Overall Rating: 5 stars
Book Name: The Program (The Program, #1)
Author: Suzanne Young
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Book Boyfriend: James
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.
I like it because, emotions aside, both the idea and the story itself are beyond “good”. I also like it for it is somehow terrifying and at the same time realistic. Aside from that, it is well written, it’s like a sculpture that has been delicately carved. And the words are like… oh, I can’t really explain it but for sure it feels good, so good that I am looking forward to read another one like this or read this again.
It just feels so sad that the second books is also the last one. I’m anticipating a trilogy for this because the first books itself passed my standards so how much more the second book? And guess what, it even exceeded my expectations.
I also like it visually. The title, the cover itself. Almost everything is perfect. Above all, I like the characters, their qualities, their imperfects and weaknesses as well as their vulnerability.
James and Sloane. Aren’t they enough to prove that this book is so awesome to read?
Like I said, both directly and indirectly, The Program is a good book and you must read it now and you can thank me later.
Full Review (with 50% spoilers)
Part One: Uncomfortably Numb
Despair. Sloane and James must keep them both safe from the epidemic and thus, away from the hands of the program.
This novel is half fiction and half non-fiction, the latter (which is suicide) is so real that even statistics and your own bare eyes can conclude that it is conspicuously increasing especially among teenagers. And no doubt, love is the most prominent reason behind such “epidemic”.
My heartbeat for the first three chapters of Part one was in a neutral manner, but after reading the succeeding chapters, I feel no more heart beating, like I ‘m dead. I am really depressed and already wanted to cry. I feel devastated, biased, and lost. Sorrow fills my heart as well as fear that James might be taken away from Sloane and their love to each other will be obliterated by The Program.
Every turning of page feels so lonely and helpless for me that it came to a time that I think that The Program might be real and if I’m Sloane, what would I do if The Program would take him away from me? Act normal like there’s nothing happened? How would I live without him by my side, saying “Baby, I’ll protect you like what I promised to you and to your brother”?
These are some questions that will surely make every reader of this novel ask to themselves if they read this very good novel.
Still, they will fall in the hands of The Program.
Part Two: The Program
Mistrust: After all the trust Sloane gave to the persons she thought trustworthy, she was still betrayed.
Different situations and challenges are waiting for Sloane in the Program. Challenges like who to trust, what to do how to keep the memories intact and how to deal with all the lies the doctors say to her.
The thirst for information and memories weakens Sloane. In order to get what she needs, she must first sacrifice something in bargain. But that’s not how this part ends. Sloane, weak and scared of what might The Program do to her and her memories, still made her way to find some friends and kill some time while inside the facility. But is this friend of hers trustworthy enough?
Another problem that Sloane is facing is her doctors. They’re great liars. And can she survive the six-week stay in the Program while keeping her memories intact?
Lastly, Sloane knows more than any other patients in The Program do. But how can she remember it if in the first place even her memories and slowly fading?
After six weeks, Sloane will start from the top.
Part Three: Wish You Weren’t Here
After all The Program has done to her, she still can have control and through her friends Realm and Lacey, and James she will be able to unravel the truth and more of it. Day by day, she will pursue discovering her past, gathering back her memories. But is she will succeed, what would she do with all that information? The more memories she can gather back, the more it is complicated and risky to both her and James.
Someone said to her that “The past is meant to be forgotten”.
Then, there’s her feelings, both for Realm and James. She doesn’t know her past yet she feels something for James. But there’s also Realm who told her she love her. What about now?
And lastly, she doesn’t fully know that The Program is watching and monitoring her 24/7. How can she manage to escape form their hands?
It’s now your part to find it out.
My favorite quote:
“You know I’m never going to be able to not kiss you again, right?” he said. “For the rest of my life, every time I look at you, I’ll have to kiss you.”