Monday, May 6, 2013

The Program (The Program #1) by Suzanne Young | Review

The Program (The Program #1) by Suzanne Young | ReviewThe Program by Suzanne Young
Series: The Program #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on April 30, 2013
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 405
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
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.

It’s always a little scary reading a new book from one of your favorite authors. What if you don’t like it? That’s how I went into The Program. Suzanne Young has been one of my favorites for quite some time and I was nervous seeing as I hadn’t heard a whole lot about The Program. I’m very happy to say that I was not at all disappointed. In fact, The Program was actually better than I expected.

While The Program is classified as dystopian, it didn’t really read like one. I guess I’m used to dystopian books packed full of action like Divergent and The Hunger Games. Don’t expect that from The Program, but don’t worry you’ll still love it. The Program is a much more subtle book. There are very obvious hints at how society has changed but really, people are still the same. The only thing that’s really changed is how people handle things. Teen suicide has become an epidemic. It’s handled like a disease that must be treated. And the people that treat the disease aren’t exactly nice people. Instead of an evil government like in most dystopians, this time it’s the people who are trying to save your life that are actually ruining it. It’s a really unique story and one that you won’t find in any other book.

The emotional impact of The Program is huge. My emotions were all over the place while I read it. There were times when I laughed, times when I cried, and times when I wanted to scream and throw the book at the wall. The Program is split into three parts and each part of the book will toy with a different emotion; the third part in particular. Also, splitting the book up into three parts really made it read a lot faster. It was almost like three short books in one except that every section flows seamlessly into the next.

Now how can I not mention the characters? I’m really just going to focus on Sloane and James but they are definitely not the only characters who make an impact in this book. I just don’t want to spoil anything and I feel like if I mention anyone else, I just might. First, Sloane. Sloane is a freaking awesome character. She’s tough but vulnerable, brave but scared, smart yet dumb. She’s human. There isn’t a single part of her that isn’t easy to relate to. Even living in a dystopian society, she’s just like us. Then there’s James. James seemed a little too perfect at first but that didn’t stop me from loving him. However, readers quickly get to see that James is anything but perfect and that only made me like him more. Also, he and Sloane together were so dang cute. And I felt so torn up by everything that they had to go through. Every character in The Program stuck with me.

Overall, The Program is a must-read! Fans of Suzanne Young will adore this new addition to her books and if you’re not a fan, you will be.

What others have to say about The Program:

The Escapism Project’s review: “This book is perfect.”

Novel Novice’s review: “Offering a frightening look at our possible future, The Program by Suzanne Young is as thrilling as it is emotionally poignant.”

Book Revels’ review: “The Program is dark and full of action.” 

Little Library Muse’s review: “I would recommend this book to readers that are looking for a dystopian book that’s emotionally twisted with a hint of mystery and romance.”

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  1. The Novlist (Steph)

    I’ve been dying to get my hands on this book for ages! I’m so glad to hear that you’ve enjoyed this; I’m kind of worried that I won’t, but hearing that you liked it makes me feel a lot better about this. Great review!

    • Sarah E.

      To expand for my giveaway entry (lol), I was drawn in by the cover and read the synopsis and I just honestly think it sounds incredible. I haven’t heard anything bad about it either. To me, it seems like it’s getting TFIOS-type raves 🙂

  2. Nikki R

    I’m so glad to see another positive review for this book! It sounds like quite the emotional roller-coaster, but I’m really looking forward to reading it.

  3. YA Book Queen

    Wow! This is the second review I’ve read in the last five minutes for this book discussing the emotional impact it had – it sounds like THE PROGRAM is very well written!

    Great review 🙂

  4. Kim (YA Asylum)

    Owww, this book sounds so good! Before the reviews started to roll in for this one (most of them really good), I was a little cautious about it too. It just seemed so … depressing and I’m a bit burnt out on dystopians. So to hear it doesn’t read like one is a good thing. Great review 🙂

  5. Passionate Bookworm

    Umm.. Holy wow! This book is not what I thought it was! … I haven’t actually read anything by this author I don’t think * awaits evil glare * But I think I may have to. Should I prepare with Tissues?

