Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

The Program (The Program, #1)The Program by Suzanne Young
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: April 30, 2013
Hardcover, 416 pages
ISBN: 9781442445802

My Review:

Wow, I knew I wanted to read this book but I didn't realize just how good it was going to be until I read it. The Program was amazing to me. Everything I wanted in a dystopian, and while some of it reads similar to other dystopians out there, there is a lot that is different and fresh about this book as well and that is what drew me in and kept me reading!

Sloane and James are in love but worried about the sickness that can land them in the program. Life as a teenager in the normal world is stressful enough. But in the world that Suzanne Young has created, there is so much more to worry about. What happens when you go in The Program and why don't you have any memories when you come out. James and Sloane are determined to not get "the sickness" or at least not get caught with it. But when all good intentions fall aside what do you do with the hand that life deals you? Well Sloane is a smart cookie and I love that about her. Yes she is dependent on James, but when the cards are down, she really comes into her own.

The first part of the book gives the back story and what is happening in the now up until the breaking point. Then the story is broken up into two more parts, one being The Program and the other (I can't remember the actual title) but it's the time after The Program. I won't go into details to keep this spoiler free, but let me just say that once this story gets rolling and I found myself invested in the characters and interested in the world I could not put the book down. It also read very fast. I think I sped through 200 pages in no time at all. It's just that interesting.

I've read The Hunger Games, I've read the Crossed trilogy, and while I see shades of similar dystopian features here (it's like all types of books, there are similar formulas), the formula is where it stops. The Program is a very original story. Centered around an outbreak of teen suicide and what the government is doing to try and stop it. Once it again it shows the lengths some people will go to to control people (it's not a political statement, it's very generic in the book). It's scary and fascinating at the same time and I found myself pulling for Sloane through the whole book. She has spunk and love. And I love that about her.

Are you looking for the next great YA dystopian or just a quick summer read? The Program is it. From the way it ends I am guessing it's part of a series and must admit I did not do my homework here. If it is I am looking forward to the next book. But don't worry, it's not a huge cliffhanger that will leave you miserable, just teased for the next book. With tight writing and engaging characters this may just be one of my favorite books of the year. I can't say enough how much I loved this one and can't wait to read the next in the series (if it is a series, oh please tell me it's a series!)

My rating: 5.0/5.0

About the Book:
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.

About the Author:
Suzanne Young currently lives in Tempe, Arizona where she teaches high school English and obsesses about books. She's the author of A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL, A WANT SO WICKED, and THE PROGRAM. 


***I received this book through Amazon Vine for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***