Series: The Program #2
Published by Simon Pulse on April 29th 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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<p>Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”</p>
<p>How do you stop an epidemic?</p>
<p>Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.</p>
<p>Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.</p>
<p>Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?</p>
Suzanne Young is one of my favorite authors. Just putting that out there to start this review off. I LOVE how she writes relationships. They always bring the swoons and they are always real and complex. That is exactly what you find in this duology. A real and complex relationship between Sloane and James, both fighting their inner demons but doing it together in a world that wants to wipe away everything they know.
In The Program (my review), we learn about a world with a suicide epidemic affecting the teens. In order to ‘cure’ those with this suicidal depression, the Program was created which basically wipes out an individual’s memories. How or why this started is kind of a mystery and uncertain in the first installment but we are able to learn so much more about it in this finale sequel. This was one aspect of the novel that I feared, how it would all be wrapped up in just one last book. But Young did a fantastic job blending how much we needed to know and see happen with how much is told to us in the aftermath. I am a huge fan of a duologies. I feel so much more connected to a story and it’s characters when I am not waiting years for it to be completed. Part of me wishes I was able to see a little bit more of that aftermath I mentioned though. I can’t help but feel like we missed out on certain things in regards to the world building. On a whole though, I was satisfied. For me, this series was more about the characters and on that end, it concluded just the way I hoped.
Back to James and Sloane… gah, they kill me! The chemistry these two have is off the charts. And I appreciate that Young isn’t afraid to explore the real inner workings of a physical relationship between teens, and she does so with respect. Nothing is overly graphic but she sure doesn’t shy away from those scenes. Both characters have a lot of growth to do, both individually and together. Realm becomes a problem again in this sequel as Sloane struggles with the line of friendship that Realm insists on trying to cross. It creates some angst and hard times and I admit I grew frustrated occasionally but I also could understand it.
Of course new characters are also introduced. I was wary on who to trust which added to the excitement of the plot as they are on the run, trying to keep from getting caught and pushed back in the Program. The Treatment, the little orange pill that can grant the taker their memories back, played a huge part in this book for multiple reasons. I loved how its presence was balanced on the cusp of everything else happening. I wasn’t sure just what would happen and it was fun to feel a little anxiety and suspense as I waited to find out!
I was very satisfied with this conclusion and I can’t recommend this series enough. It has love, heartache and a unique intriguing premise. I can’t wait to see what Suzanne Young does next!
“But how do we know?” I ask, hitching in a breath. “How do we know what’s real anymore?”
James put his hand over his heart, an anguish on his face that nearly kills me. “Because I can feel it here, and I could read it in my words. I was protecting you. I would have died to protect you had they not stopped me. We’re fucking mental for each other – but maybe that’s how we survive from here. We just have to be crazier than The Program.”
** A huge THANK YOU to Jen @ YA Romantics for letting me borrow her ARC!