April 30, 2013
Series: Book one in The Program series
In The Program by Suzanne Young, readers follow the lives of Sloane, a high school girl who lives in a world that is plagued with depressed teens. The government has created The Program, a rehab facility that “heals” teens of their suicidal thoughts. It removes their harsh memories, creating new, squeaky-clean people, ready for their shiny new lives. As Sloane struggles with the loss of people close to her, she must figure out if she herself can resist The Program.
The Program was a breathtaking, highly unique dystopian that reads like a contemporary. Blended with romance, a strict “program”, and heart-wrenching relationships, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the story. To be honest, there is nothing that I can complain about– it’s that good.
To start off, I was really wary about the dystopian world in The Program. It sounded like this book was going to be utterly depressing and dark (but sharply contrasted with the bright yellow scrubs on the cover). I wasn’t wrong, this book is depressing, but it’s also extremely uplifting and powerful. I loved the concept that Young created. The world-building was phenomenal and it was really easy for me to believe that this world could possibly happen someday. I was fully immersed in the world of The Program.
Next, the characters were absolutely in-depth and well developed. Quite a few characters in The Program come and go, but Young doesn’t hesitate in making them well-rounded and real. But to the real point: our main character Sloane was a very strong and adamant girl, and the phase change that she experienced is extraordinary. It was so fascinating to watch her change, and rediscover herself. Her determination was very admirable. The boys in this novel (yum) were also extremely endearing. There isn’t technically a love triangle, but– it’s hard to explain (just take my word for it). They were swoon-worthy, protective, and promising. Sigh.
While I was also hesitant about picking this book up because of Young’s previous book that I didn’t really enjoy (A Need So Beautiful), I can happily say that I don’t regret picking this book up at all. Fortunately for me, The Program is a definite favorite of mine for 2013. Despite mentioning the fantastic world and characters in this book, there’s also just something about it that made me flip the pages continually. There were so many moments where my heart felt like it was being squeezed/torn out/shattered. This story was thrilling; it’s a “feel all the feels” type of book. Coming highly recommended from me, I cannot sit an entire year for the sequel. Suzanne Young, I beg you to write faster.
RATING: 5 / 5
Immense thanks to Simon Pulse and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy to review!