Rating: 5/5 stars
I recently finished reading “The Remedy” by Suzanne Young, a prequel to “The Program”. “The Program” is one of my favorites, but I personally think this book was even better. The novel follows a teenage closer named Quinlan. In this only slightly futuristic world very similar to our own, closers are employed to help assist with grief. When certain families are having difficulty dealing with the loss of a loved one, a closer will step in to aid them. Closers skillfully imitate the person who passed away, by mimicking their voices, and wearing wigs and contacts. The closer then stays with the family for a few days, taking on the role of their lost relative. This process is designed to give the family closure over their lost loved one, and to minimise the levels of depression. In “The Program”, depression is known as an international epidemic. However, in this prequel, this is only hinted at in foreshadowing. One day, Quinlan receives an unusual mission – she must stay with a family particularly struggling with grief for two weeks, which is longer than any closer should be in character. Quinlan takes on the task, but soon struggles to differentiate between her and the character she plays. In this thrilling tale, Quinlan must soothe the family’s grief, and hide her impending panic when she realises that the character she plays mysteriously committed suicide, a fact covered up by the government. I absolutely adored this story – I’d give it a 5 out of 5 stars and honestly, I had no issues with the novel. None at all; something incredibly rare for an honest reviewer. I was already loving the story on its own but then plot twist after PLOT TWIST hit me, making the story even more flawless. I definitely recommend “The Remedy”, whether you want to read it before or after “The Program”. Though there is slight foreshadowing, I don’t think it’s really necessary to read the other book before reading this one. If you want mind-blowing plot twists and a crazy cliffhanger, all wrapped up in an electrifying dystopian, you’ve come to the right place.
It’s like this book has a flawlessness checklist – and hell yeah it ticked all the boxes.
1. Characterisation – Quinlan is such a realistic and relatable character, so relatable that it felt like I was feeling all of the pain that she was feeling! So yeah – basically a lot of feels.
2.The Creep Factor – So I’m not sure if you got it from that synopsis, but the idea of closers is weird. Like really weird. You want someone to dress up as your dead child? Apparently the government has it covered. Not only is that weird, but when Quinlan starts discovering things about the suicide victim she is playing, the book gets kind of dark and disturbing. In a good way.
3.Writing – Suzanne Young wrote this book flawlessly. While I had some issues with “The Program“, within this novel I found none. Her writing immediately drew us to care about Quinlan’s welfare, and soon it was as if I was the closer, having to differentiate between the character and myself.
4.Romance – The romance in this book was so frustrating…in a good way. On one side, Quinlan has her gorgeous moody ex, but they have a history. On the other side, Quinlan’s character had a boyfriend whom she encounters. Seeing his dead girlfriend in the form of a closer definitely triggers some of his emotions. So there was a kind-of love triangle, but not really. Either way, I loved it.
I could continue on with the checklist, but it’s not necessary – Suzanne Young did it all. I could write some sentence with a lot of pretty adjectives, but instead I’ll just say this: