The Remedy was wilting like a lettuce leaf in the 3-star range for me — and then HELLO TO THAT EPILOGUE. How can three final pages change everything so suddenly and horrendously?! I can’t…I…NO. Basically this book is incredible. I have a few twitchy comments, but mostly? Woah.
But before we dive in: YES. This is a prequel to The Program. It’s also a full-sized novel, and is about completely different characters and is set in a world BEFORE the Program begins. I read The Program (1) and The Treatment (2) before The Remedy (0.5) but I think you could read The Remedy as a standalone. It’s BRILLIANT.
Did I say that already? BAH. It bears saying again.
So let’s talk about the mega-weird premise. It wins ALL THE AWARDS for uniqueness…and then oh, gosh, what even is this madness. Basically there is a company that allows you to hire people who will go take the place of a dead-loved-one in your life and coach a family through the grief processes. It’s “therapy”. It’s designed so the family will be able to “say their goodbyes”. The families hire these “closers” to come and pose as the deceased. ISN’T THAT KINDA CREEPY?! (It is. Don’t deny it.) And the book definitely acknoweldges that feeling because Closers get abused a lot by people who think their job is sick. But, ultimately, they do help the families get closure and move on with their lives. Sometimes saying that final “goodbye” or “I’m sorry” or “I love you” is what they needed to move on. Obviously everything goes completely haywire in The Remedy.
There’s mystery and secrets because noooo one is telling the truth or giving all the details. And the dead-girl the main character, Quin, is there to impersonate died by “unknown causes”. DUM DUM DAAAAAA. MYSTERY IS ON THE HORIZON!
Okay but I do have a twitchy glare for The Remedy for just ONE reason. The characters are EXACTLY THE SAME as in The Program. Oh yes, they’re not The Program’s Sloane and James. Meet Quinlan and Deacon. Adorable, angsty, hot-and-cold relationship, she’s nice, he’s moody…so any of this sounding familiar?!
Their personalities were identical! Their voices were the same! It was a 380-page DEJA VU moment. Not okay. New characters needs to equal new personalities.
It’s totally an emotional read, but not exactly satisfying. I still have a bucketload of questions about the world. Like: this book is the prelude to the suicide epidemic, but I still don’t know WHY the epidemic started. The ending raised MORE questions instead of answering them. The company had huge holes in their reasoning. And then, the biggest question: WOULD HAVING A FAKE-DAUGHTER TO REPLACE YOUR DEAD-DAUGHTER ACTUALLY HELP?! Quin is supposedly helping with closure, but when we see her at work she a) doesn’t give any grief counselling, b) spends her time acting as the dead-daughter when isn’t she supposed to be helping them come to grips with the daughter being dead? and c) the book says everyone is quite emotionally cold to be able to survive the job, but Quin sure ain’t.
I spent the whole book feeling hot and cold towards it. I LOVED it one minute, and then had too many questions the next.
Ohhhh but the ENDING IS TERRIFIC. It ties into The Program in this incredibly sickening twist that just made me scream. The epilogue HURTS. It just kind of stabs the entire book in the face. I WAS SO IMPRESSED. And the plot twist?! The plot twist is INCREDIBLE. And mean. And awful. And how could this book do this to me???!
Thank you Simon & Schuster AU for the review-copy! The Remedy by Suzanne Young was published April 21st, 2015.
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.
so we have to talk about the mega-weird premise. does it sound viable to you? and how do you feel when you read different books by one author and…everyone sounds the same?? (have you ever had that happen?) also: are you going to read The Remedy?! I RECOMMEND IT.