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Review: The Program

program-197x300Title: The Program
Series: Program
Author: Suzanne Young
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Pages: 405

First line: “The air in the room tastes sterile.”

In a future where teen suicide has become an epidemic, Sloane and James watch out for each other. But when they lose yet another close friend, they find themselves finding it harder and harder to hide the signs of depression. If they are noticed they can be sent to The Program, where depression is cured, but the “returners” are left with giant holes in their memories and come back not recognizing their closest friends. Sloane and James’s relationship is about to be put through the test. Can they will themselves to remember each other? Will they find each other again if they can’t?

My thoughts: The subject of suicide is important to me, and I think it should be discussed more often and openly, especially with teens. I wondered how Suzanne Young would be able to make a future filled with teens in deep depressions and making tough decisions into a meaningful story without making light of the subject.

To be completely honest, I didn’t have super high hopes for this book, but I was pretty surprised by it. In the beginning, I got a little concerned because it is very depressing, like wading through a thick swamp of emotion. But the way Young used the psychiatrist interviews to reveal Sloane’s past I felt was very well done, and later on in the book there is some hope, a little light at the end of the tunnel, and an interesting question about what’s really going on and who, if anyone, is really the enemy in this story. I will be looking out for the next book in the series.

My Ratings:
Writing: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Subject: 3/5
Originality: 3/5
Kept me interested: 3/5
Overall rating: 3/5

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Review: Prodigy

prodigyTitle: Prodigy
Series: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Pages: 371

First line: “Day jolts awake beside me.”

“After escaping from the Republic’s stronghold of Los Angeles, June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the pair joins a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and who offer them passage to the Colonies. The Patriots have only one request – June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.
It’s the chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long. But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must me more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood? What if the Patriots are wrong?” – from the book jacket

My thoughts: I’ve read some reviews by people that said they couldn’t really connect to the characters in this book. I felt differently. I really like June. I think her confusion is realistic considering it’s still been a short time since she found out how corrupt the Republic is, and I really like that she is still strong and can for the most part take care of herself easily. I still like Day too; I think his character is a little more interesting than June, and I especially liked the scene with June teaching him how to fight. Kaede is by far my favorite side character in this book, and I wanted to know more about her.

This is definitely one of my favorite sequels. It seems like everything is a series now, and I realize that it can be hard for authors to keep that magic into the second book. I think Marie Lu did it, I just hope that it continues in the next one!

My Ratings:
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Subject: 4/5
Originality: 3/5
Kept me interested: 4/5
Overall rating: 4/5