The Program (Program #1) by Suzanne Young
My Copy: Hardcover, 405 pages
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
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 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’ve 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.
I have seriously been waiting and anticipating reading this book for a long time. I don’t know, something about the interesting concept portrayed in the synopsis just grabbed me and, ever since, I have been eagerly awaiting the release date! But then, I had to wait for my book store to actually put out copies of it! So, as soon as I saw it, I just had to buy it!
I really enjoyed The Program in its entirety. I could not wait to pick it up after setting it down and I didn’t want to set it down, especially after certain things happened and I was like WTF? What’s going to happen? I really wasn’t expecting the story to go certain ways that it did, so in that way it was a nice surprise. I truly had no clue how it was going to end or how Sloane was going to get through certain situations. I still can’t believe some of the things Young threw at me! The Program was definitely packed with emotion (how could it not be? — it’s about teen suicide after all!), good characters, and a unique and twisty-turny storyline.
Sloane was a great heroin. The Program is told in first person narration from Sloane’s point of view and it was definitely an interesting ride! Sloane has lost her brother to suicide (which she and her boyfriend, James, witnessed), she lost her best friend to The Program, and throughout everything she has to put up a front so that she doesn’t get flagged and taken to The Program. But, she also has to be careful that she doesn’t let these things bother her to the point of depression…she doesn’t want to get sick and end up committing suicide like so many other teens have done. Luckily, she has James as her rock. Someone she can completely trust, someone she can rely on, and someone she can let all her emotions out with. But, will it last? What if something happens to one of them?
The writing is decent. There’s nothing extremely special about it or anything. But, Suzanne Young is a very good story-teller, which I think is most important when writing a novel. She definitely had me hooked.
Overall, I would recommend this book. It was a very good read. Lovers of YA Dystopian will really enjoy this one, I think! I cannot wait to see what happens in the second installment of this series.
A Peek Inside:
It’s a question we ask ourselves: Would we commit
suicide without The Program, or does it help drive us there?