Suicide has become a serious epidemic, and the powers that be think they have found the solution in The Program. Sloane, her boyfriend James, and her best friend Miller want nothing to do with it – and the pressure to act “normal” is getting to be too much. Collectively, they have already lost Sloane’s brother/James’ best friend Brady to suicide and it looks like Miller’s girlfriend Lacey has just completed The Program. But returning from the Program means that you have been stripped of all memories that made you depressed. You have no memory of who you used to be, or everything you used to care about. Then James gets flagged and sent to the Program and Sloane doesn’t know what she’ll do without him. Will he remember he when he returns? The thought that the answer will be no is too much for Sloane, and soon she is flagged too. Will their love survive?
I have been hearing about this book for the longest time, and I can’t even tell you how long ago I purchased it. I think I was worried that it wouldn’t really hold up to the hype, so I kept putting it off. Turns out that I shouldn’t have worried. This was better than I expected.
First of all, this is a creepily realistic world. The powers that be have found a “solution” to the “problem” that is far from perfect. And it certainly seems as though there is a bit of corruption at hand as well. Thankfully, Sloane is smart enough to question everything… until they start taking her memory. She’s a fighter though, and I really enjoyed cheering her on, hoping for the best for her. Well, her and James. Oh, James… I can only picture him as Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He is such a tortured soul, a bit of a troublemaker, and you can feel the strength of his love for Sloane. All he wants to do is protect her.
This naturally left off on a cliffhanger, and yes – I will read on in the series when I can. My edition included a blurb from the next book, The Treatment, and I am very curious as to where this is going. I actually have an ARC of the fourth book in the series anyway… so I’m going to have to read the middle two first!
by Suzanne Young
Simon Pulse, 2013
Series: The Program #1