Review: The Program

Monday, May 27, 2013
The Program (The Program, #1)
Author: Suzanne Young
Release date: April 30th 2013
Publisher:  Simon Pulse 
Series: Program #1
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository
Add to your library: Goodreads

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

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. (via Goodreads)

How can we even say that a novel is really of Dystopian genre? Will we just depend on the synopsis? Will we just try to think it's Dystopian because we're supposed to? Or should we actually dissect the novel?

The Program seriously reminds me of Delirium. It's sort of the same but then it is not. This one shows that Suicide is an epidemic and that Depression is its main symptom. While Delirium for me was able to cleared out its Dystopian boundaries, The Program failed to do so. It said that The Program was only done years ago. And that, not everyone will actually undergo it. Only those showing the symptoms and below the age of 18. Also, only some countries were having it. So where does the rest of the world lie upon that? While some have The Program, some are still normal countries? Even if it said that countries are beginning to adapt The Program, there's still a little blur for me. So think about this, it's like only The Program is actually Dystopian not the whole country or place for that matter. Well, maybe that'll change on the sequel. 

Another thing I notice is the fact that Depression and Suicide were used as what? Dystopian factors? These two are psychological factors. And while I appreciate Suzanne's attempt to address these factors, I just don't totally buy it. These are only two of the strongest problems we have and I think Suzanne was trying to do the easy way out. Like use it in a Dystopian novel so we'll get rid of it. But no, I just don't really buy it. Sorry, I'm studying Psychology so I just don't. I just don't. Maybe I'm bias. But I just don't feel like everything fit in, you know.   Although Behavioral Contagion is really a fact and was only mentioned a few times. The theory that it is a factor for Suicide being an epidemic wasn't even discussed pretty well. It was only mentioned, end of discussion. 

For all I know everyone loved this and consider this a Dystopian novel. But I didn't feel like it was totally Dystopian. I felt like it was more of a contemporary romance with some touch of Sci-fi because teenagers are being put in this facility wherein they're drugged to forget their memories. But not their pain. That's one of the loopholes that I've found pretty irritating. The thing is, depression doesn't just come from memories. Sure, memories are like stimulants for depression. But then, even if one's memories are washed away, the pain will still be there because pain is more of a feeling. So The Program erased memories but not pain leaving returners the chance to feel more confused. I know patients were even given some drugs for emotions but the thing is, it doesn't work. Emotions far by are so interchanging. 

Even if I was rambling for awhile, I actually enjoyed this but it didn't meet my high expectations. It didn't led me to believe that this is a total Dystopian! Dystopian nowadays are getting so cliche too! I enjoyed James and Sloane's love life. And! I'm rooting for James so I'm going to figure out what will happen on the sequel.

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