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 brother Mason is expelled from school for the third time and sent to the 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. Before it’s too late.
I received this copy from the publishers for an honest review.
Whenever I am sent a press release for a new YA debut there are two main elements that suck me in: boarding schools and dystopia. This novel from C.L. Taylor touches on both these elements and the idea behind the plot is completely up my street. The story line centers on The Residential Reform Academy, a boarding school set up for child delinquents that teaches modern youth how to contribute to today’s society. Run by the government, the academy delivers a programme that is set to ‘make the country great again’. However, it is made clear early on that there is something sinister going on at The Academy, something that the government wants to keep hidden, and something that Drew will do her utmost to uncover.
Although ‘The Treatment’ had a clear dystopian undertone, I wished that more could have been made of the brainwashing element. For me, the story lost its intrigue towards the middle as the action centered on Drew’s escape rather than the horrors of the treatment itself. To cater for its younger audience, the story line was full of action and therefore lacked in character development. Was I rooting for Drew and Mason to escape? Not really. Will younger readers devour it? For sure!