Book Review: The Program (The Program#1) by Suzanne Young

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The Program (The Promgram#1) by Suzanne Young

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre: Dystopian and Young Adult

Release Date: April 30, 2013

Pages: 408 (Hardcover)

The Program (The Program#1)

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.

opinion

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.

Two Clouds
2 Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

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Book Review: A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

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A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

Publisher: Egmont USA

Genre: Contemporary and young adult

Release Date: July 23, 2013

Pages: 288 (Ebook)

A Really Awesome Mess

Two teenagers. Two very bumpy roads taken that lead to Heartland Academy.
Justin was just having fun, but when his dad walked in on him with a girl in a very compromising position, Justin’s summer took a quick turn for the worse. His parents’ divorce put Justin on rocky mental ground, and after a handful of Tylenol lands him in the hospital, he has really hit rock bottom.

Emmy never felt like part of her family. She was adopted from China. Her parents and sister tower over her and look like they came out of a Ralph Lauren catalog– and Emmy definitely doesn’t. After a scandalous photo of Emmy leads to vicious rumors around school, she threatens the boy who started it all on Facebook.

Justin and Emmy arrive at Heartland Academy, a reform school that will force them to deal with their issues, damaged souls with little patience for authority. But along the way they will find a ragtag group of teens who are just as broken, stubborn, and full of sarcasm as themselves. In the end, they might even call each other friends.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Egmont USA  for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

As the title says, this is a mess. But not an awesome one, more of a sloppily done one. There is so much that’s just horribly wrong with this novel that I get mad just thinking about it. Very little in this novel actually makes sense. Very little. And that made me really sad because I actually had really high hopes for this one.

The book skips over really important stuff like Justin’s relationship with his mother and step dad and there’s more telling rather than showing in the story.  It’s also obvious that every single one of these characters are underdeveloped especially, Emmy. That girl is just all over the place with her problems. She’s supposed to be angry (she’s in the anger management group for crying out loud!) yet, not once does she spaz out and yell and hit anyone when they don’t allow her to do what she wants. All of the characters have problems but they feel very half done, like the authors didn’t research these problems enough or very well. And even though I don’t mind romances in these kinds of stories, the romance in A Really Awesome Mess is very contrived. Everything about the relationship between Justin and Emmy feels very fake to me and it annoyed me to no end the way Emmy is around Justin, like he’s her world. *Rolls eyes*

But believe it or not, I did enjoy a few things about this book. I loved that Justin’s dad walked in on him doing the dirty. It’s funny and adds in the light mood the book was trying to mix in with the serious topics. Justin as a character starts off pretty strong and he’s the only reason I kept reading to the very end because his story is one that I can relate to. But other than Justin and his problems, I didn’t find anything else likeable about this novel.

I’m so disappointed with A Really Awesome Mess. Books about teenagers and depression and all that serious stuff speak to me! This book has put me in a bad mood and I don’t recommend this to anyone because it’s poorly executed and isn’t researched enough that also has a romance that could have gotten two stars out of me if it didn’t have.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.