by Suzanne Young
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“I won’t lose you, Sloane,” he whispers. “I’ll kill him if I have to.”
“I’d rather die.”
Realm turns away. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”
I’m mixed on this one-right up front I’ll say that I contemplated quite a bit on what to rate this because I felt like there were two different paces of story going on. Or maybe it’s the fact that I got to read the first half in one chunk so all the emotions were raw and natural whereas the whole second half I was forced to read in bits and pieces when I got the time to do so. Regardless, my feelings are mixed for whatever reason and there was just something that kept me from making it a solid five star.
We’re addicted to each other-no matter what the consequences.
Maybe, upon further inspection, there were many reasons why I gave this a 4.5, the main one being that at the end I never really felt like they weren’t going to make it. I won’t say how it ends, obviously, but I wanted a little more suspense and maybe a lot more angst. I know, right? How much more angst could this author have shoved into the story? But, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this, I needed that angst from the first book/the first half of this book to continue to the end of it all. I know for a fact that it was loud when I was reading, it was annoyingly difficult to focus on the words forming before me, that it inevitably altered my reading experience-and that sucks. I will never know what it felt like to be fully immersed at the finale of this wonderful series. But who has the time (or the willpower to fight tired eyes) to wait until the house is dark and quiet? I sure don’t. So, that effected the end a ton. And that little fact broke my heart. But, let me tell you, the first half of this book?? It’s Phenomenal. The tension was so thick in the beginning half of this book you could cut it with a knife. I had butterflies, I had doubts, I had fears, I was scared to death for them and I physically couldn’t breathe. Literally.
I was so into this story that I was choking on butterflies, pulling my hair out in frustration and aggravation. I found that the beginning was completely on par with what I expected as a companion to book one, and for that I could rate no less than above. It earned those stars even if the end was sub par to my perilistic expectations.
I realize he’s the biggest liar I’ve ever known. But he does it with the best of intentions.
I must say this now: James was off the charts sweet and completely, utterly, madly in love with Sloane. If there’s one thing this author excels at, it’s the beautiful and heartbreaking relationships she built in this story. If I had to sit and take out all the bad stuff, all the things that made this dystopian and action filled and read it only as a romance novel…I’d do it with absolutely no hesitation whatsoever. It’s raw, it’s beautiful and it completely ripped my heart out more than once even as Sloane and James ride along on this journey together. There were some hiccups that didn’t need to happen I’m sure, but it only added the angst I was talking about and made me feel giddy and breathless as James fought to make Sloane his and only his….and to make sure they even had a forever to pursue.
James puts his hand on my cheek and turns me toward him; his touch is gentle, so serious. When I meet his eyes, my body relaxes slightly. James draws me into a hug, resting his chin on the top of my head, his arms tight around me.
“It’s just us,” I whisper into the fabric of his shirt. “Forever, just us.”
I’m skeptical as to what I think should have happened to end this series (The addition of a third book or end it on book two as it did). On the one hand, I was happy to see this author didn’t fall into the ‘trilogy hype.’ Not everything needs to be drug out for three installments. But, on the other hand, I can see where she would have benefitted from having an extension after this story. In the end, it did seem a tad rushed. More so when ‘the final battle’ came to pass. The end end (eleven weeks after, epilogue) was awesome. I loved both of the final chapters. But, leading up to these final moments, I missed some of the grit that could have been added to make it more dangerous and, I’ll admit it, peril-filled. There’s a fine-line between dragging something out and stunting the growth before it’s fully developed, and I do think she made the right decision, albeit a little rushed. I mean, how many more horrifying events can these teens tromp through before they go even crazier??
“Human beings are cruel creatures. And what we don’t understand, we tamper with until we destroy it.”
I adored this series. I adored these characters. I lost countless nights of sleep due to the imminent doom these guys continually faced….and I loved every minute of it. The Program is by far the strongest installment for sure with it’s devastating occurrences and star-crossed love between James and Sloane, but as a whole, this series is unforgettable and I’m so ecstatic I finally decided to read these. So now I will go order the hardbacks to add to my ever-growing collection, and I can’t wait to come back and read them again and again…their love is just that addicting.