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.*
The Program sounds like a really well done dystopian and I'm glad you enjoyed it. I love books that keep you on the edge of your seat, and dystopian that seem like a (scary) possibiltiy. Great review :)ReplyDelete
I have a feeling I'm going to be kicking myself for waiting so long to read this one too Ali! I heard great things about it when it first came out but for some reason never picked it up, and now I kind of regret that. I love strong, character-driven stories, and I have no doubt I'll be a huge fan of Sloane and James. Can't wait to read this! Gorgeous review:)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much Jenny! :)Delete
Glad to hear that the author managed to take a difficult subject and transform it into a gripping read. That takes talent! Thanks for the great review.ReplyDelete
I agree, it really does!Delete
Great review. I've been meaning to pick this one up because I heart its good. From your review it obviously is. Don't know if I can handle any more dark stories with suicide in the midst after reading Me Since You by Laura Wiess. But since this is dystopian as well and I'd like to read more into that genre, I'll give this one a try.ReplyDelete
It really isn't all that dark. It does have a darker feel to it than some reads but nothing out of the ordinary for a dystopian. ;)Delete
Adding it to my tbr list!ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you loved this one too! I really enjoyed it. And I love Suzanne's writing!ReplyDelete
She really is, I am excited to read her other series as well now.Delete
I still need to try this author and I am wishing I had gotten a copy of this one last year, I read some outstanding reviews on it!ReplyDelete
I know! I ended up buying a copy because of all of them and was kicking myself for not getting the ARC then.Delete
I still have to read this author and I should have read it when it came out. Books that deal with tough issues are usually my fave so I have no doubts I'll enjoy this one. Great review, Ali :)ReplyDelete
I think you will really like this one then Tanja. :)Delete
I've had my eye on this book for ages, so very glad you enjoyed it! I'm hoping to see it on sale soon!ReplyDelete
I hope it goes on sale soon for you!Delete
I went back-and-forth about reading this when it first came out. I mean, I DO want to read it now, but haven't felt that compulsion to pick it up. It does sound good, though, so I'm glad you liked it!ReplyDelete
You know, I actually think you would really like this one Christy.Delete
I hate waiting. After you recommendation though, I'll be buying the set. :-)ReplyDelete
Anna from Shout with Emaginette
Hmm, you make me want to read this. From the writing to Sloane and James. I love that it felt realistic and was dark at times. Wonderful review Ali!ReplyDelete
Thank you Kim, I think you would like this one.Delete
This is one of those books I've had on my list to read for some time. I am glad you loved the characters. Encourages me to move it towards the top. Great review!ReplyDelete
You really should, I am sad I waited so long.Delete
I have had this on my TBR list for a while I am so glad you liked it. Great review. I cannot wait to read it!!!1ReplyDelete
I've heard so many great things about this one, but I've been hesitant to read it. I'll definitely have to start it soon, though! Sloane and James both sound like amazing characters and the story itself sounds incredible. I think I might just wait until the sequel's released so I can read them both back to back. Great review :)ReplyDelete
Definitely read them back to back!Delete
I really need to read this, I keep reading fantastic reviews for it, and the next one is just around the corner. So glad to hear you liked it and that you're ready for more. Great review!ReplyDelete
OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDReplyDelete
This book! I got approved to read book 2 in the series "The Treatment" a week ago so I was STOKED.
It's on Edelweiss so go apply :) If they approved me, who forgot what her blog looked like, they'll approve you-cuz you're an AWESOME blogger!
Sorry about the obnoxious and over enthusiastic start to my comment. I am glad you enjoyed one of my faves from last year. In fact I thought of telling you about this when I posted on your other review a few minutes ago.
Hehe thanks for the compliment! <3Delete
I actually read book two already (review coming soon!) and LOVED it. I bet you really will too. ;)