Author: Suzanne Young
Series: Book One in The Program Duology
Published By: Simon Pulse (April 30, 2013)
Genre: YA Dystopian
My Rating: 4 Stars!
In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.
Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.
Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.
I knew this might not be an easy read and certainly wasn't going to be a fun lighthearted one. No book about suicide could ever be regardless how much fantasy is thrown into it. And I even expected for it to have a darker feel, what I wasn't expecting however was how much I would really love and feel for the characters.
Don't get me wrong, I knew I would love it, but you just never know and this being my very first Young book, I wasn't sure what to expect from her writing.
Can I jut say, I love her writing? I love the characters, the plot, and goodness, I loved this premises.
It wasn't pretty, James and Sloane's reality is a harsh one filled with loss, constantly being on edge, constantly being watched and constantly being fearful that the disease will strike someone they love or even them. It is a brutal world filled with uncertainty, rebellion and confusion. The Program isn't everything is seems to be and being taken, is almost as bad to those that get their memories wiped as death would be.
Sloane and James were fabulous. I loved them right away. I felt for them right away. I grew to care deeply about them and I wanted them to hang on, to beat the odds and to be well. Their romance is a sweet one filled with hope and love and strength. I loved learning their story through Sloane's memories and I loved how the author did it all.
This was truly an exceptional dystopian that not only is frightening in the realism of the what ifs but in how it all went down. It was believable and eerie and so darn captivating. Not to mention this was absolutely chalked full of fabulous secondary characters. Miller, Lacey, Realm, Kevin. All wonderful and all surprisingly had depth to them right from the start. And the best part about them, is the simple fact that even though you want to love them and care for them, there is still that little voice in your head wondering if any of them can be trusted. If any of them are who they appear to be.
While I am kicking myself that it took me so very long to read this one, I am so very thankful at the same time that I waited as long as I did, that the second book is just around the corner because I want more, I need more of their story and I need to know that it all works out because I really do love Sloane and James and I want the best for them. I need them to remember but also to forget and I need them to okay regardless of what happens.
Young weaves a tale that is not only stunning in execution but frightening in just how true something like this could be, how we, the reader, can see it, can believe it, and can fear it.
I am on the edge of my seat waiting for more.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by an outside source. I was not compensated for this review.*