Author: Suzanne Young
Series: The Program Prequel #1
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Source: egalley received from publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Add to Goodreads
Buy the Book
***I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way changed my opinion of the book. The review below is my open and honest opinion.***
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
I loved The Program
and The Treatment
. I found the whole idea of suicide becoming an epidemic so interesting. So when I found out that Suzanne Young wrote a prequel, I jumped all over it. I think I liked this book even more than the other two. This story takes place before The Program was ever created. Before suicide was an epidemic.
Mental health is a very important thing in society now. Which I found extremely interesting and plausible even. More and more mental health is becoming a hot button topic around the world. People are talking about mental health more; awareness is growing. So I could totally envision our world becoming similar to this one day. A world where your mental health is constantly monitored and if you show any irregular signs you’re sent to therapy.
The main character, Quinn, is a Closer. She takes on the identity of young girls that have passed away whose families are struggling to accept their loss. She goes to live with the families for a few days, role-playing as their daughter. This way they get to say anything they didn’t get a chance to or they get to apologize for something they thought they did. Quinn offered a way for these people to get closure so they could move on with their lives.
I really loved Quinn. She really, truly wanted to help people and even though her job was extremely hard, she continued to do it so people could heal. Her life is not easy. Constantly pretending to be someone else, at times forgetting who you really are. Not to mention all the hate she got out in society. People would say the nastiest things to her and I just wanted to reach into the book and hug this girl. Quinn’s a smart girl, one with her head on straight. I was rooting for her this whole book and can’t wait to see what she’s going to do next.
I also really enjoyed Deacon and Aaron’s characters. Aaron was such a good friend to Quinn. I loved that they were platonic best friends of the opposite gender. What? This can work? Why yes it can. I loved that Aaron was there for Quinn no matter what. And the same goes for Deacon, her ex-boyfriend. They have a very complicated relationship, but come hell or high water, Deacon is going to come through for her.
I also really enjoyed the family that Quinn was with for most of this book. Her (pretend) parents were just super awesome people. You could tell they truly cared for their own daughters, but also for Quinn herself. They appreciated what she was doing to help them and they were there for her in their own way.
There were tons of twists and turns throughout this book and the mystery will have you turning the pages, unable to put it down. It ends on a cliffhanger, of course. At first I was super freaked out because I didn’t know there was a sequel, but the author confirmed that there WILL be a sequel called The Epidemic that will come out April 2016, so yay! Once again, Suzanne Young’s writing has captured me and I can’t wait to devour more.
Have you read this book yet? What did you think? Did you like this one better than The Program?