Series: The Program #2
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Published by Simon Pule (4.29.2014)
eARC, 352 pages
Source: Edelweiss, For Tour
How do you stop an epidemic?
Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.
Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.
Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?
While I never posted a review for The Program back when I read it (I lost ALL my notes…fail me), I absolutely loved it. I think I gave it 4.5 out of 5. While I feel like some of that magic was lost somewhere between the first and second book, I still enjoyed the sequel.
I do have to say that the pacing dragged a bit in the first half for me. I was actually a little bored with it. It did pick up in the second half, though!
Something I really loved about this book was that when things got tough, Sloane and James (for the most part) got closer instead of letting things divide them. There was one small blip in there, but other than that they were much like a couple should be. When Dallas came into play and was ogling over James, Sloane didn’t go into crazy jealous bitch mode. Yes, she was a little annoyed about another female encroaching on her territory, but because she trusted James she wasn’t worried about them being together alone. That is SO rare in YA fiction – usually the girl would have been throwing a fit about her boyfriend being anywhere near another female. So yay!
In fact, at one point James was consoling Dallas while she cried, holding her and stroking her hair. Sloane actually left to give them a few minutes of privacy because she trusted James. THAT is how a relationship should be!
That being said, the blip that seriously annoyed me? A love square. Yes. A square. When Realm came into play things got ridiculous for a little while. Thankfully it didn’t last very long!
“The Program controls the media, James. They control everything.”
I would have liked to see a little more world building, especially revolving around The Program. They just seemed like this big faceless enemy without any solidity. I’m not sure it would be feasible in real life.
All in all, I love the concept of this duology – the fact that suicide is an epidemic to be treated is fascinating and brilliant!
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Originally from New York, Suzanne Young moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She currently resides in Tempe, where she teaches high school English. When not writing obsessively, Suzanne can be found searching her own tragic memories for inspiration.
Suzanne is the author of several books for teens, including THE PROGRAM, A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL, and A WANT SO WICKED.