  6. BookGirlFromSouthCarolina

    Hey! So glad you loved this book as much as I did, it was..amazing! I finished my review this weekend and I’ve been dying to see what everyone else thought. I am right there with you on the emotional tug of this book, and i totally agree splitting the book into 3 parts really was a true split in the feel of each story, but was told so flawlessly.. The characterrs had me in the first few pages. I don’t want to give anything away, but in the end with James and Sloane, there is a quote from Realm that says basically the past should be left in the past and true things will be repeated – what an amazing summary of that relatonship. Little to say I cannot wait for the second book, anyone know when we can look forward to that??

  7. ChristasBooks

    Since this deals with such a sensitive topic it doesn’t surprise me that it’s an emotional read. I’m really looking forward to this book. I think it’;; be great.

  8. Julia :)

    This one sounds great! I’m glad that you loved the characters so much. I tend to be a really character driven reader so that’s a super important aspect to me. The whole premise sounds really unique and intriguing too. I can’t wait to finally get my hands on it. 🙂

  9. MarvelousCatoReviews

    I’m really relieved that you had such a positive experience with this book, because it’s one I’m SUPER excited for! It has such an interesting premise, and I’m interested in seeing how Young handles the topic of suicide.

  10. Lili

    I’m so happy you love this! I totally get what you said about being scared about reading a new book from a favorite author. If it doesn’t live up to your expectations it almost ruins it for you, which of course you never want.

    Great review, I’m excited to read it myself!

  11. Christine P

    So glad you liked this book! I really can’t wait to read it. I’ve been anxiously awaiting its release. But now of course, my broke college student budget is running low on funds so it’ll have to wait a little while 🙁 I love a book that makes me go through every emotion possible. Those are usually the best ones! Great review!

  12. Angie

    Whee! Lately the dystopian genre has been bombarded with evil governments that are just so cliched. This definitely sounds unique in that the people destroying lives are truly trying to save them. I love Suzanne Young too!! Definitely cannot wait to read this. Thank you for this lovely review.

  13. Lisa Collins

    I’ve heard a lot of people say it reads more like a contemporary than a dystopian. Either way, I’m pretty excited to read it. I have a feeling I’ll get emotional too. Especially because it deals with a topic that we deal with and hear about every day. It’s just really close to home no matter who you are. Excited!

  14. Rachel

    Great review! I scanned it a bit to avoid any possible spoilers, but I’ve been wanting to read The Program since I first heard about it. And it’s classified as dystopian? I didn’t know that. Looking forward to this one!

  15. Sierra

    Oooh! reading your review has made me die from wanting to read this book even more! It’s about to come into my library for me, but I don’t know if I can last that long! It sounds like an amazing book 🙂 Thanks for the review!

  16. Heather Cranmer

    I want this book so bad!! Your review made me think of Glitch by Heather A. (I’m not even going to attempt to spell her last name, lol).

    I love books that make me emotional =)

    Thanks for your review =)

  17. TheBookSlayer

    I just finished The Program and WOW. It was an emotional roller coaster and I loved every bit! Great review! James and Sloane are one of the cutest YA couples ever. I loved their back-and-forth banter. I can’t wait for their escapades in book two!

  18. Cinthia Castro

    Omg I’m so glad u enjoyed this book and gave it a 5! I’ve been itching to read it and now I will becuz I love books that play with my emotions or make me feel a lot of things! / thnx for the giveaway also

  19. Christina

    I’ve heard very mixed reviews about this book, so I’m glad you loved it. I’m okay with less action as long as it’s really thoughtful. I’m the same as you– if a book makes me feel that much emotion and swings in emotion, I generally have to give it five stars. Because that’s skill, ya know?

    Christina @ Ensconced in YA

  20. Sarah P

    This seems like a really cool book, that’s interesting that it’s split it into three parts and that the people in charge of society are actually helpful!

  21. Kayla DeGroote

    I’m so glad you liked it! I’ve been interested in this book for awhile now and I’ve been so glad that this book has been getting so many positive reviews! Can’t wait to read it!

  22. Christina Kit.

    Wasn’t the dystopian world here totally unique? I loved how it wasn’t just war or drought or epidemic that changed everything but something as intangible as mental illness.

    You never knew who to trust in this one, and I really rooted for Sloane and James.

    Lovely review!

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