Read: May 2013
I rated on Goodreads: 5 Stars
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
So I’ve been sitting here for two days trying to figure out how best to review this book. This was another book that Andi recommended I read, which I had planned to, but a lot sooner than I had originally thought I would.
To me this book is a cross between Non Dystopian and Dystopian in the sense that the Government has created something to control teenagers, but the world is still very much like our world today. People still drive cars, have electricity and watch TV. A lot of which in other dystopian novels doesn’t exist anymore.
The story is about Sloane, a high schooler whose brother has committed suicide…and in her world Suicide is on the rise, therefore the Program watches all teenagers under the age of 18 for signs of depression so they can stop them before they kill themselves. If there are signs of depression seeping into a teen the handlers come and take you away. The problem is when you come out of the program you don’t remember certain parts of your life. So Sloane, and her boyfriend James, and best friend Miller have to do whatever they can to remain normal so they won’t be taken by the program.
Every day at school they must fill out a piece of paper letting the teacher and school know they aren’t depressed, though for Sloane it gets harder to hide the fact that she is sad, and depressed because she lost her brother, and another friend.
Sloane and James relationship is the true love story aspect of this book. James was her brother’s best friend and there the day he died, just like Sloane was, and they both are feeling the guilt of not being able to save her brother. They hide their depression from everyone but each other and only show it when they are away from the prying eyes of family and the handlers from the Program.
Events start to happen that make it harder for both James and Sloane to hide their growing depression and soon both end up in the Program, but at separate times and facilities. Of course if Sloane, the main character doesn’t end up there, there really isn’t a story.
While in the Program Sloane meets Realm, who I didn’t like when he was first introduced, I knew there was something shady with him. They form a friendship, which I guess is good for Sloane at the time.
This is where the story gets interesting; we get to see what actually happens while in the Program, and what they do to fix these teenagers. We also learn more about Realm, and now I really am not sure I like him, and she reconnects on the outside with an old friend and James.
It’s interesting to see the relationship with James and Sloane since important parts of their lives are no longer there.
The end of the book was a cliffhanger of sorts that definitely sets up for the next book. I’m interested to see what happens next with Sloane, James and their friends.