Genres: Dystopia, Romance
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: 30/04/2013
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In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.
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.
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 originally pre-ordered The Program in early 2013 and I'm ashamed to say that it took me this long to read it. After The Hunger Games effect (or perhaps before), dystopian novels seemed to be thrown at us from every publisher and at every angle and even though I have an immense love of Dystopia and always have, even I started to get a bit sick of it. I could go on about all the Dystopias that have disappointed me (*cough* Reached) but instead I'll tell you that The Program is a breath of fresh air.
There's almost a checklist when it comes to Dystopia and The Program does check more than one of the boxes. Oppressive government literally knocking on your door? Check. Smouldering man candy? Check. Some weird shady stuff the government is up to to control the population? Check. A love triangle? Ergh, check. Somehow though, The Program felt different and new, like nothing I'd read before and I think that was mostly down to the characters an the situations they find themselves in.
Sloane is older than the usual age for Dystopia, being 17. She's a complex character, she's still grieving for her brother who committed suicide not long ago. It was either months or a year or two, the exact amount of time escapes me. Which is kind of ironic when you think about it. Sloane is completely loyal to her friends and boyfriend James, and I really felt for her when everything started collapsing around her. She's tough too though and will do whatever it takes to get back at the government that has ruined her life.
Another element that I really liked is the lack of insta-love. She's already with James when we meet her and we learn how they got together through the course of the story, using flashbacks. I found them a copletely believeable couple and really rooted for them all the way though. I think that's what kept me reading and in fact, I finished the story within the course of an evening. I was pretty surprised when I found I'd read it all! I'm really looking forward to it's sequel, The Treatment and I know that this time, I will read the whole book as soon as I buy it.