Synopsis: 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.
This was the first book I've read by Suzanne Young, but it will not be the last! I had no idea what to expect when I started this book, but it totally blew my mind. Maybe it was just perfect timing. I had just finished reading a book that had been hyped up and completely let me down. This book made up for that big time. By page 5, I was already hooked, forty pages later I was completely invested in this book and every character in it. By the time I hit triple digits, I was doing my best to hold back the flood of emotions I was experiencing. Trying not to let people see you cry on an airplane is not an easy task, people. Seriously.
Who ever thought that a teen suicide epidemic could be so enthralling? Well this book made it happen. I think my favorite thing about The Program right off the bat was that it didn't start with a girl pining for a guy or a guy who likes a girl. Sloane already has a boyfriend, but right away, you just know something is wrong. These kids fear for their lives and their freedom, and every memory they've ever had. This book shook me to my core. I could literally feel their fear and horror as, sometimes, their own parents report them to the governement so the program can "save" them. My parents would totally do that!
I cannot even express how much of a stand-out this book is amongst dystopic books. If you are thinking this is just another *instert pre-jeudged common genre*, you are wrong. This book snaked its way into my mind and threw me for so many loops. Suzanne Young does an amazing job making this book real. I still can't decide how I feel about the program and everything brought up in this book. Both sides are well-intended at times, and horrible (purposefully or not) at others. I like books that confuse my brain by making me argue both sides with myself.
Now that I've gushed about the plot, I can't not mention how much I adore James and Sloane's relationship. There is just the perfect amount of balance/realisticness between them being in love and that love having to take a backseat to the crumbling world around them. It's terrifying how easily the love of your life can become a stranger, not to mention your friends and family. That is what they have to fear...other than suicide, that is.
As soon as I finished this book I scrambled my way to the computer to find out if it was a series, and I am relieved to know it is. It could go so many different ways from here. I am usually good at predicting what is going to happen in the end, but this book's ending FREAKED me out. I've never been so blind-sided or felt so anxious after finishing a book. I can't wait to see what happens, and I'm going crazy that I can't even guess! I loved it. I loved this book.