Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Series: The Program #1
Published by Simon Pulse on April 30th 2013
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.
Ever finish a book and immediately want to open it back up again? Even if you know the book will tear your heart out and leave you an emotional mess, like this?
You’ve probably read The Program by Suzanne Young then. If you haven’t, here’s the deal: If you can’t handle emotional ups and downs, frightening situations and an incredibly suspenseful plot, then… maybe you shouldn’t read this.
In all seriousness, The Program is one of the only dystopians that has made me completely terrified of the society presented in the book. The only other dystopian that was able to do that to me was George Orwell’s 1984. Am I getting carried away? Probably. But, seriously, I was head-over-heels terrified of the “Program” (not the book, the actual Program).
The synopsis makes us believe that ” love” is just a sub-plot, but in reality, it’s actually very predominant in the book. I thought this would have been a disappointment, but it was incredible. The love between Sloane and James was completely believable and not at all cheesy. This story isn’t completely over the top in sci-fi-ness, so it’s not a difficult concept to grasp. That’s what makes it entirely more terrifying! The fact that ” the program” is even scientifically explained (I’ve no idea if it’s true, though) makes me think that, just maybe, it could happen in our everyday life.
This book is divided into different parts, each part emphasizing a different aspect of Sloane’s life.
The first part of the book is completely heartbreaking! Sloane deals with grief over and over again, all while having to keep it bottled up in fears of being taken in by the Program. We the readers get a front row seat to her sadness and suffering. I couldn’t help but feeling the same pain and sadness that she felt. What really made this part for me was the romance between Sloane and James.
They’re both burdened by holding in their feelings and being the “strong” ones that everyone else needs. They both suffered first hand the death of a loved one (specifically, Sloane’s brother) and the complications that come after someone you loved died.
The love story they had together was so cute and smile-inducing. James was cocky and arrogant, but at the same time, a perfect match for Sloane. He was sweet,
incredibly attractive, and caring.
“You know I’m never going to be able to not kiss you again, right?” he said. “For the rest of my life, every time I look at you, I’ll have to kiss you.”
The second part of this book is where the real substance comes creeping in. It’s where you see firsthand what actually happens inside the Program. This is truly the most terrifying part of the book.
We practically realize how everything is being taken away because of the Program, with absolutely no hopes to stop it; but also, we see the reason behind the Program.
…can a proper decision be made when the mind is clouded with disease? It’s an infection; a behavioral contagion. And we’re the only cure.
The final part of the book is where everything comes together. This third part was so emotionally layered that I had to remind myself to breathe once in a while. I was up ’till the wee hours in the morning trying to finish this book, and I regret nothing.
Part by part, Suzanne Young creative a wonderful story that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. You’ll feel as if you were living in the frightening and unsettling world that Sloane is living in. If you think that Dystopians aren’t your thing, then maybe you should reconsider.
I can’t wait for Book 2, The Treatment after the frustrating cliffhanger at the end of this book.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
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