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The Innocence Treatment

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  58 reviews
You may believe the government protects you, but only one girl knows how they use you.

Lauren has a disorder that makes her believe everything her friends tell her--and she believes everyone is her friend. Her innocence puts her at constant risk, so when she gets the opportunity to have an operation to correct her condition, she seizes it. But after the surgery, Lauren is c
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by Roaring Brook Press
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Lara Yes. Not much cursing, nor anything vividly sexual.
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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Spoiler-free review!

"The funny thing about paranoia is it depends on the truth, right? I mean, it's only paranoia if I'm wrong."

Life has always been different for Lauren, who has an unexplained medical condition that forces her to believe every word she's told. When a treatment is offered that can make her "normal", she jumps at the chance, but the results brings on sudden, overwhelming paranoia.

This story reads as a non-fiction work compiled by Lauren's sister, who switches between young Laure
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, own
I received a copy of this book to read and review from Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. All opinions are my own.

When I initially requested this book from Netgalley I thought it was merely a story about a girl who had surgery which cured her brain disorder that caused her to be gullible and not recognize sarcasm. While that was partially what this story was about it was also much more than that. Now that idea alone would have been incredibly interesting. But add in the super s
bookreaderinluv but she's tired too
I really can't remember much of this book, only because it wasn't that memorable. It wasn't boring, just not interesting. The premise was there, the story could have been amazing, but the writing was kinda poor and I couldn't appreciate it as much as I would have liked to.
Reading Teen
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The not so distant future isn't looking bright, however this book's future is looking pretty blindingly bright because it was pretty freaking fantastic and I really enjoyed it and believe many readers (especially fans of the Illuminae Files) will too. 4 Stars ✨

Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I found myself quite fond of this book, which is why when I saw the announcement for the blog tour, I jumped on it! I have not been doing many blog tours lately, unless I know I really liked the book or author, so here we are. This came as part of my Macmillan Fall 2017 package, and was one of the reasons I picked said package, actually- it just seemed like my kind of book. And yay, it w ...more
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There was something irresistible about this novel and I can´t quite figure out what that was for me. I don´t know if it was the format or the morally ambiguous characters, the unique plot or the government behind the scenes. Or maybe it was all of those things combined. All I know is that somewhere along the way I fell in love with this book and I don´t think I will ever turn back.

The Innocence Treatment fascinated me in a way I hadn’t been fascinated in along time. I got caught up in these char
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put this book down. The way the story is told, sprinkling information about the world and it's events here and there throughout, left me hungry for more. The main character's mind is really fun to dive into, and the format it's told in- a collection of annotated journal entries and transcripts- only added to it. I love a good dystopian sci fi, and this one was really interesting. Read it, please. The way Lauren changes is haunting- the information she uncovers is shocking- and the wri ...more
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the full review you can always look at my blog...please look at my blog...

“There are some lies it’s nicer to believe.”

So Lauren had a medical condition where she pretty much believed everything everyone told her, all the time, always. Think William’s Syndrome minus the teeth problems and the supravalvular aortic stenosis. But then Lauren gets an an operation that cured her of her extreme naïveté. Now she sees the world as it really is – she can tell when people are lying to her. And her worl
Megan Anderson
I was really, really lucky to win a copy of this book from the author in a Goodreads Giveaway.

“The hardest lies to catch are the ones you want to believe” (206).

And that, my friends, is the most important line of The Innocence Treatment. You’re welcome.

Okay, maybe that’s exaggerating a bit. The entire book is important. No, really! It’s important…and funny and tragic and amazing, and I wish I could go back in time so I could read it all over again for the first time. It’s just that good.

Mrs. Europaea
Comprised of a series of journal entities and notes, The Innocence Treatment was better than I anticipated.

Lauren is a teenager that suffered from a mental disability who undergoes a surgical procedure that gives her cognitive abilities she did not previously have.

Lauren's very genuine character worked well with the contrived reality she faced. No one was really who they originally appeared to be and watching their true selves be revealed throughout the book was an interesting parallel as La
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The beauty of the epistolary novel is that it allows you to dig into the private thoughts of a character, and makes the book feel more real. The Innocence Treatment handles this so well that I sometimes felt like I was reading a nonfiction book, but set in an alternate universe. It is extremely well-structured, alternating between diary entries from a younger Lauren, to the present-day Lauren as she discusses these entries with a therapist. Geolman managed to give each character their unique voi ...more
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya

Of course I wanted to finish this ARC before publication date, but I didn't manage it. Just finished it a few minutes ago, so I am writing this while it is fresh in my mind.

Lauren has suffered since birth from "innocence," the inability to discern between honesty and falsehood, or to detect social intricacies such as jokes and sarcasm. She believes every word anyone says to her, which can of course be detrimental to her. So she lives a very sheltered and protected, but seemingly a very happy lif
Heather Brown
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, teen, dystopian
A terrifying dystopian extension of the Homeland Security Act, the Emergency Act allows the Department to imprison anyone suspected of anti-Department sentiments or activities to be arrested and erased from society, but Lauren just thinks it's great that the government cares so much about keeping us safe! Lauren is teenage-going-on-four, intellectually normal, but naive and gullible to the extreme. After receiving brain surgery to help her be more normal, Lauren suddenly realizes how messed up t ...more
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First let me say that I absolutely love an epistolary book, so this was a joy for me to read. There are journal entries, written video commentaries, footnotes, and therapy transcripts. Perhaps it was just me, but this book was reminiscent of "Flowers For Algernon" by the amazing Daniel Keys. That in itself made me love this book. They are both written in the epistolary format and they are both about people having their mind "advanced." This story was, of course, more futuristic as it was set pos ...more
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2017
I was not expecting this to be as great as it was but I am very happy.

