Note: All reviews are spoiler free unless otherwise stated!
Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
# in series: 1st book in the Program trilogy
# of pages: 405
My rating: 3/5 stars
Song choice: Playlist is coming soon! 😀
This book was interesting… I bought it mainly because the plot sounded interesting. I mean suicide becoming a teen epidemic and the government implementing ways to “cure” you? That sounds like a pretty great dystopian.
I was not surprised though. Nothing about the book was bad and I enjoyed it but it felt predictable. Nothing had that wow factor to jump out at me or a plot twist that I didn’t see coming. It was all so obvious and I kept wanting to scream at the characters that this was going to happen.
With all of that though there were things that I did like about it. The world was interesting, a place where you can’t show your emotions because everyone is looking to turn you in. It had this very realistic feel to it. My friend and I were actually talking about this book (she has not read it) and we were talking about the whole fact of showing that something is wrong with you causes more fear and then they bottle up and make it worse. Basically we were saying that like our world today, the use of emotions is sometimes used to make someone look weak and how that causes problems like depression or anxiety. This book does take it a step farther but it did not in any way make fun of these or make them feel unreal.
The main thing that I loved about this book was how everything the government did kept backfiring. They had so many poor steps put in place (most likely because someone rushed to this solution when this “epidemic” hit) that everyone just couldn’t keep up with what was normal and what was considered serious. When the lines of serious and not good become the grey area that’s where problems arise. It felt real. I was not surprised that people reacted in this way because when suddenly all of your son or daughters friends start killing themselves you would worry. We all would. And that’s the point. The point (or at least the point I think Young was trying to portray) is that when something like this starts to get a rise in society especially among younger generations adults don’t know how to react or how to deal with their children in a way that wouldn’t backfire. When something like this happens the responsibility falls to the adults and their panic has to be contained because this is their problem to fix. What usually (or seems to) happen is that they want to fix it so badly and quickly to get the blame off of them that they rush through without thinking about the future. They jump to the whole well if we erase the bad there will always be good.
The way that Young portrayed suicide and depression in this book felt real and did not make me feel like she was trying to make weak characters but realistic ones. The whole idea of this world where death is everywhere and they can still be happy and cherish small things made me happy.
I don’t care too much for the characters. James and Sloane weren’t that great to me and I felt like as the story progressed I thought I would like them more but didn’t. I feel like James is getting better while Sloane gets worse. However Lacey and Miller were my favorite characters!
Overall this book is good and I think I more loved the world portrayal and the viewpoint on the government and how people deal with depression more than the actual story. I do wish that there was an explanation for the cause of this epidemic but maybe that comes in later books? I think I should probably say that there is a suicide/depression trigger in this because they do speak heavily about it so if that is not something that you feel comfortable reading then this is not for you.
Hope this review helps! 😀
Sorry for the long review, but let me know what you thought! And if any of it came across kinda confusing I apologize I rush wrote this because I have to start my essay for school 😦