Monday, July 22, 2019

REVIEW: The Remedy by Suzanne Young

The Remedy by Suzanne Young

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.

While this book is the third book in The Program series in publication order, it actually takes place before the start of The Program and follows a completely different set of characters. I really liked this book and found it to be a great expansion to the world The Program started in.

Ever since the age of seven Quinn has been a closer. A closer's job is to pretend to be a recently deceased person in order to help their family move on. She's been so many different girls, lived in the houses of so many families, and is always aware of death. Being a closer is difficult. She can't get attached to anyone, people fear closers, and it's very easy to forget that it's all pretend. Right after closing for a family, Quinn is given a new assignment, a much longer assignment, which is rare because it has been known to negatively affect a closer's mental health if they are a closer for too long. What's strange about this assignment is that no one will tell Quinn how the girl died and not only is she helping the family, but also helping the girl's boyfriend.

This book is very different in tone from the first two books in The Program series. It is very light on the sci-fi, in fact, I don't believe there are any elements I would consider sci-fi. But it still not entirely realistic and is very speculative. There are also very few references to what will eventually happen in The Program, yet it is very clear reading this book how the times are shifting towards The Program. This book mainly focuses on the closers which is a form of grief counseling in this world. I thought this was a really intriguing idea and it was really interesting to see how this grief counseling becomes a prelude to The Program. This book also has a stronger mystery, as Quinn is trying to figure out the girl she is pretending to be, while it also shows mental health very differently than the previous book. There is still an element of hiding your emotions, but for Quinn, it is not because of handlers but because she has to be someone else.

Quinn is an interesting protagonist and very different from Sloane in the last books. She's been a closer for so long that she has difficulty remembering what happened to her and what happened to the girls she was pretending to be. It is not an easy life and it's clear that she desperately wants to be normal, but her father pushes her to continue the closer life and she has so few relationships because of her life as a closer. When she starts this longer assignment, she so much wants to stay in that life, with these loving parents and a loving boyfriend. It really shows how much she has missed out on. I really liked her narration and we really got a feel for how much difficulty she had with her mental health because so much was pressured onto her for so much of her life.

I was very close to giving this book five stars but the romance prevented me from doing that. There is actually not a whole lot of romance in this book, which I really liked, but I wasn't really fond of Quinn's attachment to Deacon (or rather, Deacon's attachment to Quinn). Deacon is Quinn's ex, he is also a closer, and they had an off-on relationship before the start of the book. I understand why they are close to one another because they both understand what it is like to be a closer, but Deacon broke up with Quinn. Deacon hurt Quinn, for unknown and stupid reasons. But now Deacon is trying to get back with her? I didn't really trust him and I wanted Quinn to keep him at friend level because their romantic relationship wasn't very healthy. I would have been fine with that because that would be showing a different type of relationship in a YA book (that you shouldn't be in unhealthy relationships), but it doesn't seem like they are remaining just friends. I will also mention that like the last books, there is an almost love triangle. I don't really consider is a love triangle because there wasn't love there. Basically, Quinn starts a relationship with the dead girl's boyfriend. Quinn thinks it is love, but really she is just in love with the idea of the relationship that they had. I don't particularly agree with her choices, but I do like that this was explored.

Now throughout so much of the book, I just keep flipping pages, engrossed in the book. Then I get to the ending and boy was it a bombshell. I have to be vague here, but the ending was completely unexpected and it really blew my mind (and made me feel bad for Quinn). 


Overall, this is a great addition to The Program series. It introduced completely new ideas but it feels right at home with the rest of the books. I am excited to see how this will continue and lead to the actual Program. I most definitely will be reading the next book.

I hereby give this book
4 Stars!
Meaning: I really liked this book!

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