The Program Review

Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Sci-fi, Dystopian 
Blurb: 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.

Me: I've always wondered and fantasized about the possibility of everyone committing suicide, and the domino effect it would have. (Think about it, if all your friends died, wouldn't you want to, too?) This is such an emotional book set on this idea.

The Downs: The only down I could find about this book was that the cause of the depression was said to be unknown, which just really annoyed throughout the entire book. I thought the truth might've become uncovered during the course of the book but it never was. I think that if the cause is not shown, then it just seems like the author was too lazy to think of one and make it tie in. There is a sequel though, so hopefully the history will reveal itself then.

The Ups: Everything else. Like I said, the entire idea had fascinated me, so I think to imagine the depression setting in and change the people was very saddening and real. This was such an emotional book. Most science fiction stories are more action/thriller style, but this book (being based on depression) was very evoking emotionally and I think I went a little crazy reading it. It makes the reader struggle along with the characters, who are going through depression, and it made my heart ache when James and Sloane were losing themselves to what they had so defiantly denied. After that, when their memories are erased, it makes a reader go nuts while screaming at the characters to remember. 
The characters were amazing. Realm was my personal favorite, being the bad guy who wasn't all that bad. He was selfish enough to fight for his own life at the cost of others, but human enough to give in for love. James and Sloane were both very strong and I think that made it all the more heartbreaking when they finally lost themselves to it.
The Program was a very interesting idea, and I could tell Suzanne Young had thought out the scientific side of it as well, which made it more believable. 
The romance was not overboard, but just enough to make it more excruciating for the reader when they got so weak they couldn't hold it in even for each other, and to make it more touching at the end.

Overall: Sequel. Now. Loved it!

Rating: 5 kisses!!

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