Book Club: The Treatment

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Author: C. L. Taylor
ISBN: 9780008240561
RRP: $19.99
Publisher: HQ Young Adult
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

C.L. Taylor is an established author in the suspense genre who is now spreading her literary wings a little. The Treatment is her YA debut and the first of her works that I have read.


The Treatment is a story that echoes with similarities to many other stories. I had a lot I wanted to say about the similarities and what they made me think of, days ago when I started the review and when I finished the book but once again life got crazy and reviews got left behind.

Teenagers often push boundaries and test limits which impacts on the adults in their lives, especially the authority figures in the family. From the perspective of the adult, especially a step-parent, that can be really hard to live with and there are times many of us wish we could just do something to bring them back into line.

Adults look at teens and think that this is our next generation, this is who we are handing safe keeping of our society over to and when it’s troubled teens you are looking at it can be quite a scary proposition. Those already in charge of society, or a section of it, can be quite protective of what they’ve built and the thought of these tearaway teens taking over could be terrifying, what will they do to all our hardwork? These are the people in a position to be able to do something about that.

I remember often hearing people threaten boarding school or military school, send them away somewhere so that someone else can instil some discipline and to an extent that’s what this is doing. Troubled teens get enrolled in a program at a high class academy for behavioural therapy to transform them into dedicated and focused young people with a desire to do something good in society.

Drew Finch is a bit of a loner, getting most of her interaction through anonymous websites and blogs. She is worried when her troubled fifteen year old brother is sent away to reform school but there isn’t much she can do except keep doing what she’s doing and wait for him to come home, until she gets a mysterious message that leads her to believe that there’s more going on at the academy than they are meant to know.

Loner she may be but Drew loves her brother and would do anything in her power to protect him. How far will she go to get him out before it’s too late?

Taylor has written quite an engaging story that drew me in and had me wanting to know what came next and how she would get herself out of the trouble she threw herself into.

The story wasn’t as fresh and original as I would have liked it to be, it seemed to be a bit of an amalgamation of a lot of other storylines but it was well written and well executed. The characters were both realistic and relatable and a lot of the interactions between teen characters were terrible to watch but very true to life. Bullying is rampant among teens and can be quite demoralising, Taylor uses that to shape her characters and it was quite disturbing to eavesdrop on at times.

The whole premise of this story is completely terrifying, more so because in a lot of ways it’s completely plausible. The story is a psychological suspense so I don’t want to say too much.

Drew is determined to save her little brother by any means necessary but how can you save someone from something that there’s no real information about….

I enjoyed the story, there were a few unpredictable twists which I really loved and the conclusion leaves us with an inkling that it’s open for a sequel which I would definitely check out.

Thanks go to HQ Young Adult for supplying a copy of The Treatment for review.

C.L. Taylor can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and her website.

The Treatment is published by HQ Young Adult and is available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to HQ Young Adult 20 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading The Treatment so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

 

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20 thoughts on “Book Club: The Treatment

  1. The Treatment by C.L. Taylor is a YA or Young Adult read – a genre I quite like to indulge in because of it’s typical energy, adventurousness and tendency to challenge the status quo. Whilst I did like The Treatment, this book is very much a read for younger ‘young adults’ – thirteen and fourteen-year-olds would probably most enjoy it, but for older ‘young adults’ whilst entertaining, it is probably a little bit too much of a predictable underdog saves the day against impossible odds, type of adventure.

    The Treatment’s main character Drew Finch is described as an introvert, with a tendency to shy away from trouble. Instead she retreats into herself and different online personas rather than having to face the bullying she receives at school, the uneasy tension that exists at home with her mum and stepdad, or the reality that her missing father may in fact be, and is presumed to be, dead. Her troubled younger brother Mason, has already been packed off to reform school for being too disruptive, so it is easy to see why Drew tries not to ’rock the boat’.

    However, all this changes when Drew begins to suspect her brother is in danger. After some snooping, she finds out that rather than behavioural therapy to help Mason better cope with the world, the reform school’s treatment may end up destroying the brother she knew! It is an interesting comment on how far is too far in getting people to conform to a certain standard of behaviour… Left with no one to turn to for help, (even the authorities seem to be turning a blind eye to what is going on) and despite the very sinister developments she uncovers, Drew launches herself on a rescue mission to save her brother.

    This is an easy, well-paced read with relatable characters – the different friendships and relationships that are shown feel like real teen interactions (particularly the bitchy antics of Jude and Lacey) and the story itself is gripping, particularly in the later part of the book where the action peaks.

  2. “The Treatment” is a really good young adult thriller. Although the plot isn’t all that original, Taylor’s strong characters and fast paced writing means this is compelling and enjoyable to read.

