The Program

Title: The Program

Author: Suzanne Young

Published: April 30th, 2013

Pages: 405

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Romance

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Listened to on Hoopla


Wreath(13)-BlackGoodreads Description: 

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.


Things I enjoyed about this book: 

I haven’t read a dystopian series in awhile, so it was fun to get sucked into one! I love when books tackle “hard” topics. This entire book is about suicide and the effect it has on us. I liked the some of the concepts weaved throughout The Program and a few of the twists and turns. I felt like the topic of depression was addressed and acknoweldged as something that you might need help with. I really enjoyed listening to it and found myself needing to know what happened.

The Things I Didn’t Enjoy: 

None of this was based on fact. This is actually a book I would NEVER let my teenager read. It talks incessantly about suicide and how you can “catch” it. At times The Program felt over the top and predictable, but yet I still enjoyed it. The character development was very shallow for a few of the characters, my relationship with them fell short.



The Program by Suzanne Young deserves 3 out of 5 bird feathers. While I am very late to the game on this book, I had read the reviews and wanted to check it out! There are a lot of mixed reviews on The Program, because of the topic. Overall, I enjoyed the book but probably wouldn’t have many people to recommend it to. I like the originality and perspective and such a tough topic. Like I mentioned above, I felt like her “new found” best friend’s character was extremely shallow, almost like an afterthought to drive the plot. I would have enjoyed to see some more character development throughout the book! Will I read the next one? Yes, I’d like to find out what happens.

Parent’s Guide:

There is swearing, teen sex, suicide, depression, some forced sexual advancement, pretty much a total trigger book. If your teen read it, please read it with them and help them understand the permanency of suicide and that they can find help!

Please contact the National Suicide Hotline if you need help – Call 1-800-273-8255 – Don’t be ashamed, it’s okay to ask for help!


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