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Teen suicide has reached epidemic proportions with 1 in 3 giving up their lives. The Program "cures" under-18s by removing "dangerous" memories. Teens are worried about showing too much emotion in their screwed up world because they're worried about getting flagged to be sent to the Program Those that have completed the Program and have returned are blank slates - completely different people. Sloane and James have both lost so much and they're desperately trying to keep each other safe, but the depression is starting to set in...
I really enjoyed The Program! It touches on sensitive and very real issues and it works - Suzanne Young pulls it off spectacularly! I became emotionally attached to Sloane, James, and the supporting cast. I cared about their futures, and it broke my heart to see them lose their identities as the Program takes its toll. Watching everything unfold here is gut-wrenching as they're crushed by the all consuming darkness surrounding their lives. Young has created a chilling alternate world that will stay with me as I wonder what becomes of the characters after the final page (or audio track, in my case). I highly recommend The Program and I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment, The Treatment.
This book was read from May 19 - 22, 2014 and this review can also be found on Goodreads.