Lauren was a great female lead and Sasha was a darling.
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, I just read this book this month and have totally forgotten what it was about. This does not bode well about the book. Hummm.
Sandy Reilly
This one didn't resonate well with me. While the premise was interesting - a teenage girl who is a science experiment, believing anything you tell her - I felt the plot got too messy at times. In certain aspects, there were too many details and in other aspects, not enough. A significant amount of time is spent on sharing minor details of Lauren's thought process while the actual specifics and motives behind why she has her "condition" are thrown at the reader in earnest in the last few chapters ...more
Kathy Martin
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This near future dystopia is a science fiction story about a girl who has a medical treatment that changes her from being trusting, believing everything a person tells her, and loving everyone to a girl who is paranoid about what the government is up to. Or is she? Paranoid assumes that what she believes isn't true. But what if it is?

Lauren Fielding is living near Washington DC after the Emergency through civilization - at least, in the United States - into chaos. A new Department has been forme
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-a-copy, arcs
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this novel, but I was pleasantly surprised! This story is written like a book, authored by the main character's sister, told in alternating narratives of journal entries and transcribed therapy sessions. The writing style did remind me a bit of Illiminae, which made for a quick read. I did find in the beginning keeping track of the timeline slightly confusing, since the entries are not done in chronological order. However, the author did a good job h ...more
Sara:) starke
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a good book with a plot that I hadn't heard before, but it definitely fits into the category of "I had a surgery and now I'm realizing I'm important." I didn't feel fully settled with the ending, but it wasn't bad in any way. I would recommend reading.
3.5! I had put off reading this book because the cover didn't grab me right away, and now I am sorry that I waited to read it. The cover actually fits the story's events quite well, and the story itself brings to mind Daniel Keyes' Flowers for Algernon, which also deals with experimentation and intelligence. I'm not saying the stories are the same at all, but they do explore similar territory. This one revolves around 16-year-old Lauren Fielding, who becomes part of an experiment to see if docto ...more
Dianna (SavingsInSeconds blog)
I received an ARC of this book through a book tour. Opinions shared are mine.
The format of The Innocence Treatment is a bit unusual. It alternates between Lauren’s pre-surgery journal entries and post-surgery interview transcripts. In certain areas, footnotes appear from Lauren’s sister Evelyn. Through these perspective windows, we get to piece together a patchwork truth. In a post-Emergency world where the government tamps down any whisper of discontent, who can be believed?

This book ranks as 5
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

4.5 / 5 Stars

This story is actually told in several different formats, and there are footnotes listed on some of the journal entries in the novel that discuss the POV from another close character of the main protagonist. I actually really enjoyed the story in the way it was written as I often don't see stories being written differently period. Seeing different POVs interact in the story, not to mention a story that is
Kate Meyer
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting premise - I appreciated how the story unfolded through the journal entries and doctor's reports. I also loved the footnotes - there's something about footnoted fiction that I find really grabbing; they were used well to build suspense. A fun read, nice and fast.

Interesting concept, but pretty predictable in how it was carried out.

I mean, I'm just saying, the more shocking twist would have been if (view spoiler)
I really am a sucker for this kind of "modern epistolary" fiction. (Look, until someone smarter than me comes up with a better name for this genre, I'm gonna keep using the one I made up.) Didn't always buy some of the journal entries (should I assume quoted conversations are paraphrased or fabricated, or is Lauren's new brain just that good at remembering things?) but I was pleased with the overall conclusion. 3.5 stars.
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A strong second novel, dealing with philosophical and psychological issues--highly readable but also truly thought-provoking.
Aunt Meanie
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book that I wish had been 2-3 times longer than it was. It had me hooked from page 1. The last page came way too soon.

The author builds the background conditions, and our characters, as living in the United States after there have been 2 “uprisings”. The conditions are pretty dire. For a time after the 1st uprising, the power grid went down, the Government shut down, we infer that martial law was declared because the story mentions “troops everywhere”. The Department of Security
Cytrina Ogle
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. It takes places in America in the future, and it's a bad future, where we are under a state of emergency. People are not free to criticize the government and there are riots in the streets. Lauren is a high school girl who is a complete innocent- she believes everything she is told, thinks everyone is a friend, and never sees the bad in anything. She goes in for an operation to change this, and what changes in her is that she sees people for who they really are. The authori ...more
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Ari Goelman is the award winning author of The Innocence Treatment and The Path of Names. In addition to writing fiction, he teaches at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and enjoys biking in the rain, especially when it stops raining. He lives in Vancouver with his family. If you want to learn more about Ari and his writing, check out ...more

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