Salone has first-hand experience with these things. Her older brother committed suicide in front of her, and several of her friends have been taken in, not remembering her anymore when they come out. Salone buries her feelings deep down and does not let anything show. Not at school, not at home. Her mother thinks the program is the best thing in the world, and will do anything to keep her from getting “sick.” Salone only shows emotion with James, her boyfriend. He has promised to keep her out of treatment, and Salone is confident their love can sustain anything. Gradually, it becomes harder to hide the truth. Salone must continue to fight if she wants to remember James and who she is.
Teen suicide is not the point at all of this book, and it is about so much more. It is about control, privacy, human rights, and expressing who you are. The Program is about finding yourself and who we are on the inside. If somebody took away everything that we had, who we are, would we be the same? This book is also about the power of love. The Program is very thought-provoking and with a concept that I have yet to read. I loved the romance between Salone and James. They are that perfect couple that you see in movies. Readers saw relationship development and it was obvious how much they both cared for each other. I also loved how they were holding hands in the cover.
I have many strong feelings about this book. I am so angry at The Program. It is unconstitutional and a violation of human rights. I feel so bad for everyone in the Program, and I really hope nothing like this ever happens in the future. I am angry about how they treat these people. Depression is not a contagious illness. The pattern of thinking is just so wrong. On the other hand, having a book like this is practically a guide for how not to handle depression.
I loved the setting in the facility/mental hospital part. I liked the gradual erasing of memories, and how strong Salone fought. The therapist was aggravating, and I hated how the handlers treated Salone, especially one in particular, Roger. There were so many times in the book when I wanted to help Salone, warn her or jump in the book and get her out. The characters were extremely well-developed and I care about all of them, except for Salone’s mom. I am really glad she is not my mother!
I highly recommend that you read this book! I cannot wait to read the next book, The Treatment! The third book, The Adjustment, (staring different characters) was released on April 18, 2017. The fourth book comes out sometime in 2018. There is a prequel series titled The Remedy and The Epidemic (also different characters) that I might read.
Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 405 Pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 5 Stars