Monday, April 8, 2013

Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

The Program (The Program, #1)
The Program by 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.
”add
Publishes in US: April 30th 2013 by Simon Pulse
Genre: YA dystopia
Source: Simon Teen for review
Series? Yes. The Program is the 1st in The Program series.

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    Brilliant! I was not expecting it to pack such an emotional punch, but man, did it ever. It is so chilling to think about a teenage epidemic of suicide! My father did it back in October, so I know all too well the ramifications of family and friends left behind. Suzanne did such a good job portraying that. 
   The twist-- Sloane (the main character) and the other teens in this chilling world are being monitored for any signs of depression so they can't outwardly express their grief. I can only imagine not being able to cry for fear of losing all my memories. 
    Because that is what happens to the teens who are deemed at risk of suicide. They are sent through the program, and while it erases the depression it also erases all memories from their life before. So, I can't decide which they mourn more, the ones who are gone through suicide or their friends or boy/girl friends that have gone through the program but don't remember them anymore. So sad!
    The dynamic of the characters was so well written and layered. Sloane and her boyfriend James used to run around with Lacey (taken into the program) and her boyfriend Miller. But James used to be a close friend of Sloane's brother Brady. So there is so much complex history and emotions driving their interactions.
    One of the scenes that really got to me was when Sloane injured herself just so she would be free to cry because she missed her brother who died and her best friend Lacey who just came out of the program and didn't remember Sloane or her boyfriend Miller. 
    I adored the romance in this one. James and Sloane and their dynamic had me right away. I loved how they looked out for each other and provided the strength for the other when they were falling apart a bit, and glued them right back together. James is devoted and I was swooning all over him. Their teasing, banter, and loyalty had me cheering for them. 
    Each part of this book hooked me in even more, and made me realize how much I liked Sloane's character. There are new characters that I didn't know whether to trust, and even by the end of the book I have no idea what their angle is on everything, and how this person will play into things in the next part. 
    I love the line that if it is meant to be, it will happen. The first time I heard it I rolled my eyes, but I love how that is a theme, and the people that show up to prove that right, and things that happen more than once. I know that is vague, but I think that once you read it, you'll understand what I am talking about. It is so hard to review a book like this sometimes because so much happens that I want to talk about but, I also don't want to spoil anything. So I try to talk about what you can figure out from the synopsis or within the first couple of chapters. 
    The pacing was amazing, and kept me in suspense waiting for the next bit of action, or seeing how the characters are growing. I loved this first book and will definitely be continuing this series. 

Bottom Line: Intense and emotional. I connected with Sloane and swooned over James.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Would you chose the program or death?

48 comments:

  1. James and Sloan sounds like a couple I could root for. Awesome review. I can't wait for this one to be out.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

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  2. Wonderful review, Brandi! I am so excited about this book. It definitely sounds like an emotional read, and I'm glad you enjoyed the romance. :)

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  3. This makes me so, so, so happy! I've been dying for this book for almost a year so it makes me feel good to see such a great review. Can't wait for my copy to arrive! :)
    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

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    1. Hope you enjoy. I am eager for the sequel

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  4. I am so glad you loved this book!! I'm really looking forward to reading it because of the AMAZING cover (the yellow cloths are so eye-catching) and because the idea sounds really interesting and different.
    Great review!! :D
    *Old follower*

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

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  5. I never paid much attention to The Program, but now that I have, it sounds great. I'm glad that it took an issue that is close to you, and dealt w/it in a good manner.

    As for my choice, I would choose the program.

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    1. I don't know if I would want to lose my memories, but dont think i could chose death either

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  6. I have never been particularly excited about this one but your review just makes me so anxious to find out more! I already feel like I'm in love with James and Sloane. I cannot wait to get to know them better. Without your review I'd have probably passed this one, but now I'm really, really curious. Eeek! Lovely review, chicka! :)

    By the way, I'm not sure if I understood correctly, but if I did, then I'm sorry for your loss, doll! *hugs*

    Siiri @ Little Pieces of Imagination

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    1. Yes, lost my dad 6 months ago, thank you.

      James is def easy to fall for

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  7. Eek, so glad you liked this, Brandi! I'm really looking forward to this book, it sounds so good. Suzanne young sounds like a master with characters and their histories, seeing how developed they are. Most of the time, too, there's nothing spectacular in YA dystopians, but I'm happy that the romance in this one was amazing.

    Hope I'll be able to read this soon - great review, Brandi!

    I don't know if I'd choose the Prorgam or death. While I don't want to DIE, I don't want to come back without any memories. Tough choice!

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    1. Feels like memories make me who I am, but at least have a chance to make new ones...

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  8. Can't wait to read this! Thanks for sharing your review and your emotional connection to the story

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  9. Oh, good! All the reviews so far have been excellent and I'm glad you felt the same too. I'll try to hurry up and get a copy.
    Great review.

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  10. I can't imagine living in a world where we cannot freely express our emotions! I like that the story carries a theme - although I have no clue what the phrase means when you mentioned it on the review, it piques my interest. Thanks for sharing, Brandi!

