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’s 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 sinister 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.
I’ve been a fan of CL Taylor’s books for a number of years and I’m not the only one, as she recently won a Dead Good Reader Award for her latest book, ‘The Escape’. So, when I heard that she was releasing her first YA book, I was curious to see how she would write for the younger market and I wasn’t disappointed with this fast paced drama.
The story is seen solely through the eyes of Drew, a quick-witted girl who enjoys nothing more than surfing the web and online gaming, than interact with real people. She’s content in her life until one day, it’ all blown apart when a woman approaches her with a letter, claiming her little brother needs her help and so Drew finds herself in a cult like society, which rids rebellious teenagers and children of their personalities and turns them into clones through various methods of treatment.
Drew’s priority is stop her brother getting the treatment, that he would lose his outgoing and fun personality so the only way she can get prevent that from happening is to get inside the Residential Reform Academy. Once inside, Drew uncovers a lot of secrets about the institute and discovers a lot more than she expected in the eerie place.
I loved this story. Even though it’s set in the present and in UK, it does read like a dystopian and futuristic book. It flows at quite a fast pace with a fascinating lead character, who’s bold, outspoken and most importantly determined. She’s a confident young woman, who’s not afraid to stand up to the bullies and the staff at the school and she becomes friends with the quiet underdogs that others may take advantage off.
Throughout the story, there’s an eerie undertone, that only fully comes to a head when the story comes to an end, revealing quite a few secrets, not only to the reader but also to Drew and Mason. The book is cleverly written and it reads like an episode of ‘Black Mirror’, which is also scarily realistic. ‘The Treatment’ is an exciting introduction to a new series by C.L. Taylor and one series that all people of all ages will enjoy.
You can pre-order The Treatment from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 19th October 2017.