This will be my last weekly round-up for a little while, as I have some different types of blog posts planned for the month of December as part of my Blogmas-ish… More about that soon! I’ve only managed three books this week and one I reviewed on Wednesday for the blog tour of Christmas at the Gin Shack, so this will be a brief post!
The Treatment by C. L. Taylor
First up was The Treatment which was a great, fast-paced read focused around the psychology of conditioning (Pavlov’s dogs etc), which is an area of psychology that has always interested me.
Mason has been admitted to a centre for treatment. One day his sister, Drew, is accosted in the street and passed a note from Mason pleading for help. The woman claims to have been his psychologist and comments on how she wishes she could have saved him. Drew sets out to find out what’s going on. She finds someone who has undergone the Treatment and the effects are chilling.
Drew is an interesting character, loyal and head-strong, she often makes decisions without fully thinking through the consequences, but this makes for an interesting story. Other characters are also fascinating: Mouse and Lacey both interested me a lot. Mouse is quiet and unassuming. She is terrified, and seems nothing like the rebellious type of child the Treatment claims to “cure”. Mason and Drew’s step-father is volatile and more concerned with his reputation and being embarrassed than he is with caring for his family. I would have liked more of his backstory, but it wasn’t really relevant to this story.
The psychology in The Treatment is well-written. I particularly loved this part from Drew’s story, where we learn more about the conditioning that is happening to the inpatients:
“The voice is tricking me. It’s asked me to look in the hatch before and there’s been a spider, an eyeball, an image of a child screaming.”
The Treatment is a great read. My only disappointment was that the ending was a bit rushed and lack-lustre by comparison to the rest of the story, but it is a minor gripe in an otherwise brilliant novel.
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
I wasn’t sure whether to review this or where to start. I didn’t dislike it so much as just find it odd and lacking in something. The synopsis was fantastic and sounded like exactly the kind of book I would want to read. Parts of it were really cleverly thought out: I loved that the perspective was different to any dystopia I have read before. The narrator has just had a baby at the start of a flood that covers London and leaves her and her family fleeing for their lives. The rest of the story was focused around the baby’s various stages of development, but there was no real substance to the story. We don’t discover enough about the characters to care about any of them and there is so little plot. The plot there is is hard to follow because of the way it is told in small snippets of almost verse-like writing, but without the magical quality that verse often gives. It’s a very short read, so worth it if you want to read something very different, but don’t expect too much from it.
What have you read this week?