Publisher: Simon Pulse (April 2013)
Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult
Format: eBook (405 pages)
Source: Free book from publisher (Edelweiss) for honest review
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★★½☆ (3.5 stars)
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.
At A Glance
The love story was inspirational, but I wish the ending wasn’t so anti-climactic.
I have to admit, I am just not into dystopians lately. They are depressing me so much. So I have been taking a little break from them. But I wanted to read The Program before The Treatment came out which I will also be reviewing. I am happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised by The Program. Sure, it was depressing, but the love story was so amazing. It just felt so genuine and real. It made it hard to put this book down.
Sloane was an average girl, which I liked. She wasn’t a hero or someone who had a plan. She just lived her life hiding her true emotions in the hopes of not being thrown into the program. As her friends start dropping like flies, she realizes all she has left is James to keep them safe. And when James starts showing signs of depression, and my effing heart sank. It was horrible. I could only imagine how alone and scared Sloane felt without her soulmate to get her through this horrible life. But even when Sloane is taken and ‘reprogramed,’ she always tried her best to remember. She didn’t let fear keep her away from the man she loved, no matter the risk.
I though James was going to be that solid ground Sloane needed to stay strong. I was shocked when he succumbed to ‘the sickness.’ But I also understood why he did. If I had to live the life he did, with my friends either killing themselves or being wiped clean like robots, I don’t think I could stay strong either. I loved that even when he is ‘cured’ he maintains his rebel ways and snarky attitude. James is just so freaking infuriating and amazing at the same time.
Side note: I HATED Realm!!!! I will be interested to see how he will be involved in the next book. I am not going to say anything else about him, I want you guys to decide for yourselves what kind of guy he is.
I am excited to continue this series. I want to know what is going to happen to our lovebirds. The writing was good and the concept was interesting. But, again, it’s the love story that got me.
Even though this book kept me interested most of the time, there were times I just wanted to skip to the good parts. I knew what was coming and I didn’t want to wade through all the in-between stuff to get there. I think that was more my inpatients with dystopians in general right now than a problem with this book.
The ending was so freaking anti-climactic. Like, ridiculously so. It was also predictable. If not for this ending, this book would have been 4 stars.
Sloane and James were the best part of the book. They have such a loving but realistic relationship. It’s not perfect, but it works because they have unrelenting love for one another. People try to tear them apart, make them forget each other, but they find their way back to each other. So heartwarming.
There is sex, but it’s not described so it’s appropriate for YA. I loved how the sex was just…normal. It wasn’t made to be a big deal and there was no taking of virginity. These are teenagers who had sex before, which is the norm now.
It wasn’t perfect but it was definitely enjoyable. The Program has some great characters that will keep you reading. I just hope The Treatment is even better. Recommended.
“You know I’m never going to be able to not kiss you again, right?” he said. “For the rest of my life, every time I look at you, I’ll have to kiss you.”
“He’s tender and defenseless, as if every part of him is exposed. He’s not the a**hole I thought he was, not even close. What I see is someone broken and fierce. Someone loyal and hardened. Someone who could belong to me completely, and me to him.”
“You’re right, you know,” he says. “You’re just right for me. And I’d bet my life that we’ve done this before. Because I can’t imagine that I wouldn’t have fallen in love with you the first time.”
“Suicide is a behavioral contagion. It’s old adage “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, then would you, too?” Apparently, the answer is yes.”