The Treatment is the final episode in the 2 part duology known as The Program. Sloan Barstowe and James Murphy have escaped The Program and are trying to stay one step ahead of being brought back in and rewired so that they can't remember their own names. At the end of The Program, Sloan was given a pill by Realm, and we learn more about why it is so damn important and how come people would kill for it.
The Program itself was created in part to stop the teen suicide epidemic that reached every country in the world, but it is much, much more than that that. It is also apparent that anyone who tries to undermine what the Program is trying to do, faces severe consequences to their health.
As with The Program, Sloan is the protagonist and it is through her eyes and emotions that we see the turmoil that exists in this society and in her own desire to try to stay true to her self while trying to retain some memories of her past. Sloan is a bit of an emotional wreck. She's lost memories of her past, memories of her brother, and has no contact with her family who betrayed her. She's caught in a spider web of deceit, and her emotions for two different men are causing her to ping pong between the two.
I'm going to say that I really enjoyed Sloan and James being together even though they had some issues to sort through like most teen couples do. I definitely preferred their relationship to the grimy, slimy, betraying, backstabbing piece of junk known as Michael Realm who is obsessed with Sloan to the point of being a dirty rotten stalker. I hate Realm even more after Young digs deeper into his background and reality of what really happened to Sloan in the Program.
Whenever I mention how much I loath 3 way love triangles, it is like yelling out CORRUPT ASSHOLES! to a room filled with politicians. Immediately, hundreds of people run to the door while flipping me off and cursing me out. I. Don't. Care. Having Sloan face the challenges and difficulties she did because of Realms actions are beyond treacherous and as a reader, they are also not something I can forgive or forget although apparently when you have no memories of what really happened, things are a bit understated.
The Treatment is broken into 3 parts. The first part of the story is Sloan and James staying ahead of The Program's goon squad while meeting up with a small band of rebels led by Dallas Stone, a character who I really wanted to read more about. I thought about this after finishing the book, especially the epilogue. I think if we had a bit more background on Dallas, she could have been just as strong of a character as Sloan, perhaps a bit more determined since she experienced hell on earth at the hands of a sadist handler. The second part has a bit more action and suspense, while the third part once again finds Sloan fighting tooth and nail for her very own survival at the hands of the doctors at the Program, as well as trying to save her remaining memories.
Overall, I feel a bit let down by the events of this book. The Program blazed a trail with plenty of action and left me with an anticipation that the sequel would raise the stakes even higher. Although I am a bit discouraged by the story, I won't discourage anyone from reading the series. I think Young hits on an important subject with how much antidepressants are used in today's society to combat depression. You can mix a medical cocktails all you want trying to make someone HAPPY, but you can't force them, and that's what the Program is all about. I will rue the day when doctor's try to send teens to a similar facility in this reality.
*Recvd 11/11/2013 via Edelweiss* Expected publication: April 29th 2014 by Simon Pulse
Author - Suzanne Young
Title - The Treatment (The Program # 2)
Published by Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Genre - YA, Dystopia
Format - EBook 352 pages