Monday, April 20, 2015

The Remedy ~ Suzanne Young (earc) review [@suzanne_young @simonteen #TheRemedy]

The Remedy (The Program #0.5)
Simon Pulse
April 21, 2015
416 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from TBD/or Amazon

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.

I absolutely loved The Program (review)  and The Treatment so, of course, I was completely thrilled when I heard about The Remedy. Set in the same universe as The Program and The Treatment, The Remedy takes place before either of them.  The Program, something so much a part of the characters' lives in the other novels doesn't exist, yet.

The Remedy also introduces to a whole new cast of characters. If I had any anxiousness around this new installment it was focused there. I adore Sloane and James and they're not here. But, I also am fascinated and intrigued by the world Suzanne Young created in those first two books. To see (even some of) how that came about was something I couldn't pass up.

Whether it's the characters or the world of The Program books you love most, The Remedy won't let you down. It's a whole different set up with all new characters, but it's just as special.

I loved The Remedy. It is a fantastic balance of being its own original story, with an incredibly creative and well developed world - and giving readers a glimpse into the world before The Program.

Quinn is a fantastic character to be at the center of the story. She's been a closer for, perhaps, longer than anyone. Doing it since the age of seven, she knows she's good at it. She knows how to get back into her own life as Quinn and how to stay in character as whomever she's portraying. Sure, some of her brightest memories didn't actually happen to her, belonging to other people.  But she's helping people.

The idea of closers, of the grief department is an idea that, frankly, creeps me out. Yet, the way it's done - how well Quinn can portray the girls, how much goes into it, the rules, the regulations - and how most people outside of the families view closers, makes it really work. Plenty of people (likely even the majority) are disgusted, horrified, scared, or somehow, generally, unsure of closers and what they do.

The longer Quinn is Catalina, the more we learn about Catalina and the mystery of her death, but also about Quinn.  She's not supposed to get attached to her clients and it's been an ability she was sure of. Now, the more time and energy she puts into Catalina the more she has to question.

I hope this wasn't all we get of Quinn and her story, of the lead-up to The Program and that world. Having already read The Program and The Treatment, I liked seeing what the world was like before The Program. You don't have to have read either book, though, to read The Remedy. While it's a prequel of sorts, it is its own world with its own characters.

thank you to the publisher for my copy to review via Edelweiss

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