The Treatment by C L Taylor

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The Treatment by C L Taylor

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Very, very readable and with pacy intrigue throughout, this is a brilliant young adult thriller.
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 384 Date: October 2017
Publisher: HQ Young Adult
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780008240561

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When Drew's brother is once again expelled from school and sent away to a special reform school, Drew doesn't really care. She has enough of her own troubles to deal with. But then one day she is followed home from school by a mysterious doctor, who claims to have a sinister message from her brother, begging Drew to help him because the school is not a reform school, and actually all the children there are being brainwashed.

I really enjoyed the pace of the novel, gutsy and engaging, and extremely readable throughout. The chapters are fairly short, all the way through, which helps with the need to read just one more, and then just one more again! Although it is a young adult thriller, I'm sure plenty of grown-ups will enjoy it too. The language is toned down from what it might have been in an adult thriller, but otherwise, plot-wise, it works just as well for adults as teens. I thought the reform school idea was very clever, creating an isolated location for all the action, mysterious and disturbing events, and that unsettled feeling of not quite knowing what's going on. Parts are quite dark and disturbing but in a good, atmospheric thriller kind of way!

Drew is a great lead character too, with her multiple online personalities to hide behind, and yet when the worst happens she finds that she is both brave and strong. I loved the way that she just launches herself into the whole adventure, on a rescue mission for her brother. The other characters are also well written and feel like real teens. I enjoyed the different friendships and relationships that grow and build through the novel. I thought that the familial relationships were portrayed well and that the step-dad is a good bad guy, whilst Drew's mum is wonderfully annoying and ineffective. Drew really is very good though, and she felt like one of those characters that the author has really enjoyed creating and writing.

I also liked the psychological aspects that are introduced and explained. They make sense, as they arise in the book, and they layer into the action of what's going on. Although there are moments when you wonder how on earth something like this could possibly happen, at the same time it is written so convincingly, and set within real-world conditions, that I felt if I ever heard of any mystery reform school in the future I would be very suspicious about what was going on there! There are moments of humour, but then also moments of real menace and terror. Towards the end I was glad I had a good, long evening in which to read, as it definitely wasn't an ending I would have wanted to leave to finish another night!

Further reading suggestion: For more thrilling reads, you might like to try Carnaby by Cate Sampson, Escape from Shadow Island by Paul Adam and How to Fall by Jane Casey.

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Buy The Treatment by C L Taylor at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Treatment by C L Taylor at


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