    Sixteen year old Drew is quite happy when her brother Mason is sent to the Residential Reform Academy. He’s not the easiest teenager to live with, and home is pretty uncomfortable anyway, with a missing father they don’t discuss, and her mum’s new husband. So being rid of her loud mouthed and unhelpful brother for a while doesn’t seem a bad thing.

    Except that then she receives a desperate and mysterious message from Mason. He’s scared. The Academy isn’t benign. He doesn’t want their treatment… and, suddenly reminded of how much she cares about her brother, Drew sets out to save him.

    As I said, the plot isn’t that original, and the young adults this is targeted at are likely to see most major plot elements coming from a mile away. They’ll still keep reading, because Drew is such a realistic and empathic character that you really care what happens to her, and readers will quickly get caught up in her quest and her dilemmas. Other characters are less strongly drawn, but all felt realistic, and I was invested in what happened to the more sympathetic characters.

    In addition, Taylor’s writing is fast moving and involving – it’s easy to read and carries you along. Despite the familiarity of the plot, there was never a moment when I considered putting the book down.

    This is a young adult book that you could safely give to someone else’s child – although issues such as drug use and teenage sex are acknowledged, they’re barely touched on. You’d be unlikely to offend anyone’s sensibilities by encouraging their teenager to read this. At the same time, it’s a genuinely entertaining book that also raises some interesting moral issues about individual rights versus the “rights” of society as a whole. Taylor seems to have a clear view, but doesn’t moralise about it in a pushy way.

    As an older reader I enjoyed this, and I think many younger readers would find it quite gripping.

  3. I actually enjoyed this book which I was a little surprised about (given that I was not the target market) and have even gone on to give this to my daughter.

    Initially reading the blurb I was a little concerned about how much detail some of the topics may delve into however whilst things like drugs and sex were explored it wasnt done in great detail. For a young adult reader wanting to get into thriller style books.

    The book has a fast pace which ensures that you keep reading and constantly adds more details which creates an avid picture of what is happening, likely to happen and develops the characters desperation to get out of this institution.

    It is a little predictable (as an adult reader) but perhaps not so for the younger readers that this is aimed at.

    Worth a read.

  4. Thank you for selecting me to read The Treatment
    The main characters are Drew who is a 16 year old girl who is quite and sticks to herself she does suffer bullying at school, her brother Mason is a bit of a tear away
    Mason gets sent to a reform school, the reform school is not everything it is made out to be, which Drew discovers ( no spoilers )
    In the last chapters Drew and Mason make a major discovery ( no spoilers )
    This book does remind me of another book that I have read but can’t remember the title,
    After reading will be passing on to my 14 year old niece, and am sure she will quite enjoy reading
    I found The Treatment easy to read and am sure younger readers than myself will enjoy.

  5. The Treatment is a young adult novel I’d be happy to purchase for any teen. It’s an engaging read that doesn’t contain anything inappropriate. The main characters are relatable and great to follow.
    This book had me on the edge of my seat and I enjoyed it a lot.
    The plot has been hashed over in the above reviews but to me it was basically a Boarding School on steroids and it was intense.
    Great read. Thank you Beauty & Lace and C.L Taylor

  6. I enjoyed reading this novel by C.L Taylor from start to end.
    The basic story is about Drew who is a bit of a loner and her brother Mason, who is a bit of a rebel.
    They both are conflicted about their fathers disappearance and the new stepfather on the scene.
    Mason is sent off to a reform school because of his unruly behaviour, which at first, suits Drew as she found him to be quite obnoxious. But when Drew receives a letter from a previous counsellor from this reform school, (Mason pleading for help to get out) she realises how much she loves her brother and would do anything to help get him out.
    She ends up being sent to the reform school, which she is glad about because she can try and help her brother escape.
    The rest of the story explores teenagers behaviour such as, bullying, drug use and sexuality. Even though I would not be the target reader, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as it gave me an insight into todays younger society.

    1. well, what can I say, after so much has been written about this particular story. I have read it through, and to be honest it is a book I could really have done with reading years back, but I have enjoyed reading it now. I am not a teenager, but have gone thru the teenage years, falling in and out of love of course, and getting into one or two scrapes along the way. I have a young teenager who is the daughter of a friend of mine, so I shall now pass on to her mother to read herself, if she wishes, and then give to her daughter. I am sure this particular book will be passed along quite a lot to others. Todays society for teenagers, is nowhere like what I grew up with, but this book does give you an inside read about how difficult it can be for them.

  7. The C.L. Taylor, The Treatment is a very good read about teenagers who are placed in a program to be brainwash and control their personality’s to obey the people at Norton House. The teenagers in this book had to grow up fast and have some understanding about people that were going to cause them harm.
    I think teenagers have a lot of difficulties these days this book gives an inside read.

