The Program by Suzanne Young

Friday, September 27, 2013

Title : The Program
Author : Suzanne Young
Genre : Dystopian
Published Date : April 30th 2013

Publisher : Simon Pulse
Pages : 408
Source : Bought
Rating : ✿✿✿✿✿

From Goodreads :
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.



The cover of this book was honestly really eye-catching, using yellow on a sterile white, and it was also a real scene from the book. And oh, did I mention the different cover of the dust jacket and the hardbound cover? It was like, adding an extra awesomeness to this book. And suicide as an epidemic? Like, Yes please.

“We have to fake it to make it,”

The Program told us about the near future of our world, where teenage suicide become an epidemic, and The Program was created in order to prevent it.
The government believes it solves the problem. The kid's parents believe it. Everyone believe it. But the truth was not as pretty as it seems. Because The Program didn't cure the suicidal teenage. 
It stripped them from their memory, robbed them from themselves. Slated them clean. And when Sloane Barstow got herself declared as the depressed, would she submitted to The Program so easily, after it took everyone precious from her and she had spent her whole life hating it?

The concept of this book was actually pretty great and carefully thought. It was fresh, it was consistent throughout the whole story, and it managed to kept us glued to it.
It's also really lovely, by the way, to read that what was meant to be wouldn't be changed by anything. That even after the Program, Sloane will found her old life fall into place in a new way.
The character feeling about how they have to always pretend every single second of their life also felt so believable, and it was very real without being too forced.

The ending, though, got some kind of mixed reaction from me.
There's a sudden Deus ex Machina in play, that I honestly don't quite fond of. Yet the whole conclusion still seemed interesting in my opinion. It gave us a fleeting portrayal about Realm's life after Sloane. And it did make us curious about what will happen with Allison, the seemingly next Sloane.

However, it really pissed me off that the story was just sooooo predictable.
Maybe it want to made us think that the bad was the good and vice versa and just want to make us confused about who we should root for.
But really, reading half of this book was the same as reading crap when we already know who's who, and Sloane just became all confused and super-stupid, and the bad guy was just so totally obvious. And that, by the way, just make Sloane's stupidity looks even more stupid.

Sloane's personality, beside a lil bit stupid, was also kinda confusing.
She was pretty likable at first. Strong, independent, realistic, had her own view of world, and stand up for herself. But there's time when she acted out of her character just so the plot could move forward.
And no people, it doesn't look natural or anything. It looks completely and utterly stupid, and pretty questionable. Like :

"Even though I don’t trust Dr. Warren—not even a little—I took the pill sitting on her desk when I walked in."

If you don't trust her and you don't want to have your memory taken away by The Program and you despised them all your life and you seemed like smart enough justa little bit ago, WHY DID YOU TAKE THE GODDAMN PILLS?
Honestly speaking, she's probably the most stupid heroine I've ever read.

But if you managed to get over with the infuriating part when Sloane was in The Program, it actually became a little bit better after that. She became—hallelujah thanks God—somehow more sensible and finally has a brain after a while, the plot finally moved forward and finally made us think "What will happened next?", even if it's just a little. A tiny little.

The other characters also just falls into stereotypical zone. Lacey plays the best friend part flawlessly, James as the smokin' hot and sweet boyfriend, and all in all, they don't have any outstanding personality other than the usual.
But the plus point, maybe, would be because all of the characters—even the minor one—were all pretty easy to imagine.

One thing I also didn't quite like was the way-too-obvious factor in this book, like :
We obviously know that something was wrong with Miller.
We readers know, Sloane knows, James knows. And yet they still decided to go on a camping, leaving their obviously depressed friend behind. Yep, all so believable.
And then, all so timely, The Program decided to come get Miller and he committed suicide, all while Sloane and James was not there for a freaking one day.
And I was just like, really? Is there any other smoother way to do this so it doesn't sounds like obviously plotted?

Also, it's kinda hard to believe that in the world where teenage suicide was a plague, there are still something like QuikDeath or whatever else like that.
I mean, if they stopped depression-based suicide with The Program, why there are still someone who is allowed to sell QuikDeath? And if they're illegal, it's also hard to believe that those depressed teen can get their hand on it so easily when their every movement was monitored.

Overall, I think this book did sounds and looks promising. And indeed, with the strong concept and nice execution, it was actually quite a good read. But when you give me a half-developed side character and a suddenly stupid main character, just, ehm, no. But if you can overlook that and just read on, you might like this one if you love dystopian with a realness on it.

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  1. I've wanted to read this ever since a heard about it a couple of months ago! I NEED to get my hands on it. The story line seems very unique, and I love dystopians with a real-ness to them. Fantastic review! :)

  2. I'm sad to read that this book was really predictable. The top things that annoy me in books are annoying main characters (Sloane), predictableness (It's not a word but it needs to be!) and love triangles. This book seems like if fits 2/3 of those categories so I won't be reading this. I'm sad to see you didn't enjoy this book (as much) but thanks for saving me from wasting my time. Great review though (the gifs were an awesome touch!)

  3. I agree about the cover, it's what first caught my eye. And I agree, after thinking about it more and more, I really didn't like the ending. The story was predictable, but I think I like that most times if it's still entertaining. And you're really making me think because you're right, where are they getting QuikDeath and why is it still available?

    Love the review :)


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