Friday, November 14, 2014

The Program: Suzanne Young

The Program: Suzanne Young

"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." (summary taken from GoodReads.) 

I put off reading The Program for so long. I had really no idea what it was about and I haven't truly known anyone whose read it. It's been in my TBR pile for about four months if not more. So I finally picked it up. I wish someone would have recommended this to me so I would have done it sooner. The Program was a a huge surprise. 

With suicide rates at and all time high, and it being considered a disease you have to be careful of what you say or do at all times. There are handlers that keep their eyes out for at-risk teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17, and at the first signs of depression, they enroll them in The Program that erases their memories and emotions. After the six weeks of treatment, they are carefully immersed back into society with a fresh start and a clean slate. The Program reminds me so much of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, one of my all time favorite movies, except you don't have a say in if/what you have erased. 

After her brother and best friend Miller commit suicide things go way down hill emotionally for our two protagonist Sloane and James. They are both trying to hold it together till they turn 18, but that seems easier said than done. Both Sloane and James are taken at separate but almost same times after they both have melt downs. This story was so intensely sad and the characters were even more so.  But it's not just a story about suicide, it's also about how true love really is a juice worth the squeeze. With a romance that doesn't start with insta love, but instead with a friendship that builds to this realistic and sweet thing. From becoming friends through her brother, to secretly dating, to being inseparable. Their relationship has to be one of my favorites. They both perfectly play off each other...

     "I think I broke my femur," James says, as he lies underneath me. "On the console when you were attacking me? I think I broke it."
     I laugh. "Shut up."
     "I didn't mind though," he says conversationally. "Like when you bit my shoulder. It was—"
     I reach up and put my hand over his mouth, not moving it even after he licks my fingers. "Shut up." As if agreeing, he pulls me closer, resting his cheek on top of my head. When it's quiet, I move my palm and rest it on his chest.
     "It was nice," he whispers, but not jokingly. "It wasn't weird, either. And that's... kind of weird."

Like come on, tell me that doesn't sound too cute! 

After being taken into the program Sloane is left alone and finding out how to beat the system alone. When they start to explain how the program works they also uncover Sloane and James' past. They play heavy on her and James' memories and it both broke and mended my heart. The memories are amazing and I loved reading them. There is a small introduction of a "love triangle". It really isn't a triangle, but I know that's what most will call it. The sub characters like Realm, Lacey, and Kevin are also lovely aspects to the story. I loved loved loved Realm even though I hated him at the same time.

Even with a minimal amount of scenery being described this book still didn't let me down. My only complaint is that to me the cover didn't do it for me. It's probably the main reason I put off reading it for so long. The Treatment: book two in The Program series has me looking forward to my 2015 TBRs.

Please don't make the same mistake I did and put this book off.

9/10 Stars