  8. Although not usually a reader of YA fiction I did enjoy this book!
    I found it fast paced and the characters believable and likeable. It was a book I was able to leave for a couple of days and come back to and know straight away what was happening without having to read back. Sometimes in life you need a easy but enjoyable book to read and I would say this is one of those!
    Even though it is a YA target audience, the story is gripping enough to keep you turning the page. She seems to have a writing style that really draws you into the story.
    It is my first book by C.L. Taylor but I am looking forward to reading one of her previous adult thrillers.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and HQ Young Adult for the chance to read and review another great book.

  9. 3.5 stars

    The Treatment is CL Taylor’s first novel in the Young Adult genre. I haven’t read any of her previous novels so I cannot draw a comparison with her adult fiction.

    Drew Finch is a bit of a loner. Bullied relentlessly at school she hides behind different on line personalities. Her younger brother, Mason, has been sent to reform school because of unruly behaviour. She doesn’t mind too much that he is gone as the house is much quieter without him. One day she is approached by a woman who says she works at the Academy and hands her a note from Mason. The note pleads for Drew’s help to get him out as it’s not a reform school it’s a brainwashing treatment and he is next.
    Drew is now determined to help Mason but who can she go to? Her mother won’t listen and her stepfather is the National Head of Academies. He is the one who sent Mason to the Residential Reform Academy. Drew must face her deepest fear to save her brother.

    This was a good fast read. I enjoyed the whole concept of the story; unruly teens brainwashed to be fine upstanding citizens. Sounds pretty good from a parent point of view! They send away an anti-social, drug taking rebel and they return compliant, upstanding, eager to please and serve. No one complains so the process continues.

    ”If mason came back like Charlie, mum would be onto the police straight away.” “Would she?” She laughs dryly. “Andy and Julie love the new Charlie. His mum’s always going on about how polite and helpful he is now and how delighted she is she’s got her little boy back.”
    “But he’s so weird. Sorry.” I pull a face. “I know he’s your boyfriend but he’s…..creepy. How can they not see that?”

    ”We’re turning antisocial teenagers into model citizens; young people who drained this country of its resources now actively want to contribute.”

    I enjoyed Drew’s growth from quiet and unsure to a feisty leader who questioned authority. Helping her brother doesn’t come easy and she comes up against pitfall after pitfall but she never gives up, never loses hope.

    There were a lot of things that happened in the story that I thought would be highly unlikely and think these may put off an older young adult audience who demand more depth in their characters and stories. However the story is perfect for the tween readers aged 10 – 14 years. It’s a clean read and the violence is minimal there is talk of drug use but no actual drug use. All the adults are either corrupt or too wishy washy to act and the teens are feisty and intelligent, which would appeal to this age group.

    There is a lot to talk over in the story with themes of troubled teens, brainwashing, shock treatment, family bonds, the burden of losing a parent, bullying and being yourself.

    The story ties up well however being told entirely in the first person by Drew it left me with a few unanswered questions.

  10. The C.L. Taylor, The Treatment, not a type of book i wold normally read but i did get caught up in the story line and enjoyed it. I think this a good read for teens and does explore many different aspects of what can happen and how young adults act. It explored the aspect of bullying while these kids were on the outside and when they were also in for “treatment”. I must say I did expect all the kids to band together and do an uprising which sort of happened near the end of the story…. in a fashion.

    The “treatment” process was well written outlining how a spirit is actually broken and how they achieve their end result of compliance. I thought it was interesting just how fragile the “treatment” was if the subject has a shock or becomes scared, this was an interesting fact and liked how they drew the comparison to the Pavlo dog experiment which gave the story line some thing to draw comparisons.

    The story line was well paced and did have me wondering what would happen next. The characters were interesting and the way the book was written gave you an insight into the core of the person. I think a bit more background on the main characters and their family would have given a bit of insight into the story line as it unfolded.

    Overall this was a good read and did keep me up late more than one night wanting to know the outcome of a particular event or series of events.

    Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book… and yes looking forward to the sequel which should tie up the loose ends.

  11. Thank you for the opportunity to review The Treatment by C L Taylor, although I don’t usually read young adult books I did enjoy this one although the plot was a bit predictable but wouldn’t be for the ages it’s aimed at. I’ve passed the book onto my 21 year old daughter as it’s more her type of book. I would recommend it to young adults and older adults it’s an enjoyable and it’s nice to have a change from what I usually read. I loved the twists and turns and it kept me enthralled till the very end which is always great.

  12. The Treatment by C.L. Taylor is an excellent book for young adults to read. The Treatment follows the story of 16 year old Drew Finch who is being bullied at school. Drew feels isolated as her brother, Mason has been excluded from school for anti-social behaviour and sent away to Norton House, a residential reform academy, her biological father went missing many years previously, her mother remarried and she does not get on with her step-father Tony.
    As Drew is being chased by her bullies on her way home from school one day, she is confronted by Dr Rebecca Colby who gives her a message from her brother, Mason. Dr Colby was a psychologist as Norton House and everything is not as it seems. The academy is not just reforming the students to make them better people but is in fact brainwashing them to act and conform to societies standards of a ‘good person’.
    As Drew learns more from the sister of a former patient of Norton House she is convinced that she must help her brother. What follows is a gripping read as Drew herself is sent to Norton House to help her brother and other inmates escape. With a major twist towards the end of the book I found the last couple of chapters hard to put down.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Australia for allowing me to read this exciting book.

