The Program (The Promgram#1) by Suzanne Young
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Dystopian and Young Adult
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Pages: 408 (Hardcover)
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.
I’m really getting tired of this genre. Or maybe it’s that the guys are always so ‘hot and cold’ towards the female character that I want to hit them with a frying pan. But then again, it could be both. The Program has a unique idea. Depression is taking over teenagers! It’s different. But then there’s the romances that, don’t take over the novel but make themselves a little too known. I’m really hoping that things change for the better in the next book or else I might have to hit someone with my frying pan.
With such an intriguing plot, I was expecting a lot more than I received. The back story for most of the characters is sloppily put in at odd times as well as the world building is done sloppily. Both of the romances in The Program are kind of boring. Especially the romance between Realm and Sloane and all the insta-love feelings going on there. I also don’t like the way the novel makes depression sound like an infectious disease that can easily be caught. It’s not very realistic with it, nor are the signs for depression that easy to spot and treat. And the ending! It’s like every other dystopian book out there trying to, ‘fight back’. Nothing about it is creative. It’s the exact. Same. As. The. Rest.
Fortunately, The Program does have some promising qualities. The second part of the book is much better, it’s a bit more organized and bearable. Suzanne Young puts a realistic spin on her writing style to fit the book. I might not like the way she has portrayed depression as some kind of infectious disease that can easily be caught like the flu, but I did like that she kept the writing in a sad, gloomy style.
Young does have a knack for creative story ideas but also for sloppy executions for her work. Still, I recommend this if you’ve read and loved Delirium by Lauren Oliver or just like dystopian in general and looking for something new in the genre. Although you might not like this because of the romance, the second part of the novel is much better than the first even if the ending is so overused.
For quotes from this book, click here.