Wednesday, August 14, 2013
The Program- Review
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. (goodreads.com)
I'm not sure what to say about this book. I loved it, hands down, I read the book in one day. I was engrossed, I was frustrated, I was heartbroken, I was confused, and a million other feelings that I can't even think of right now.
I have to take this book in steps so lets talk about what he program is, apparently the program is a treatment facility that erases all memories that lead to your depression, basically all your left with are happy childhood memories of riding on daddy's shoulders to get ice cream and other childhood randomness, everything after puberty is pretty much gone.
Next, in this book, suicide is some type of epidemic and apparently contagious, teens are literally taking their own lives left and right. When reading the back of the book I thought, why, one theory mentioned, was that it had to do with how many pills, and antidepressants were given to past generations, their children are suffering the consequences, then I though that it might be like the mob effect, it's easier to do something that everyone else is doing. Then I looked at the world these characters were living in. Siblings were dying, parents, were fighting, kids were dragged kicking and screaming from a room, then it's occupants were to carry on with life as if nothing happened. Any sign of emotions that stray to far from content with life could result in the loss of your memories. A world like that is enough to make anyone want to craw into a dark corner.
SPOILER (sort of)
I honestly didn't think that Sloane would be sent to the program when I read the synopsis of this book, but I'm glad that she was, and that we, as readers were able to learn how a facility made up of every day humans could strip someones memories. I honestly thought the pills were ingenious (in a scary kind of way). We were able to watch as Sloane's most precious memories were stripped from her slowly and almost without her noticing. I found myself thinking back to random points of my life to see if I could remember all of the details of moments and events, sometimes I couldn't.
The meeting of James and Sloane... I liked it, yes it would be easy to make jokes about star crossed lovers but what I saw in the two of them was enough to push me into reading this book until 3am. While Sloane was in the program we learned a lot about her and James, we learned that James was adamant to not fall for Sloane and sometimes treated her poorly to push her away, he would then find ways to be near her again driving her insane with his hot and cold actions. We learned how James came to give Sloane her cherished purple heart ring and we were able to watch their relationship grow as the program erased these memories from her mind. I liked how despite the fact their neither had memories of the other, they were able to almost repeat the relationship. James sent hot and cold text messages, and gave her another heart ring in the same fashion that he presented her with the first one. Cheesy, maybe, but I like it. A person who has amnesia may still be able to play an instrument or speak in another language, even though they don't know how they learned the skill, it just feels right, and they go with it. The same thing happened with James and Sloane, they don't remember that they loved each other at one point, but their drawn to each other anyway. This seems like a story of hope as much as government interference (because that's always a problem).
There are a million more things to say but I can't even get into it all right now. I had no idea that this would be a series until I got to the end, they might as well have printed TO BE CONTINUED in giant block letters, I was incredibly frustrated but I am also intrigued, is the plague spreading to adults, will the government step in, will Sloane get her memories back, Realm (need I say more).
At the end of the day, I like this book and I have high hopes from what comes after. I consider this book and opener, an outline of this world that Suzanne Young has created. I'll bet that in the next book things take an even bigger turn.