Set in Nazi England, 2012–2014, The Big Lie is premised on one question: What if the Nazis had won World War II? With this in mind, The Big Lie is a speculative work of alternative history. While nobody can say for sure how things would’ve turned out, I think the world that Julie Mayhew imagined is a rather plausible outcome. She evidently did her research and wove together the fascist ideals and lifestyles of the 1940s with contemporary ones.
The first time round I read Divergent in 2013, I devoured it. I loved it to bits. For most of my teen years I read contemporary fiction and to finally delve more into science fiction, specifically dystopian fiction, was exhilarating. Since then I’ve read more dystopian books, some of which impressed me more and some less. Also, this time round I tabbed the pages with post-it notes, annotated and cross-referenced. This close reading forced me to be more critical (in the analytical sense) as I read.
Some might find it difficult to read a book about bullying from the perspective of the one who bullied. That is exactly the perspective that Tease offers. It is not a book that can be taken lightly. Neither is it a book about a victim of bullying who overcomes her plight. No, it is a story about the bully after her victim committed suicide.
I can hardly describe the overwhelming disappointment that The Treatment brought me. I know I wasn’t a fan of The Program but I did like it for the concept. Still, I had problems with it because of the many unanswered questions The Program left me with. I pegged them as cliffhangers, so I expected The Treatment answer them, particularly the ones about the suicide epidemic that wrought this society. Did I get those answers? Hardly. The big issues were glossed over so much, I was mad at the end of the book. To me, The Treatment hardly contributed to the duology. It would’ve been better left unread.