THE PROGRAM BY SUZANNE YOUNG - READING WITHOUT AN ACCENT



Goodreads synopsis:

In Sloane’s world, 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.

Goodreads score: 4.08 stars.

Technicalities:

Hardcover405 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by Simon Pulse
ISBN
1442445807 (ISBN13: 9781442445802)

URL
http://pages.simonandschuster.com/theprogram

SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT



I was really looking forward to reading this book expecting it to have some cliched moments. The options were slim for the main characters, either they got into the program and they didn't forget about each other, or they got into it, got their memories erased and found each other again. I knew one of those two was bound to happen. And it did. 
But despite that what I truly loved about this book was how emotion filled it was. that part wasn't cheaply done or cliched at all. You could really feel the main character's emotions flowing and the author did a great job showing how they felt, in a way, how we could all feel in a similar situation. 
It was interesting to see how a world where you're not allowed to be depressed would unfold. This reality, although treated as futuristic or dystopian in this story, is actually quite common in a lot of European countries. I am not sure if the author wanted to address suicide in a preachy way or on a way to make us think about the alternative. I don't think she necessarily condemns suicide (although I am sure she doesn't condone it) because the alternative to suicide is not feeling at all or going through The Program. I would have loved to see how the author felt about that but maybe it wasn't the point of the story. 
In this society you're not allowed to grieve past a certain number or days, which is discretionary and if you dwell on the pain you might become infected with depression. It's funny because if you talk to a lot of people out there, a lot of us have felt or feel depressed. You'd be surprised to hear how many people are on anti depressants! I think it was a clever story to address the fact that society got so used to antidepressants that we became immune. But again, the author doesn't really offer an alternaytive (no God is ever mentioned) other than escaping the country.  

It's not your typical dystopian book and I would recommend it for an easy entertaining read. I will soon be reading the requel "The treatment" and "The remedy" which i heard can be read a separate book.

Did you read "The Program"? What did you think of it?


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