by: Suzanne Young
Release date: April 30th/13.
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: ARC from Publisher
The Program on Goodreads here.
Synopsis courtesy of 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.
If you're going to read one book this year, this is the book!!!
I'm not sure I can write a review that will do justice to the brilliance that Young has created with The Program. I experienced so many emotions while reading this brilliant title, I would cry in anguish, than I would feel a spark of hope, only to feel helpless all over again. It's hard not to sympathize with the characters of Young's society, I found myself feeling depressed through much of this book, but that's only because I became so invested with the story and its characters. The theme of The Program is so prevalent to issues plaguing society right now (i.e. teen suicide). You can understand the desolate attitude of Sloane and James, their friends and classmates are all taking their lives, but no one is able to properly mourn the loss of their loved ones, for fear of being mistaken for "Depressed" and sent to The Program to be "cured".
The Program is broken up into three separate sections/books, and each section is just as good as the next, I loved experiencing this world through Sloane's perspective. She's so smart and mentally strong (as ironic as that may be, considering), and makes for the perfect heroine.
While there isn't much action, the story and character-building are done so brilliantly, that you won't feel at a loss without it. The plot moves fast through each book and you'll be rooting for Sloane and James throughout.
The romance in this story was perfect for die-hard Romantics (like me :)). The connection that Sloane and James share is literally unbreakable, and I loved experiencing and re-expriencing special moments with these two (it's so hard not to be spoilery about this!). I will warn you all though, there is a spark of love triangle in this series, and I actually wouldn't mind seeing this spark turn into a bit of flame.
The epilogue is amazing and completely puzzled me. I actually had to re-read it about 5 times before I FINALLY understood the meaning behind it.
I cried and sighed through much of this book and can't wait to get myself a finished copy because I know I will be re-reading it over and over. I can't wait for book #2. You have to read this book, no matter what genre of YA you prefer.