Monday, May 6, 2013

|Review| The Program by Suzanne Young + Giveaway

Title: The Program
Series: Program #1
Published April 30th 2013 by Simon Pulse
Genre: dystopian YA 
Rating: B-
Goodreads summary: 
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.
I've waited for The Program for a long long time now and I'm glad to say it did not disappoint! The book is split into 3 parts and the book got better as I further went into the book. I had my doubts during part 1 because it was full of cheesy "I'll save you" romance but I didn't mind it when I realized that it did play a part in the book and it was toned down later on. From the beginning, I was invested with the characters and yup, I had feels.
The dust jacket of The Program. The title on the front & on the spine in the final copy is white though.
The Program, both the book and the actual program, is well, scary. Imagine having your memories stripped away from you? Your past, lost? and all of this is LEGAL. Heck, your parents make you go thru this! Creepy. Some parts made me feel violated. I just wanted to hug my brain and my memories because what are we without those memories? This line really stuck with me and it sums the problem The Program creates:
He sounds frustrated, and I realize that he has the same conflicting feelings that I do. Emotions that are there, but without cause. Feelings that aren't attached to memories and therefore meaningless.
That's why I really enjoyed The Program. I haven't read many dystopian books but in my mind, I imagined The Program set in the future and everything is in lock down and the government doesn't allow anything and etc. but I was surprised when I realized that The Program is set in a world just like today's. Everything is the same except the Program exists. Which makes this book even more believable. This really could happen! Grieving parents would allow such a program to exist if it means their children could be happy and safe from themselves. However, I don't want to get to into that because the suicide issue isn't discussed thoroughly which was fine by me because this isn't an ISSUE book but I do believe it will be further explored.

This is how the book looks like without the dust jacket. I love it!
I was definitely rooting for the characters, they were trying their best, doing stupid things in the process but really trying to make the best out of living in a really harsh world for teenagers. Sloane is a great main character and I just wanted to jump into the book to protect her. She was a normal teenage girl but the Program makes hard for teens to be carefree. James is Sloane's boyfriend and I did like him. I do want to see more depth to him in the next book though. I also loved Realm, a boy Sloane meets while she's in the Program, but I fear Suzanne Young will go in a bad direction with him. I never got the vibe that he a was part of a love triangle (neither did Sloane, for that matter!) but some people have apparently been feeling that way. I want to see even more from him and I hope his character is even explored further. Plus, I wanted Sloane to start treating him right! He does everything to help her but Sloane doesn't get it. But oh how I liked-and-hated that. On one hand, it happens, on another, Sloane! Be smart!!!

Usually with dystopian and paranormal books, I get caught up with wanting more building and explanations and that distracts me from the story but since The Program is set in world like today's, for once I wasn't asking a million questions. But I definitely how questions that I hope will be answered sometime in the series otherwise I'll be really cheated. I also did want to see more personality from Sloane's parents. But this is a problem I have with most YA parents. They're usually cardboard cut out zombies. Bleh.

The Program had a cool twist that I didn't see coming but really enjoyed and I definitely can't wait for the next book since the end was GREAT. It wasn't a cliffhanger per se but it did leave me wanting the second book immdeiatly.

Rating: [B-] A good start to a series. I'll be waiting for the sequel!
The air in the room tastes sterile.
"I'm just saying," James adds, walking back over to the couch and dropping down next to me. "If I didn't have this one"––he hikes his thumb at me––"I might be your new stepdad."
They're always watching. Never forget that.
Giveaway time! Thanks to the publisher, I'll be offering 2 finished, hardcover copies of 
The Program and this is U.S. only. Good luck! This is a book you want to read.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Encore fun! Jamie @The Perpetual Page Turner has this AWESOME post about the The Program themed book club meeting she had. It's fun and true to the book. Plus she also has a giveaway!

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