With the recent influx of dystopian novels, it's hard to fine one that truly stands out. And while I'll admit that The Program does have an interesting concept, it was boring and I felt utterly disconnected from it.
Showing any sign of depression in public can toss you into The Program. A treatment facility that focuses on curing teens of depression, thus preventing suicide. A drawback to being tossed into The Program means that one loses his or her memories about the life they've lived. This basically means that patients end up becoming happy, content and utterly brain washed zombies. Sloane, having lost her brother to suicide, knows that she must be vigilant and must make sure that no one sees her crying or acting strangely in public. Recent circumstances make that a feat to accomplish and she's not sure how long she's going to last.
The Program is a love story in a dystopian setting. James and Sloane have a pre-existing relationship so we miss out on the tension and the excitement of their meeting and courtship - sort of. The flashbacks did help establish their bond and while adorable, somehow it just didn't do it for me.
I don't exactly like this book, but I don't hate it either. It's depressing and really sad but all in all Sloane's time in The Program is like pretty standard to the genre. Fighting back against the system and all that. There were times wherein I wanted her to just give in because what's fighting going to do for her? She always gets doped up with drugs the only difference is how they enter her system - of her own free will or injected into her body forcefully.
Secondary characters are just that. Secondary. There's not much insight into them and it would be interesting if the author would expound on their characters. But I'm not complaining.
Basically The Program is just another okay book in the midst of a hundred plus YA dystopian novels out in the world today. Everything is clear cut and the bad guys are bad, the good guys are good and shades of grey are few and far between. While the concept is initially intriguing I'm afraid that this book isn't exactly something that I'll remember at the top of my head.
The Program, I think, is right for those who are just easing themselves into the dystopian genre.