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In a world before The Program...
Quinlan McKee is a closer. Since the age of seven, Quinn has held the responsibility of providing closure to grieving families with a special skill - she can become anyone.
Recommended by grief counselors, Quinn is hired by families to take on the short-term role of a deceased loved one between the ages of 15 and 20. She's not an exact copy, of course, but she wears their clothes and changes her hair, studies them through pictures and videos, and soon Quinn can act like them, smell like them, and be them for all intents and purposes. But to do her job successfully, she can't get attached.
Now 17, Quinn is deft at recreating herself, sometimes confusing her own past with those of the people she's portrayed. When she's given her longest assignment, playing the role of Catalina Barnes, Quinn begins to bond with the deceased girl's boyfriend. But that's only the beginning of the complications, especially when Quinn finds out the truth about Catalina's death. And the epidemic it could start.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By NMwritergal on 04-26-15
Wow! Simply dreadful.
Apparently the previous reviewer and I did not read the same book. This book was ridiculous (in a bad way).
It shouldn't be too hard to suspend disbelief with sci fi/speculative fiction/whatever you want to call it, but I couldn't.
The premise was absurd: teens doing hard-core role play as the dead child of whatever family they've been assigned to, so the parents can gain "closure" (in a couple of days). But the parents are supposed to alternately believe the "closer" is their kid but also realize they are not. Further absurdity ensues in that the closer is in danger of literally forgetting who s/he is from this immersion into the dead person's life for a couple of days. Please. The author tries to get us to buy this premise--this extreme danger to the closure by making up a bunch of rules the closers have to follow (e.g., one assignment a month) and telling us of others who have completely forgotten who they are, and constantly shoving it down the reader's throat to try to convince us. But I wasn't buying it.
I enjoyed the author's previous books, and this one was well written with an interesting storyline, characters, good audio narrator, so I kept listening. But always in the back of my mind was the thought of many different things that the author could have done to make this book work, which led to thoughts of "Uh, didn't her beta readers think this was silly? Didn't her editor say, 'well, why don't you try X instead?'"
Not sure why I'm bashing this one so hard when I really should have tried to save people from Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch, because that one was one of the worst I've ever listened to--to the point I had contempt for the author for writing such tripe and the publisher for publishing it and didn't want to spend another 30 minutes suffering by writing down all the reasons to avoid that wretched book.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful