My rating: 5/5
I’m not a huge dystopian reader. I’ve read a few dystopia ‘classics’, you know the hunger games and other books of the like. But I’ve never really delved into the genre all that much, but I believe Miss Young has changed my mind. I feel inclined to say now, that I am a fully fledged Dystopia fan. As for the review, I don’t quite know where to start. I feel that any words that I write could not possibly do this book justice. In a nutshell, I was absolutely blown away.
In the future suicide has become an epidemic, which is spreading. Teens aged under 18 are the only ones affected and become ‘infected’ after having lost loved ones or suffering terrible loss, spiraling into a deep depression. Enter ‘The Program’ , an agenda put in place to help ‘cure’ people of their suicidal tendencies by removing memories which cause depression.
The book is divided into 3 parts. The first part mainly focuses on the relationships between the main character Sloan and her friends and parents. You discover that teens have to hide their emotions, in an effort to not to be flagged by the organization running ‘The program’ as infected. Showing any signs of sadness is the quickest way to get you thrown into ‘The Program’. I love the way the author developed the relationships, they were so real and heartfelt. The tension between Sloan and her parents is palpable, and you could cut the tension with a butter knife during their scenes together. Sloan and James romance is natural and flows easily as if they were a real existing couple off the page. I felt the character building was amazing and I don’t know whether it was the fact that my partner is also called James or the author’s believable narrative, but when things started to go south and people close to Sloane got ‘sick’, I felt like I was her. Reading those pages, gave me that horrible feeling in my chest you know the one that feels like your heart is breaking.
Suzanne Young you have a way with words, because I am a stone cold bitch and no one gives me the feels like you do!
The second part of the story is set in a Program facility where Sloan is undergoing treatment. There is the introduction of Realm, another teen undergoing treatment who befriends Sloane but is keen for much more than friendship. Realm is an interesting character; I still don’t know quite what to make of him. He is a great friend and very protective of Sloane, but there’s more to it than that and the revelations that occur are mind blowing...FUCKING mind blowing I say. Without him, Act II would have been unbearable for me, ...and Sloan....but more importantly me. Of course in the meantime Sloan is undergoing treatment, which is slowly deleting all her memories, and even entire people from her past that ‘The Program’ deems she shouldn’t associate with.
Third Part, takes place after Sloan is released back into the community, and how she deals with assimilating back into her old life. But Sloan isn’t necessarily happy to comply with returning to the community and starts to seek out the memories that have been taken from her, while making a few new (or maybe old) friends along the way.
All in all I completely loved this book. It is so much more than I expected, and the writing was superb. The author’s ability to make the reader empathize with the characters is flawless and I was emotionally invested throughout. What got me the most was the Epilogue, that had me hyperventilating and on the edge of my seat. I need the next book, like yesterday!!
Things I loved about the book:
- The thing about books with parts is that sometimes the 2nd or subsequent components just don’t live up to the first. Luckily that was not the case here and each part was just as riveting as the last
- The epilogue, I felt it was done in a poetic manner and gave me chills.
- Sloan and Realms relationship. I love that Sloan and Realm were able to be friends without jumping each other’s bones...I mean there were a few touch and go moments, but the girl had a conscience.
- Sloane and James’ relationship. James and Sloan are just adorable together. They are believable as a couple, and their dialogue and interactions flowed smoothly.
Things that I didn’t so much like about the book:
- I can’t think of one thing. Not to say that the book has no faults, but for me, it reached AMAZEBALLS status.
My rating: 5/5