Friday, October 9, 2015

The Program

A book that made you cry.
Wow, this book was something else.
When teenage suicide becomes so prevalent it is seen as an epidemic, The Program is developed to watch teens, flag them when they seem depressed, and take them in for treatment. The treatment is to erase the memories The Program deems dangerous to the teenager, things that may have led to their depression, people that may have made them sick. Sloane has front seat tickets to the illness infecting youths when her brother kills himself, her best friend is flagged and taken for six weeks only to return with no memory of Sloane or even her boyfriend, Miller, who is next to be infected. When James, Sloane's boyfriend, her brother's best friend, is flagged, Sloane begins falling as well and finds herself in The Program against her will.
Underneath the pain of not being able to show any emotion in fear of being perceived as ill, the characters in this world are trying to not only play at being seen as happy, but maybe even trying for a few moments of actual happiness. And Suzanne does an incredible job at capturing it all with characters just as jaded and complex as the youths of today. Her writing invoked every emotion on the scale as she told a painful love story through the eyes of a trouble teen. I found myself unable to put down the book, choosing to wear sunglasses as I read in public to hide the tears as James and Sloane, both with no idea who the other is, try to fight their way through the after effects of The Program side by side with very little memory of their past.
Suzanne also does an amazing job of showing the parents in this novel. When I was suffering through my first bouts of depression I remember my father's reluctance to even acknowledge a problem. Later when it became too hard to ignore, I listened to him argue for getting me help in whatever way he could and I worried what that meant for me, who was then trying to hold it together not only for myself but a dear friend of mine. We helped each other through the worst of it together and I could not even begin to imagine loosing her to something like The Program, erasing memories of me because I may have made her ill. Like Sloane I clung to my small circle of companions to help get us all through the toughest years. I can fully sympathize with Sloane as she looses her grip on her emotions while too many eyes waited for her to misstep.
This book was so close to home for me, and it made my heart ache at every turn as Sloane made her way through it all. Suzanne's wonderful writing made it amazing, made it a fantastic read that I didn't want to put down late into the night. The next book is already sitting on my shelf waiting to be picked up! And I recommend everyone give these books a chance!

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