PJV Quickie: THE PROGRAM by Suzanne Young elicited one of the biggest emotional reactions in a book that I’ve had in a long time. Considering THE PROGRAM on the surface, it did look like a book I shouldn’t have enjoyed because it was full of flashbacks and a plot that was mostly internal drama. But, it worked and it worked well!![frame align=”left”][/frame]
YA Dystopian, The Program by Suzanne Young
Author: Suzanne Young
Series: The Program #1
Narrator: Joy Osmanski
Type: Young Adult Dystopian
Publication: April 30th 2013 by Simon Pulse
Source: Audiobook provided by publisher
Review: In this dystopian world, created by Suzanne Young, teen suicides are an epidemic. By the time the US has instituted The Program, 1 in 3 teenagers have committed suicide. In an effort to protect the children at all costs, the government has instituted The Program, it is the only thing that works. Teens are taken from their classes or homes and brought to an institute, their memories wiped. They return shadows of themselves, with no depressing memories, alive and not depressed.
Sloane lost her brother Brady. One moment he was smiling and happy, the next moment he was dead. Her friends are next. One is taken into the Institute and she returns not even knowing Sloane or her boyfriend. Sloane is faced with a choice, bury her feelings as deep as she can, don’t show any forms of depression, even her own parents cannot be trusted. The only person she can lose herself with is James. James is her everything. But as her and James group of friends dwindles, some have died, some go through The Program, her James slips away from her…and soon they are coming to take him.
Her parents tell her and Sloane can’t hide her feelings anymore. Showing feelings means The Program. It seems inevitable. The Program or death. Should she commit suicide, or lose all her memories of the boy she loves?
The choice is taken away from her. This cues my emotional reactions, because as Sloane goes through The Program, she is asked to recall memories. She doesn’t realize that they are being erased from her as she recounts them, but you know what is going on. Her memories of James and their relationship were some of the most touching romantic interactions that I’ve read in a Young Adult novel. It was more on the lines of a Contemporary Drama, because if it wasn’t for the futuristic setting and the memories being ripped away from her, you would swear that it was a romance.
But, it’s not. It’s a dystopian and a rather heart wrenching one. There was this one scene that nearly drove me to hysterics. Sloane was trying to throw-up the pill that she had just taken to save her memory. It was horrendous. Very similar to the heart-ache of DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver. I can only say this about THE PROGRAM: read it. Or do as I did, listen to it. The narrator Joy Osmanski was spellbinding. She captured the voice of Sloane just as I would have imagined. She was perfect. I liked what she did with WHAT THE SPELL, I loved what she did with THE PROGRAM.
Read it. Listen to it. Experience THE PROGRAM. You will not be disappointed. It is also a great dystopian cross-over, so you if you are looking to transition, this is the one for you. What are you waiting for? Go out and get THE PROGRAM by Suzanne Young.
Recommendations: Recommended for fans of the Young Adult Dystopian genre and Contemporary Romances that have a little more heart-ache then the normal bubblegum variety. Fans of Lauren Oliver should fall over in fandom over Suzanne Young. There are a few cringe worthy topics to be aware of in this novel, for one, the characters do engage in sexual activity, there is also a lot of talk of suicide. Nothing is condoned or promoted though.
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