The Program Series, Book 0.5
Description (taken from Suzanne Young's website):
Can one girl take on so many identities without losing her own? Find out in this riveting companion to The Program and the New York Times bestselling The Treatment.
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.
Quinn is a closer who helps grieving families cope with loss by becoming the person they lost. She will be that teenaged girl that parents have lost due to a tragic accident. What this does is give the parents a chance to tell their daughter what they wish they could have told her before she passed. In a weird way, it helps give them closure to move the grieving process forward. But with her latest assignment, Quinn's so wrapped up in it that she's lost a part of herself.
Quinn has become Catalina Barnes, a girl who mysteriously died. She is going to help the parents move on by playing their daughter for her final birthday party. But there's a curve ball, Catalina's boyfriend also needs closure. As Quinn melds into Catalina's life, she begins to wish for this dead girl's life. But is really pretending to be someone around grieving people the best thing for these people? Will Quinn be able to leave this assignment with her identity and sanity intact?
So this book is definitely one to appeal to fans of The Program; it's why I picked it up. It's kind of like a long and drawn-out intro to how the Program becomes what it is. But what on earth do closers have to do with erasing suicidal memories? Like I said, a long and drawn-out intro... Now back to the premise of the story: I was rolling my eyes and wondering if I was going to enjoy this story since the idea is so far-fetched. I personally think hiring someone to play a dead person to help with grief is a pretty dumb idea. But I got wrapped up in the story. And even when I had the story figured out and thought the plot was kind of pathetic, I had to keep reading. I wanted more. Even when I finished the book, I wanted the next one to know what happened to Quinn. That's how much I like Suzanne Young's writing. It wasn't until a few days later I was able to finally make an opinion and accept the fact that I was not a big fan of the plot. Even if I want to read the next one, I still think the plot is a little far-fetched.
I think this book and I have a love-hate relationship. I do want to read the next one. But I kind of have to tell the logical part of my brain to just ignore the plot and enjoy the story.