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  11. This sounds intense and emotional! I don't often read contemporary, but I'm definitely going to pick this one up.

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

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  12. Hm... I would think that not crying in the face of tragedy would be a sign of possible depression as well. I also haven't heard of this book before. I'm going to have to check it out. As far as your question tho... wouldn't the program be a sort of death anyway? Not much of a choice!

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    1. Not much of one at all!
      It seems like not crying at tragedy would be sign of dystfunction, but it shows how far messed up this society is I guess

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  13. This sounds ridiculously intense! I'm so sorry about your Dad, though. :(

    It's cool that Sloane and James just kind of meshed together-- I love that in characters! They sound awesome. And I like this premise too-- maybe I'll read it soon? (:

    Q: I'm not sure. It's hard to think about, you know?

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    1. It is really intense, and thanks for condolances

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  14. Brandi, I'm so sorry about your father.

    I look forward to trying this one out.

    Jen @ YA Romantics

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  15. What a scary concept. Oddly enough I could easily not show sad emotions, but I know it would be hard to never cry. This does sound like a great read with great characters. Great review.

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    1. Crying sometimes seems almost involuntary, so i agree

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  16. This my first time seeing this one and it sounds riveting! What a scary idea, depression adn suicide and memory wiping. Even thouh it is tough sometimes always choose to live you never know the alternatives. Thanks for recommending this one.

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    1. It is great premise, and she handled it well

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  17. Sounds great! I haven't been that interested in this book but am more now after reading your review. I like that the meant to be, it will happen theme worked.

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    1. It really did and was neat to watch play out

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  18. I'm so sorry for your loss, Brandi. I would think this book would be especially hard for you to read. That you loved it so much says something. As for the choices, they don't seem like choices at all, both equal nothing to me. But having been through depression, The Program sounds like depression. So I think I'd really rather die. Being numb, not remembering or caring, it's an awful way to live.

    Heather

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    1. Thanks Heather. I agree with depression making you feel that way and not wanting to choose somethign seeming as bad as

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  19. Sorry to hear about your father. It is very tough when those we love suicide. My bff's brother at the age of 28 suicided many years ago and it had a great impact on me. Since then 2 more people I have known , men have done the same. Very hard. Loved your review. I will put this one on to my TBR pile :)

    Mich

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    1. It is very hard! So sorry for your losses

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  20. Great review. I really want to read this one. It sounds very fascinating. As for your question, that would be hard to answer. I think I'd be scared of death, of course, but I wouldn't want to come back as Not Me either.

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    1. I know, terrifying to think of losing yourself

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  21. Awesome review :) I'm dying to get my hands on this book! It sounds like an amazing read. Suicide is a very tough topic and this sounds like a book completely different than what I'm use to.

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  22. I'm glad this one was so amazing for you! I'm participating in a local book club for this book and I'm looking forward to discussing it with everyone.

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  23. I would be in such trouble-I cry very easily! I'm really looking forward to checking this one out and learning more about the program.

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  24. I heard great things about this author but I confess I haven't tried it yet. I think I'll have to.

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  25. You got to be kidding me! I nearly gave up on even adding this book to my to-read shelf. Dunno I wasn't interested but now! Another story. Great giveaway Brandi :)

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  26. I have been very curious about this one, but I just wasnt sure if it was one for me ya know? But now I am all sorts of intrigued! Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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  27. I have been wondering about this book and had no idea what it was about. (I'm so sorry about your dad)

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  28. I'm so sorry for your loss. One of my close friends committed suicide in college, and I know the pain never really goes away. My thoughts are with you. *hugs*

    I'm thrilled to hear you loved this one, I have such high hopes for it. It sounds wonderful. Sloane and James sound like great characters. Thanks for sharing and beautiful review.

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  29. I wasn't sure if I was going to read this one or not, but your review changed my mind! I think I'll really be able to relate to the characters and I love that you liked the main character, but had a crush on James too! I also love that a bit of action was thrown into the plot!
    Thanks Brandi :)

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  30. Ahh, amazing review :D I'm glad you loved this book. <3 Sigh. The plot just sounds amazing. Pre-ordered the book ages ago ;p and the characters sounds so good. Cannot wait to meet James :D But I am worried. Because I have read that there will be a stupid love triangle :( and I can't stand those. And it makes me want to not read this book at all :\ sigh. still. thank you for sharing :)
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

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  31. This sounds so good! And I'm so proud of you for being able to read this after going through all that with your dad so recently! And I love the idea that if things are meant to be, they'll happen. I've believed that for a long time, and said it to many people. Many rolled their eyes (and I totally get that) but many felt consoled by it. Because while I don't completely believe in fate, I do believe that, with a relationship for instance, if someone really loves you and wants to be with you, it'll happen someday. Or they'll at least try to make it happen. So I love the fact that there was a twist on that for this book! I'm going to have to add it to my "must read" shelf on Goodreads now! Great review, Brandi!

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