All sixteen year old Drew Finch wants is to be left alone. She’s not interested in spending time with her mum and stepdad and when her disruptive fifteen year old brother Mason is expelled from school for the third time and sent to a residential reform academy she is almost relieved.
Everything changes when she’s followed home from school by the mysterious Dr Cobey, who claims to have a message from Mason. There is something about the ‘treatment’ he is undergoing. The school is changing people.
Determined to help her brother, Drew must infiltrate the Academy and unearth its deepest, darkest secrets, before its too late.
I don’t normally read Young Adult Fiction, but I am a huge fan of Cally Taylor’s thrillers so when she was looking for reviews for The Treatment, I thought I would give it a try. Like her other books, this is well written, spine tingling psychological thriller. The only real difference between her YA novel and her adult psychological thrillers is that the main protagonists are teenagers and of course there is a difference in the language used.
Like her other thrillers, C L Taylor has a female lead character, who is stronger in character than they think they are. Drew is a young woman who is being bullied at school, doesn’t have a great relationship with her stepdad and is quiet and introvert, something a lot of young people can identify with. Through the novel we see her grow as a person, and gain confidence in herself and realise how much she really does love her brother. As in a lot of. YA novels her nemesis is the adult, her stepdad the ‘friends’ and doctors at the Academy and the establishment. There is a fairly small cast of characters which helps focus the attention. The attention to detail of the characters gives them a sense of realism and makes them memorable so you are having to flick back for details you may have forgotten. I thought that many of the characters, and the situations and relationships they have were very relatable which enhances the readers experience of the novel, and makes the thriller more exciting.
The plot is fast paced with plenty of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat. The chapters are short and end at a cliffhanger point making you want to read on. Being a YA novel, I feel the short chapters make this an accessible and encourage you to read on; a much less daunting prospect than long chapters. The narrative of children being brainwashed is and idea that has always appealed to younger readers, it is a time when the YA dynamic are finding their feet, pushing boundaries and questioning the establishment, so the idea of the young protagonists taking them on is a perfect theme.
The Treatment a fast paced, rollercoaster of a thriller, written with the same skill and finesse as C L Taylor’s adult thrillers. A brilliant read.