This week I'm pairing up my reviews so I can get them all posted in time!
(The Program #2)
by Suzanne Young
To be published by Simon Pulse
on April 29, 2014
Source: giveaway at ALA
Synopsis from Goodreads: Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go. Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose. Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?My (mini) take: I must confess: I didn't love The Treatment as much as The Program, but I am glad that I read it. I have a lot of affection for poor Sloane and James, starcrossed lovers trapped in a web of evil people who want to capture them and mess with their brains.
In this book, James and Sloane have escaped from the Program. It's rare that I am wildly enthusiastic about "on the run" books and that's pretty much what this installment was, as Sloane and James try to keep one step ahead of their pursuers and figure out who they can trust. One of my favorite things about The Program was the questions the book raised about what constitutes happiness and "normal" behavior. To today's parents, has teenage mental health become synonymous with "good" or conformist behavior? In The Treatment, with all the running around, most of these truly fascinating philosophical questions got lost in the mix.
I was also hoping for more resolution on the issue of Sloan's brother's death. After reading the first book, I was convinced was something sinister there. But I still I remain a fan of these books and a devoted shipper of James and Sloane. And overall, this duology does raise a lot of interesting and timely questions about how mental disorders and their treatment. While I wish The Treatment had taken the time to delve into these issues a little more, the book was still a pretty satisfying end to an interesting story.
by Juliana Stone
To be published by Sourcebooks
on May 6, 2014
Source: Thanks to Sourcebooks for allowing me to read an advance copy for review!
Synopsis from Goodreads: One mistake and everything changes.My (mini) take: Here's a quick test you can take to see if Boys Like You is a good fit for you as a reader:
For Monroe Blackwell, one small mistake has torn her family apart –leaving her empty and broken. There’s a hole in her heart that nothing can fill. That no one can fill. And a summer in Louisiana with her Grandma isn’t going to change that. Nathan Everets knows heartache first-hand when a car accident leaves his best friend in a coma. And it’s his fault. He should be the one lying in the hospital. The one who will never play guitar again. He doesn’t deserve forgiveness, and a court-appointed job at the Blackwell B&B isn’t going to change that.
Do you love those two-damaged-people plots in New Adult fiction? Are you a fan of edgy, angsty books like those by Katie McGarry? If so, this book is right up your alley.
I'm still on the fence about NA. While I appreciate all the emotions and issues the genre raises, I sometimes feel that all the angst and drama crowd out other things I value in a story, like character and plot development.
There were things I really liked about Boys Like You. The Southern setting was fantastic and Monroe's grandmother was a great character. Nathan and Monroe had sizzling hot chemistry that kept me flipping the pages. As a parent, I was especially moved by Trevor's story, and really felt for his parents and what they were going through. But at times, the "two broken people who find one another and smolder as they find healing" plot did feel a little busy. There was a whole lot going on - Nathan's issues, Monroe's issues, Trevor's issues. It just seemed that with so many issues, some of them got shortchanged. Given the cover, I was also a little disappointed that music wasn't as big a part of the book as I'd hoped. On the plus side, this book is filled with emotion and features a romantic relationship that I think a lot of YA readers will adore. If you go in expecting plenty of smolder and not as much music, I think you will be pleased.