July 31, 2013

The Program - Suzanne Young

Young Adult
Pages: 416
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Goodreads / Amazon

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.

This book made me remember vividly why I love dystopia so much. That endlessly doomed feeling that intertwines so fiercely with the reader's endless hope. Equally sad as it is romantic, this new series is one of my new favorites.

The premise of suicide and depression being an epidemic was scarily realistic and well explored. The what-causes-what question always looming near by. At some parts, I felt depressed myself. More than once I felt the dread and hopelessness of James and Sloane's world. I could understand perfectly why the would want to end their lives in a world like theirs. But then some parts were so infinitely hopeful and uplifting that it completely compensated.

"True things are destined to repeat themselves"

The bits and pieces of James and Sloane's love story (how they came to be and how they fell in love) were so believable and mundane, and yet completely enchanting. They were my favorite part of the book. This is one of the most heartfelt romances I've read this year and I was definitely not expecting that. Sometimes the romance falls monotone when the focus of the book is the dystopian aspect. In this case, the author knew perfectly how to interlace the powerful love story with the premise.

It was also a very thought-provoking read making me wonder constantly if our memories constitute who we are or if, somehow, we can be the same person without them. If more than just our brains have memory. If there is an essence of who we are can transcend what we do or don't remember. And even how powerful our instincts can be with no memories to lay upon. And the fact that it made me think so much cemented my decision to give this book 5 stars.

Overall, one that I highly recommend and should be getting way more attention. If you love dystopian fiction or want a sigh-worthy romance this is for you!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see this was a winner for you-wasn't quite to my taste as I found some parts just too forced but I can see how it obviously clicked for you.


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