Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

The Program (The Program, #1)The Program (The Program #1)
by Suzanne Young
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published April 30th 2013 by Simon Pulse

GoodReads  | Amazon
Source: Gifted, Own
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.

The stark white cover with cheery yellow scrub chad teens-one male, one female- with their backs to the cover holding hands is just so eerie it’s curious. It’s so simple and yet so powerful. It says, “This white and yellow palette is false illusion. There’s no happiness, because you see no smiles. Our backs are to you because we’re in opposition and you know what? We’re in this together!” (And I got the message of all that just by looking at the cover…wow!)

The Program sets the scene of a dystopian society plagued with a very real teenage killer….suicide. There’s no known cause for the alarming rate of self-inflicted harm among the young people. The future adult population looks bleak. One thing is certain- It starts with depression.

The US government takes charge initiating daily self-evaluations and support systems both on campus and on the home front. Oh and if all else fails…ship them off to the Program. (Doom. Doom. Dooom.) They’re return a happy, shinny, brand new person! Not hell bent on death ;)
Sloane and James are high school sweet hearts whose once tight knit circle of friends has felt the impact of “the sickness”. But they know how to be “normal” while protecting each other from the emotional toll of repeat tragedy. Their pact is put to the ultimate test when faced with the pressures of being “happy” in a sad world.

The secrecy of The Program was edge of a cliff thrilling. The Government conspiracy thick undertones were heavy. Turning the pages was like peeling back clues in a mystery. Discovering The Program from within the walls of treatment was maddeningly tantalizing and exhilarating. But I will not discuss the Program. I will not talk about their treatment or methods. I cannot *Whispers: They know where I live* All you need to know is, “The only cure for the epidemic is THE PROGRAM.”


  1. I've been wanting to read this book and your review has heightened my anticipation.

    1. Thank you. The best part about this novel is there is only a sequel and not a drawn out series. While I love series, the wait between novels can drive a reader crazy. The sequel to this is The Treatment and it will be out in 2014.

  2. I want to read this one pretty bad! I just never get around to it...grr. I love the cover. I like the simplicity. It's really memorable. :)
    I'm stopping by from Candace's book review link up! Mine's here.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I enjoyed your review on Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron.


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