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 just finished my reading The Program by Suzanne Young and I’m currently sitting here at my computer, typing random words on the screen so that I have more time to come up with a coherent thought process. Reflecting on this book is not an easy task. You see, my thoughts are jumbled. I feel some happiness, but mostly I feel sad and pissed off over what transpired throughout this book. I want to retaliate and throw the book at the wall until it creates the story that I want to read about. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen, so let me start at the beginning.
The Program is grouped into three very different sections. The first section starts out by introducing Sloane and James, two very much in love teenagers who live in a world where teenage suicide is an epidemic and “The Program” is there to brainwash them into being perfect citizens. Of course, that brainwashing also includes wiping their memories of everyone they used to know. This first section I loved the most. Most importantly, I loved James, who I was looking forward to reading about throughout the rest of the book. James had all the qualities that I look for in all my future book boyfriends: hotness, sarcasm, loyalty and passion. Not only that, but he and Sloane were the perfect couple that everyone dreams about. It was during this first section of the book that I began to prepare myself for an amazing book; a book that could have potentially been transformed into an epic movie.
It was during the second section of the book that I started to get pissed off. The book started to take a completely different approach than I anticipated, and I was not thrilled with this new development. Also, I just couldn’t seem to handle some of the rotten things that were transpiring. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll say this much: teens are starting to be force fed pills, brainwashed, and abused; beloved characters are being pushed aside and warped; and the book takes a totally different turn than what truly should have happened. I was upset by this new twist to a book that I should have loved.
The third section of the book is where I started to develop mixed feelings. I was still pissed off, you see, because there was still a lot of horrible things happening to the teens and main characters. However, I was happy to see the main characters fighting these abuses and taking a stand. The ending of the book made me a little more excited for the next book, but after the unexpected and unwelcome twists and turns that this book had to offer, I just don’t know if I want to risk it in the next one. I have a very specific layout that I want to see happen in the next book. I’m going to be even more pissed off if that doesn’t happen.
I’m not going to rate this book because I don’t even know how to do begin to do that. I loved the first section of the book and the main characters. However, I hated some of the content that this book had to offer. I even had a stress headache throughout two thirds of the book. I enjoy feeling some intense emotions during dystopia books but this was just a little too much for my taste. I think that I’m more annoyed because this could have been a fantastic book! I expected Sloane and James to infiltrate into the Program and do something drastic. That didn’t happen, and I was very upset with the results.
I guess that I’m just a little disappointed with how things worked out. I understood the message that the book offered. I also understand why others will love this book. Maybe I’ll save my judgments for the next book cause I just really don’t know how to rate this one.
Publication Date: April 30th, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse