I received this book for free from publisher unsolicited in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: The Program #1
Published by Simon Pulse on April 30th, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Source: publisher unsolicited
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.
Sloan lives in a world where suicide is an epidemic. Being depressed, lonely and sad will get you flagged by The Program. All the people who are taken in by The Program come back with their memories erased, their lives changed and their past becomes obsolete. Sloane wants nothing more than to just forget about her brother who died right in front of her. With the help of her boyfriend and best friend, they try to keep living their lives in the most normal way possible. Until Sloane finds herself all alone, she gets admitted to The Program herself and vows to find a way out.
The story that develops in The Program is unique. Imagine depression being contagious and all the people around you deep in a spiral of suicidal thoughts. That’s what Sloan goes through and my God did my heart break just a little for her. Here she is all alone and fighting to keep her memories intact, you can feel her pain leap out of the pages. Her struggles, heartaches and confusion were all so real. The other character that you may have to watch out for is Realm. Not in a good way either because as soon as he appeared on the page, you know you can’t trust him. I nicknamed him “Creepy.”
I loved the characters and their relationships and their problems. What I didn’t love was the lack of reasoning behind The Program. Why control people’s lives and erase their thoughts completely if they could learn from it. Mind control and hypnosis is such a creeptastic way to solve suicidal tendencies that I couldn’t believe what I was reading. shivers