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.
OH. MY. GAWD. This book KILLED me it was so good! I was not expecting that and I am seriously so happy right now. I’ve been kind of put off by basically anything that’s not contemporary so I picked this one up a little wary and I am so glad that I did.
We learn about the world that Sloane lives in as not a dystopian society really and that’s what is so frightening about it. Because teen suicide happens all the time, but what happens when it becomes a world wide epidemic? The Program is created. What I found so creepy was that other than the epidemic, life occurred the same as it does now. MTV, texting, and every other mundane thing you can think of that happens in a teenagers life is still going on. The characters in The Program don’t live under some tyrannical government; They live in a somewhat normal world.
As Sloane and the absolute love of her life, James try and survive in a world where showing any true emotion will land them in the Program to have their memories wiped, they confide in each other in quiet moments, where they feel like they can fully express themselves without having to watch for Handlers that will take them in. I have to say, this was one of the best romances i’ve read in a long time. Sloane and James were so incredibly dedicated to each other and were so madly in love (to quote the book) that going through everything that they went through was so heart wrenching to read. I honestly haven’t felt so deeply for a character as I did for Sloane in a long time.
Sloane is tough in the sense that she held back her emotions and her grief over her brother’s death for so long that it makes me wonder if I would ever be able to be brave in that sense.
James was the kind of character with who you can’t help but fall in love with. His utter dedication to Sloane and his loyalty to his friends was what made some of the events really difficult to get through.
Young really didn’t shy away from sex in this book, which is so realistic for teenagers. It made the relationship between them seem so much deeper and serious because of the fact that sex wasn’t some taboo, like it can be in YA.
As we progress through the book, Sloane goes through The Program and my heart reached out to this poor girl while at the same time I was screaming at her not to do certain things. It was so frustrating at times! And weirdly enough, I love that about books because it keeps me totally hooked.
The reconnection of James and Sloane was painstaking to read, but so hopeful at the same time. AND THAT END! What even happened there. I don’t even know. I am confused and full of questions and generally just FREAKING OUT. I want the second book SO BAD!
I would LOVE to read a story about James’ time in the program as he relives and eventually loses his memories. Suzanne Young, think that could happen? *pretty please with extra love on top ;)*
I also really loved the cover. It fit so unbelievably well into the story. The bright, sunshiney yellow scrubs, to the stark white of the walls, and the delicate but fierce hold of Sloane and James holding hands was so perfect.
Overall The Program was phenomenal and I am SO happy I took time away from my contemporaries to pick this one up. If you haven’t yet, you don’t know what you are missing out on!
Fast paced, frightening and seriously realistic, The Program is one wild ride that I could not put down.
If you’ve read The Program, what did you think? Did you love it just as much as me? Let me know in the comments!