  13. A lot of the books I have read as of late have been difficult to get my head around, so it was nice to read a young adult book that I could really dive into and not put down.
    C.L.Taylor has done a wonderful job with The Treatment and it is a book I will be handing to my “young adults” to read too as I think they would enjoy it and take away a lot from it.
    The characters are well developed – you love those that you are supposed to (like Mouse) and others really get under your skin (like Jude and Lacey). Various issues that kids face are also well developed and covered in this book which makes it even more relatable.
    A great read. I will be looking into more books by C.L.Taylor for sure!

  14. Thanks Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read a genre that I normally wouldn’t read. Initially, I was hoping my 11 year old son would read it as a good intro to YA fiction but unfortunately he didn’t enjoy it that much as he may not be ready for this type of storyline? Anyway, it was a good chance for me to read something different and I found the characters very true to life and facing relevant issues that tweens and teens face in todays life, especially confronting some rights and wrongs and making some huge decisions that may or not be the correct ones to take! Sometimes difficult when your memory is not what it used to be…
    There were a lot of plot twists and some shocks and sometimes I found it hard to follow but the crux of the story was good and would engage someone who is into these kind of neo-sci fi adventures.

  15. C.L. Taylor explores some mysteriously dark undertone in this ya novel and as a reader Id highly recommend to the older end of the ya scale to read. Great for any adult read who enjoys a YA novel with a great story line and strong plot. CJ Taylor touches many factors within this story, bullying, personality growth and some out of the box mind altering moments. THings that make you acutally think are these legit aka brain washing !!

    While the book mainly focuses on the two siblings within the story. While the story is well put forth it certainly gives the reader much room for thought, Makes you wander if this could happen in our future ? Food for thought so to speak.

    The fast paced story line is a thriller that will keep you intrigued till the very end,Only because the concept is different nothing like I have read before. – while it lacks any romance for those who do love romance in their reads, it definitely doesn’t lack interest and depth. The author has delivered a line between reality , what is real and what could be the author gives us many moments within that makes you wander – a novel that I would recommend to all who enjoy thinking outside of the box and possibilities even not written in words .

    .

  16. Loved the start, but give 3 stars for this teen book, I suspect it is more of a young teen book, and that I questioned the coincidences and lucky breaks a bit much… a few WT? moments! The start is great, a really great sense of drama, and I could not put it down in this part, but it lost me as it went on, I read to the end but felt I enjoyed the first third the most and then was treading water a bit in the middle. I actually know Bristol and London and have been to schools in both places where it was set and would have liked to have a bit more of sense of place, but it is often good to make the geography generic and so this was successul. The characters feel quite young, and real in a young way, but trying to be tough, and it would be very interesting to have the views of girls of the age, to see if they really strongly identified with this book as it is quite raw to the pressures of modern life, spreading yukky pictures on social media, and bullying issues, as well as blended families and the difficulties of keeping everyone happy. An interesting book that made me think.

  17. I loved The Treatment by C L Taylor. Even though it was for teens I enjoyed it as a woman in her mid thirties.
    Drew was a very likeable character that I engaged with immediately and I found myself unable to put the book down.
    CL explores bullying in its many forms throughout the book and shows us what it’s like to be a teen in this day and age.
    I highly recommend this book if you want something to keep you in suspense.

  18. I read “The treatment” by CL Taylor and although I it was a book aimed at the younger audience, I thouroughly enjoyed it as did my 13 year old, who read it after me.
    Drew’s character was interesting and kept me reading.
    The story covers topics that most teens in this day and age can relate to and that is what my daughter found the most appealing.
    A fun clean read for the teens .

  19. 16-year-old Drew is glad when her brother is sent to a residential reform school, after being expelled from school 3 times. However, when she gets a note written by Mason from Dr Cobey, she decides to infiltrate the reform school, called The Academy.

    I was a bit unsure of this book when I first started reading. I was worried it would be predictable. However, I was gladly taken by surprise. It started off how I expected, but then it took various turns that I wasn’t expecting at all.

    I spent the entire time reading this book, hoping that the characters would get out unscathed. I can’t say whether this happened or not, but I found myself really cheering for Drew, Mason, and another character named Mouse. I found myself really relating to Mouse as a teenage girl. I empathised with her quite a fair bit.

    I’m glad I had the opportunity to read this book. I will be looking out for any other books that this author has written!

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