Series: The Program #2
Genre: Dystopia, YA
Publication date: April 29th 2014
by Simon Pulse
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?
-A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster Canada for review-
There’s always something nerve wracking about going into the sequel to a book that you loved. I was a huge fan of The Program so my hopes were high that The Treatment would follow in it’s awesome footsteps. I am saddened to report that it really didn’t. This novel fell so flat with me that I almost DNFed it about 3 times. But then I would think about how much I loved The Program and how since this is a duology this was the last book in the series and I just had to see how everything played out.
I’ll start this out by talking about what didn’t work for me because the beginning was just a train wreck in my eyes and then the novel started to get better in the final part. The Treatment is broken up into 3 parts, in the first two we catch up with James and Sloane as they are on the run from The Program and join the rebels out in the wild. I remember loving Sloane and James’ relationship in the first novel but it was so over the top and cheesy in this one. Every moment between them felt like the sweetness was just laid on far too thick, so much so that I started to be annoyed by them instead of buying into their romance. Things get even worse when Michael Realm makes his reappearance and we are treated to one of the most annoying love triangles I have ever read. James becomes an annoying, whiney baby and Sloane loses who she is by flip flopping between the two in a matter of moments. I mean there are no doubts in my mind that she wanted James, and only James all along, but she would allow Realm to kiss her hand, or hold her hand and think about the love she has for him and it was so annoying!
Another thing that annoyed me was the lack of detail as to how the rebels were surviving and living the life that they were. Dallas had a cell phone that she was constantly on, no talk of her buying minutes or paying a monthly bill so I wonder how the heck she was always using it. Also, driving these vehicles all around the countryside, how were they paying for gas? At one point, when James is throwing his big temper tantrum, he takes the Escalade from the safe house and ends up driving for days. Where did he get money to keep going at that time? It was mentioned that Cas (one of the rebels) had connections to get money so maybe that would explain how they got money to buy information but James would not have had access to that when he was out on his own. Also, they go to all these abandoned places that have working power, running water and even hot water at that. Who is paying the bills at these places? For rebels on the run they lead a pretty cushy life and I would have liked some explanations as to how they have these luxuries at their fingertips.
Things do pick up in the final part of the novel. The action gets going and the twists start coming but as far as I’m concerned it was just too little too late. Also the final jab at the program that makes everything end the way that it does seems so trivial and simple that it makes the series feel like it went on for no reason if it all could have been ended by something so simple. I am so sad that the series is going out on such a negative note with me and I kind of wish I had not read this sequel so I could have remembered The Program much more fondly, but unfortunately I can’t unread this one. I do hope that other readers aren’t as annoyed as I am by these things and maybe my word of warning will help you go in with a bit of trepidation so you come out liking it more than I did.