The Messenger Reviews

Obviously, this is a book review blog. I mostly read Young Adult books, but I try to branch out every once and a while as well!

The Program (The Program #1)

The Program - Suzanne Young

Forget The Fault in Our Stars. This is the saddest book I have read to date. As soon as you start to read it, you'll realize why. I guess I should have figured a book which takes place in a world where teen suicide is commonplace would be sad, but I didn't foresee it being that sad. By the first fifty-something pages, I was already on the brink of tears. Still, despite the fact that this book made me sob like a baby, it was also incredibly good. 
The plot was rather inventive. While the society may not be considered complex, it was well-thought and detailed. I found the solution to the teen suicide problem- The Program- to be incredibly stupid, but also incredibly interesting. It raised all sorts of questions about what makes a person themselves, how people and governments react to epidemics, what causes depression, how depression should be dealt with, and what memories are worth, as well as inspiring thoughts regarding nature vs. nurture.
While the book has a solid plot, what really pushes it over the edge is the characters. I found Sloane quite admirable, especially given everything she had been through. She had a determination that I couldn't help but appreciate. I also liked how she was tough, without being afraid to be weak/emotional at times as well. Plus, I found her compatriot James rather likable as well, and I'm not normally a fan of characters like him, though some of my reviews may suggest otherwise.
Which leads me to the romance. I was a bit skeptical when I found out that they were already dating, since I find the start of a relationship one of my favorite parts, but I wasn't let down. Not only were there a few intricately woven "flashbacks" of sorts which gave some snapshots or the beginning of their relationship, but the relationship that was there was just as interesting and entertaining as the beginning. With the combination of the two, I was more than satisfied. Plus, I enjoyed how they both drew off each other, and were equally dependent on their partner. Additionally, I found that I enjoyed the change of pace from the mainstream, following them fall in love, sort of thing.
Even though this book made me cry more than I could have thought any book could do, I still found myself really enjoying this book. Everything about it worked for me, and I really can't make any complaints. It was different in many ways from the average Young Adult book, and it was refreshing to get something new and fresh.
Five out of Five Stars