Title: The Program (The Program #1)
Author: Suzanne Young
Published by: SIMON PULSE
Published by: SIMON PULSE
Summary: In a world where teen suicide has become an epidemic, the only cure is The Program. With depression and teen suicide on the rise, society will do whatever is necessary to save them. In The Program, teens undergo intensive treatment where all bad memories are wiped from their minds. They emerge from The Program as a blank slate, happy, but missing chunks of their lives. Sloane and her boyfriend James despise The Program. They promise to keep each other safe from it, but soon that promise becomes impossible to keep. Sloane and James must now have to escape and beat The Program before they lose each other forever.
My Thoughts: I rather enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure what to think at first because I had some questions about Sloane and James' world, but I was quickly pulled in by Suzanne Young's writing style. Sloane and James' story was just interesting enough to keep me entertained. The Program was an enjoyable read and I do plan to get my hands on the sequel.
Now, I didn't love everything about The Program. I did have some confusion and disbelief over aspects of the story. For one, there was no explanation for why so many teens were becoming depressed and committing suicide. It was described as an epidemic, but an epidemic from where? Who knows. I would have loved to know the Why behind the suicides. What is making teens so unhappy and depressed in this world?
The idea of The Program was a little confusing to me too. It seemed a very drastic measure to erase peoples' memories instead of trying more common sense approaches like medication. Having their memories wiped didn't really cure them, it just made them forget all their old problems, but then there was the possibility of new problems coming in to take their place. The parents also didn't seem very happy and I would think a happy home would have been important to curing the depression. These were things I just thought about while reading the book, they could get answered in the sequel.
As for characters, Sloane was all right. I didn't love her and I didn't hate her. She was very free with her sexual favors though, which I found a little surprising for a teen read. As for James, I can't say that I loved him either. All his physicalness would have made me a tad uncomfortable. And I'm torn on Realm. I kind of like him, but then he does some questionable things in the story. I actually want to know more about Realm's backstory, because he seems complicated. Oh and I felt bad for Sloane's dad. He was really suffering and I wish Sloane would have talked and confided in him more. I felt like a bunch of their family problems stemmed from a lack of communication and understanding one another's grief.
All in all, I really did enjoy this book. I felt like I read it faster then other books I've read recently. The story kept me interested and I want to know what is going to happen next. There were a few holes in the world and premise, but otherwise it was an enjoyable read.
BOOKCITEMENT LEVEL 4/5
If the only cure is The Program, then the world is doomed.