The Program by Suzanne Young
This is an extremely relevant topic in today society but it has a twist on it that makes for a breathtaking read. A world where teens are not allowed to cry, grieve their friends or family, or even show too much happiness is a world that is sick itself. Every parent is constantly worried that their child will become depressed and attempt suicide. It is almost an obsession for them to watch over their children to protect them.
Sloane's journey is told in three separate parts of the novel. With the novel structured this way, the reader gets an inside look at Sloane's life. From the first few chapters, you can see the dark cloud constantly hovering over Sloane's head. At first the reader is left with many questions about Sloane's brother and what exactly happened. The full story is revealed almost painfully slow. When you hear the full story you see how truly strong both Sloane and James are not being able to show emotion after what they went through. However, James' emotions do get the best of him and he is sent to The Program and that is where the story really begins to grow.
When James is sent to The Program, the only thing Sloane can hold on to is the hope that James will not forget her and that he will still love her. Since this is a novel and not someones real life, we as readers can guess that James will forget Sloane. It is still upsetting to read when Sloane realizes that James doesnt remember her. You can tell that she felt as though her heart was ripped out of her chest. I can only imagine how truly painful that must have been. And then what happens to Sloane? She has to go to The Program herself.
I will give one spoiler. Even though James and Sloane are both forced to forget the other, they find their way back. Its as if their bodies remember being together even if their minds do not. I think that concept is incredibly beautiful and I think Suzanne Young handled that situation perfectly. Everyone roots for the soul mates to stay together even if they have no memories of each other. The ending made me ball like a little baby just as much as the middle did. When Sloane was just simply talking about James it was so incredibly beautiful and you could see the love in the words. Young created two characters that the readers root for even if they only read about them together for five chapters. The love is always floating in the characters words. It is beautiful.
This novel definitely deserves an 9 out of 10. I don't know how it could have been written any better. There is something keeping it from becoming a 10, but maybe that will change during the sequel that is set to come out later this year (2014).