I just finished The Program a few hours ago. And I will be trying to give the novel the best review possible:
The Program by Suzanne Young
Publication Date: April 30th, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
The Program exceeded my expectations, especially after reading a lot of "meh" reviews! However, I can really see how this is only for certain people, and they should probably to be in a certain mood, so check out the other reviews to see if The Program is for you!
The idea, a teen suicide epidemic, is a bit depressing, yet it really makes you think: What is happening here? Do the depresses teens really need their memories wiped? Is it for the best? What is The Program up to? Why is it happening? Is the Program the reason for the suicides? Also, as you continue, you get even more questions about the book!
Sloane was a cool character, while she is not one I will rave about, I believe she was the perfect character for this story. You see her trying to stay strong, despite that almost everyone close to her, starting with her brother, is in The Program or dead. Also, I felt like screaming for her and James when they were just grieving and afraid of being flagged for The Program. It's not fair!
James was also a great character, I especially liked the early memories with him Sloane and her brother that Sloane reveals later on. In the beginning, I wasn't sure how I felt about him, but the sweet early memories made me like him better. Also, it was interesting (and relieving) to see him at the end of The Program.
The Program itself is right creepy. The parent's may think it is a miracle but the kid's know it is not. There is so much to learn about, and I can't wait to have my questions answers in the second book, The Treatment. The workers take memories, sometimes by force, and I believe everyone should have their memories... as long as they don't commit suicide... hmm. Also, there seems to be some flat out bad people working at The Program, with perhaps some good. Right now, however, I believe the bad is dominating.
I also like how the book was divided into parts, kind of like: Pre-Program, Program, Post-Program. This made it fell like you were reading three different stories all connected, and I loved seeing how different things were. My favorite part was probably just the one in The Program, as you all know how curious and mad and suspicious I am at it! Also, I loved hearing Sloane's early memories, which made me love the characters more and grieve for what they lost.
I thought the ending of the book was perfect, however I cannot wait to get my greedy hands on the second book, as you have seen first hand all my questions, suspicions, and inner battles. All I know is that I do not like The Program, and want to know what they are up to! Wow, I take books too seriously. Also, I want to see more of James. And, of Sloane's friend, Lacey. She seems pretty awesome.
The writing is impressive too. While the words are not a masterpiece, they sucked me in and I especially loved how the author shows Sloane losing her memories. It feels... just... interesting for the reader. You see the same Sloane, yet different because of the slow deterioration of memories. Also, I thought the writing was powerful. And the dialogue felt very real.
Overall, if you think The Program is for you, I recommend you try the book right now! The book brings up a lot of questions, vivid characters, a great romance, and a killer plot. I think this book earned a full 4.5 stars! That is a pretty high rating from me... so you know how much I enjoyed The Program.
Thanks for reading!