Author: Suzanne Young
Series: The Program .05
Genre: YA, sci-fi, romance
Pub Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
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.
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, and studies them through pictures and videos. 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 was hesitant about starting this book. Suzanne Young books and I have a tumulus relationship. I really liked her first book, The Program, but I wasn’t a *huge* fan of the sequel, The Treatment. I went into this book with little expectations, but I was still pretty disappointed. I tried to get into it, but I just couldn’t, so I finally gave up.
The initial concept was a little odd, but I was still interested to see how it would be executed. It didn’t take long for me to be really put off by it. I know it’s supposed to be sci-fi/dystopian-ish, but the conditions for Quinn at her job as a closer felt ridiculous and only for the sake of a plot. It’s said that closers need to have a few weeks in between jobs, to relieve some of the pressure and unsettling emotions from the closers, but Quinn is only given two days in between a job, and, on top of that, she’s going to be on a certain project for two weeks (when jobs are never this long). Something about this whole situation made me really put off and annoyed, like it was only being done at the expense of moving the plot along.
Another huge issue I had was with the characters. Quinn is a carbon copy of Sloane, the main character from The Program. Her voice was identical, as were her actions and mindset. She annoyed me all the time, and I couldn’t connect with any of the other characters (probably because they were annoying, too). Don’t even get me started on Quinn’s dad and the other lady Quinn worked with (can’t even remember her name!). I hate parents/parent-like figures that are underdeveloped and don’t even act like a parent–which this book suffered from. I’m not saying all parents in real life are great, but when Quinn’s father said he cared about her then completely ignored her wellbeing and sent her in for a dangerous mission, I was pretty done.
This book was really slow, too. The exposition was too long, and it dragged for the first 50 pages. I felt like nothing really happened, and there were a lot of scenes that could’ve been cut or combined to speed up the pace. I like Suzanne’s writing style, but it couldn’t save the story itself.
I didn’t get to the actual romance because I gave up too early, but I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out between Quinn and the guy. Also, I sort of sensed a love triangle, and after the one in The Program, I wasn’t eager to read about it.
Overall, I just couldn’t get into The Remedy. The characters were copies of ones from previous books, the plot dragged, and the romance seemed doomed from the start. I seem to be the black sheep though, so if you loved the author’s other books, I’m sure you’ll like this one! It just wasn’t for me, sadly. Maybe I’ll read her other works, maybe I won’t–we’ll see.