Review: The Program (Program #1) by Suzanne Young

The Program (The Program, #1)The Program (The Program #1) by Suzanne Young

Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Page Count: 408
Published by: Simon Pulse
Source: Library

Synopsis From Goodreads:

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.

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The Program is a really great book that I think has only a slight Dystopian aspect to it. To me, it has more of a contemporary feel to it, although the atmosphere is definitely dark and bleak and depressing. I'm still not sure that the suicide epidemic is entirely plausible, and I'm really curious how The Program came about. I am even more curious about the long term effects of The Program on society.

I liked both of the protagonists, Sloane and James, and I found them to be extremely likable. They were strong characters that were a bit rebellious, but not afraid to show their true feelings to each other. I enjoyed the relationship between Sloane and James. They are a super cute and believable couple who are completely in love and dedicated to each other. I liked that they knew each other and were friends for a long time before they became a couple. Since they were an established couple, it made it easier to root for them and want them to beat the odds and be happy together.

I found it compelling how The Program adversely affected the teens. They are basically forced to hide their true feelings and only appear happy. They must always keep their emotions in check so they don't attract the attention of The Program. Any sign of instability and they will be flagged and taken by The Program. So not only are the teens afraid of being infected and committing suicide, but they are actually committing suicide to avoid going into The Program. It's a double edged sword!

The Program itself is definitely twisted and wrong. For some reason, the adults bought into the idea of The Program and believed it to be the best course of action for their children. I find it hard to understand any parent putting such faith in the government to come in and take complete control over their children's lives, wipe out their memories, and send them back as shells of their former selves. It's as though the parents were brainwashed into thinking that the government knows best.

I very much enjoyed reading The Program. The plot is just different enough to be very entertaining. It's a real page turner that kept me constantly reading because I just had to try and find out what was going on. I loved all of the characters and I found them to be very interesting. I loved the suspense and not knowing what would happen next, and I thought it had the perfect amount of romance with a little bit of relationship angst thrown in. In the end I was left with more questions than answers, and I can't wait to read the next book to find out what happens to our protagonists.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this. Sloane and James were just amazing, their love for each other was something I really enjoyed. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  2. Sandra, this is the book I chose as my prize for one of the giveaways I had won, I really do hope that I enjoy it :D Did you include this in your Debut Author Challenge?


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