Pages: 408In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.
I’m a dystopian nut, and memory erasing is an idea I really love to read about. It’s a core aspect in one of my NaNoWriMo novels, and something I’d really like to play around with in future novels. So the idea of The Program really interested me.
I found it ironic that in order to rebound suicidal depression, The Program took Sloane’s memories; yet in doing so, it killed her in a completely different way. Someone who’s had their memory wiped or been through The Program (called a “returner”) has to rewrite their lives. They know nothing about themselves or who they used to be. It’s like being reborn. Some things are familiar, but anything linked to their past that might have caused the initial depression is taken from their minds. Maybe not absolutely scientifically possible, but an interesting (though morbid) idea nonetheless.
Anyway, there’s my rant. I liked Sloane’s character, though she was a bit clingy and desperate when it came to James. She’s snarky, though, and I liked that about her. Realm was another one of my favorites. I liked him soooo much better than James. He seems to respect (and even love) Sloane more than James did. He was mysterious, yet he had all the answers. He wanted what was best for Sloane; he wanted to protect her. I would have loved to see Sloane and Realm end up together, but that wouldn’t have worked for the book. Besides, there’s always book 2, right? (Ya hear that, Suzanne?)
I ended up really enjoying The Program. I sped through those 400 pages pretty darn fast, so that tells you how much I liked it (slow readers FTW!). There were some character issues that irked me, as well as some rather mature content (see Quick Content Review below), which results in four stars rather than five. That said, I highly recommend The Program to mature teen readers/adults.
Language: Moderate (Several b-words, a few f-words, etc.)
Violence: Moderate (mention of teens committing suicide in various ways- poison, slitting wrists, drowning, etc.)
Sexual: Heavy (Characters casually sleep together; some heavy kissing).