The Program #1
author : suzanne young
pages : [hardcover] 408
memorable quote : If it’s meant to be, you’ll find each other again.
favorite character : 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 read through The Program really quickly. The writing style and characters easily captivated me and kept me reading, although at first I was unsure of how the premise would hold up under a 400 page book. I think I expected more of a deeper meaning within the text rather than the use of the epidemic to add more pressure and a conspiracy feel to the novel. I wanted to learn more about how this was happening and wasn’t sure of whether it was supposed to be taken that suicide was actually contagious like a disease in the world presented here.
That said, the way that the book tried to paint The Program in a bad light kind of confused me. I could completely understand why the characters were fighting to keep sane and away from depression because they didn’t want to lose their memories and all of the connections in their old lives. But though The Program was viewed as something evil, it was actually working and keeping the teenagers going through it from killing themselves. I think that any parent who had the chance to save their kid rather than having them die with all of their memories intact would choose to keep their child.
When I started this book I didn’t know that it was going to be a series and that partially annoyed me. I didn’t realize until the end, which clearly led up to a sequel, that this wasn’t a stand-alone novel. Everything I saw promoting it didn’t hint at that and I’m not sure if I’m going to like the direction that the sequel looks like it will be taking things. I might read it but I might not; I don’t have any particular inclination or obligation toward the characters to finish the series. By reading The Program, which I did enjoy and like, I satisfied my curiosity about it.