The Program (The Program #1) by Suzanne Young

The ProgramPublished:  April 30th 2013 by Simon Pulse

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance

Pages: Hardcover, 405

Goodreads4.07

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.

My review:

I mainly listened to this book because I had nothing else to listen to at work. It was just something to listen to, nothing that I expected to be good.

Starting out, I wasn’t sure. I just kept thinking, oh this isn’t what I usually read/listen to, I’m not going to like it. How wrong was I? Very.

As I listened to more of the book I became more sensitive to what it was about and how it related to my life, now, the future, and most of all, the past.

But, before I get too deeply into this, I want to warn you. This book is about depression. It has reoccurring suicide scenes. It has memory loss. It has characters that are lost. It will break your heart, one way or another.

This book really messed me up. I feel like once I turned 18 a switch was turned, one that slowly started to grow in magnitude with each month that passed. It was little things at first, movies that I would suddenly find very sad when I wouldn’t have otherwise. Or wanting to read/watch more romance (which I still don’t do often anyway). Just emotional things that started to affect me.

I always chalked it up to having a significant other that I worry about 24/7 and put myself into the shoes of other couples. I couldn’t help but think ‘what if that was me, and it was him too?’ If I get like that and have the feeling of sadness or happiness affect me, I know the book was good. It takes a lot for me to get emotional, and this book almost had tears running from my eyes.

I don’t know if it’s me putting myself in Sloan’s shoes, wondering how I would live without my boyfriend, or if it was my own struggle with depression that caused me to be so emotionally invested.

There is a lot that happens in the book, and each of the three sections could be a short book in itself.  It’s wonderful, very. I really recommend this book if you think you can handle it, but don’t read it around anyone who you might not want to see you break down in tears. If I hadn’t been at work, I know I probably would have.

I really connected with this book and it is so heart wrenching, so truthful, so beautiful. Struggling through different emotions and situations is all part of the human experience, and that’s why I think most people could connect to this book in some way shape or form.

This book is about love, struggle, depression, and finding a way when it all seems impossible. I recommend this book, very highly, to anyone who thinks they are ready for the kind of emotions that this might bring up. I wasn’t expecting it, but I think this has been  the one book in the past year that quickly passed my expectations.

★★★★.5

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