I received this book for free from From Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: The Program #1
Published by Simon Pulse on April 30th 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: From Publisher
Buy the Book •
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.
Excuse me while I fangirl over another amazing Suzanne Young novel! I have been waiting and waiting, extremely patiently, to get my hands on this one and it did not disappoint in the slightest!
The Program deals with the heavy topic of depression and suicide but not in a way that is terribly depressing to the reader. In this world, suicide has become an epidemic, a contagious disease that is spreading among teens. They are closely monitored and whisked away to join the Program at any sign that they might be infected. It’s a scary world for the teens, fearing to be taken away, their memories wiped clean, leaving an empty shell of who they used to be. But it is also scary to deal with the deaths of family and close friends.
Our main character is Sloane, who is dealing with the loss of friends and family and struggling to maintain her emotions. She’s afraid to be sad or cry and is basically walking around on emotional eggshells, just waiting for the other shoe to drop. She tries to be strong, but it’s hard to fight against the demons slipping into your mind. The one who does let her cry when she needs to is her boyfriend, James.
One of my very favorite aspects of the relationship we see between Sloane and James is that they are an already established couple. I loved how Suzanne Young did this in A Need So Beautiful and once again she was able to floor me with the swoons. Sure we get to see flashbacks of how their friendship developed into the ‘more’ and they were perfectly intertwined into the plot in a way that fit. Now James… damn I loved him. He was so sweet and protective, and let’s not forget swoony!
We stay close until James’s hand slides onto my bare thigh just below the hem of my skirt, his breathing deepening. “My lips are tired of talking,” he whispered next to my ear. “Now kiss me and make me forget,” he says.
*dreamy sigh* There are so many of these moments that I loved. I ended up with so many flags in my copy so I could go back and reread these parts. But just as much as I was swooned, I also found my heart breaking too. The love and need they had for each other and then going through these difficult times that threatened to tear them apart… But it never felt overwhelming like a novel with this concept could come across as. Another thing I love is how the author isn’t afraid to address sex with her characters and she does so in a respectable and real manner.
Needless to say, we get a glimpse of life on the inside of the Program. It is meant to save lives by erasing those memories and parts of your mind that are associated with depressing events, almost leaving its patients with a brain like Swiss cheese. Sloane and James have never trusted it. I don’t trust it. Something screwy is going on in this dystopian world and I cannot wait to see how it all ends in the final novel in this duology, The Treatment!
James smiles as he traces his finger over my mouth. “I think . . .” He stops and looks into my eyes, his stare arresting, pinning me in place. “I think I’m in love with you,” he whispers. “Is that crazy?”
His words strike my heart, and the ache that’s been a constant in my chest goes away completely. I lick my lips and smile. “So crazy.”
“Then I guess I love you madly.” And then he leans down and kisses me again.
Thanks to Big Honcho Media, I have TWO copies of The Program to offer to you all! This giveaway is US only.
1. Giveaway is US only!
2. Must be at least 13 years old to enter.
3. Winner has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be selected.
4. I am not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged items. The prizes will be sent from Big Honcho Media.
5. Please follow the entry directions in the rafflecopter. (I do check and will delete entries that do not follow the directions. If you have any questions on how to enter, please ask!)