s the driving force of the story and created so much suspense.

So did it live up to my hopes? Kind of. I definitely wanted a bit more to the explanation of everything, but the rest of the end really worked for me. View Spoiler » While I was reading, I kept thinking about how this story was leading up to THE PROGRAM and THE TREATMENT. It’s a pretty bleak way of looking at this prequel because you know what the world becomes. Will these characters get a happily ever after, even if the rest of the world goes to shit in the next installment? View Spoiler »

Suzanne Young said on Twitter before (and again when I asked her) that there are some decent changes between the ARC and the finished copy. You can see from the conversation I just linked that it luckily includes more about Reed. He was a really interesting character, but it felt like he was thrown in out of nowhere. I’m glad to hear that she added more about him in the finished copy because I think readers will appreciate his character being fleshed out even more.

Overall though – this was such a phenomenal installment in this already amazing series. I can’t recommend these books enough. If you haven’t read them yet, DO IT. You can absolutely read the prequels first if you like, but I have to admit I’m still partial to the idea of reading them in published order.

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I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

ARC Reviews: The Epidemic and Dream OnDream On by Kerstin Gier
Series: Silver Trilogy #2
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal
Published by Macmillan on May 3rd 2016
Also by this author: Dream a Little Dream, Ruby Red, Just Dreaming
Format: ARC (336 pages) • Source: Around the World ARC Tours
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four-stars

Things seem to be going well for Liv Silver: she's adjusting to her new home (and her new family) in London; she has a burgeoning romance with Henry Harper, one of the cutest boys in school; and the girl who's been turning her dreams into nightmares, Anabel, is now locked up. But serenity doesn't last for long.

It seems that Liv's troubles are far from over--in fact, suddenly they're piling up. School gossip blogger Secrecy knows all of Liv's most intimate secrets, Henry might be hiding something from her, and at night Liv senses a dark presence following her through the corridors of the dream world. Does someone have a score to settle with Liv?

Romance, adventure, and danger abound in Dream On, the second book in the Silver trilogy.

my thoughts pinkThis is definitely one of the few times I (generally) liked the first book almost the same as the second! I see second-book-syndrome happen more often than not, but this was not the case here. I was equally interested and eager to read this book. After finishing the first one about a year ago, I’ve been excited to see what happens next for the little dreamers.

This story follows Liv and Henry as they continue meeting up in the dream world. Some shit starts going down – much like book one – and they work to figure it out. This is very vague but I feel like anything else would be a spoiler!

A few things to talk about:
Characters

I love everyone in this series. I think the author’s writing style and humor really just trickles down into the personalities of her characters. It’s so fun to read! Mia is still my favorite and I ALWAYS want her more involved. To be fair, she was a bigger part of this book… but I still wanted more. There was one scene where the family goes out to dinner and I laughed out loud multiple times. I love when books and characters in particular can make you do that.

As for the Secrecy character (the school’s gossip blogger), I officially have a theory as to her identity! I commented in my review of the first book that I didn’t really understand the point of this character/website, but I totally get it now. It was definitely an interesting and relevant aspect in this book!

Romance

I loved Henry in book one, but he was my big issue in this book. MILD spoilers in this paragraph: There were some things happening in the dreams that Henry and Liv disagreed on, and I totally did NOT see Henry’s point at all. How does he think it’s okay to claim they’re just dreams, when everyone knows that’s not true for them? Their dreams are essentially REAL!

Usually it annoys me when a character jumps to conclusions about what their significant other is doing something sketchy, but I was totally with Liv on this one. So, in general, I wasn’t feeling the romance nearly as much in this book and I’m annoyed that THINGS didn’t feel resolved or answered by the end.

Suspense

Lots of fun action and suspense yet again! The dream aspect is just so crazy to me and it was cool to see it expanded a little further. It kept me on the edge of my seat. I suspect every character of wrongdoing and that just keeps it interesting.

Overall

I have to say, I’m really excited to start the Ruby Red trilogy now. (At the time of writing this, it’s going to be a Book Buddies review later in February.) This author is absolutely right up my alley and I hope the characters in her other series are funny like these ones. Even though these are translated, it never feels disconnected as a result. I think this series is very underrated so far; I highly recommend it!

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