Publisher’s summary: In this “gripping tale for lovers of dystopian romance” (Kirkus Reviews), 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.
My take: Oh…wow! This book sucked the life out of me and left me numb! But it was so good! I have no idea how Suzanne would be able to write this book without going into a deep dark depression because she would have to literally put herself into a deep, dark depressed state of mind to accomplish the feelings and emotions that come out of this book. And I think it was really important for Suzanne to create these true, dark feelings in order to create and tell the story as well as she did. She did a phenomenal job in my opinion.
It killed me while reading this book, knowing that these teens are constantly being watched to see if they develop signs of sadness or depression which means they’ll be thrown into The Program. And how is it even possible for these teens to avoid the very emotions The Program supposedly says proves they are infected…when one in every three teens is killing themselves (these teens know other teens who have committed suicide), when they are constantly being monitored, and when they then see these other kids come out of The Program as totally different people. Don’t these things alone give them a reason to show signs of sadness, depression and anxiety? Wow!
There is something that happens really early on in the book that has you truly understanding what these teens are going through. And then that’s only the beginning…craziness is going on throughout the entire book! It all blew me away.
Suzanne Young is an amazing writer. She does an amazing job developing the story’s characters, and she did an amazing job emotionally attaching me to the characters. The world she created in this book and her storytelling were remarkable! And I especially love how she created a contemporary feel to this dystopian novel.
The story ends amazingly well, and I’m really excited to see where the story will lead!