Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher: SimonPulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Dystopian
Release date: April 30th, 2013
Pages: 408 (eGalley)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Pulse It
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In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program. 

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories. 

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

Sloane has had to deal with a lot so far in her lifetime, and she's only 17.  First she lost her brother and now all of her friends and classmates are either taking their own lives or being taken into The Program to get cured, which means erasing everything that makes them themselves.  No matter how much she tries, she can't seem to hide her emotions well enough, and when her boyfriend gets taken away, there's nothing to keep her on the right track.  Just a few more months and she'll be 18.  Just a few more months and she could beat the program.  Will she be able to hold on, or will they get to her memories too?

The idea for this story is genius.  I've noticed that when one person commits suicide, there are usually more to follow, so I found The Program to be very believable.  I could see something like this happening in the near future, even though the idea of having to use something like The Program to keep people safe scares me.  Sloane is very lost, and you can tell throughout the book that she's just trying to hold on to what little she has left- hope, memories, her friends and family.  Everything proves to be a struggle, but there is always that tiny light to push through all of the bad things for.  I loved this about her, and although the story wasn't always fast-paced, it was filled with a lot of meaning.

I loved reading about the relationships in this story, because it was easy to see that Sloane had quite a few people who cared for her.  There was James, her boyfriend, who constantly promised that he would keep her safe, her parents, who only wanted the best for their last living child, and even Realm who looks after her while she's in the facility and is left on her own.  Speaking of Realm, despite his apparent feelings for Sloane, he gave me creepy feelings and in the end, I was left feeling uneasy and confused.  Unfortunately, the story dragged on a little for me, but the emotion and general idea behind the book made up for that.

The Program is original and filled with heartbreak, love, and hope.  After Sloane has everything taken away from her, she finds a way to get it all back.  True love wins, which is always a story I love to read about, but we're also left on quite a bit of a cliffhanger.  The ending is slightly frustrating and filled with many questions and confusion, so I know that I will be continuing the series when the sequel is released.


  1. I still have this one to read! This month it's happening! Great review!

  2. I thought this book was AMAZING! Depressing for the most part of course, but it was still amazing. I can't wait to read the sequel now. Great review!

  3. I was wondering if should read this or not. It's not normally the genre of books I go for, but I've read a lot of positive reviews on it.

    Great review!

    Basma @ My Bookish Thoughts

  4. I had no idea what to think of Realm. I have a feeling he'll be important in the next book so it'll be interesting to see how I feel then. So glad you liked this too! :)

  5. I want to read this one so bad!