Book Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

The Program
Program #1
Author: Suzanne Young
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Dystopian
Released: April 30th 2013
Review Source: Simon Pulse
Available: Amazon

Summary: (from goodreads) 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.

I had the toughest time finding the right words for this review. That always seems to happen when I've just finished an absolutely amazing book. The subject matter is very strong and I can see why a lot of people might pass this book up, but I'm going to try my hardest to convince you to actually go out and pick this book up so you can enjoy it to its full potential.

In the not-so-distant future teen suicide is an epidemic and it's spreading like a disease. The Program is the government's answer in helping stop the disease. Anyone showing signs of sadness or depression is immediately flagged and is put under constant watch. The Program is the cure they say, but once you return all you'll be is an empty shell of yourself. Your memories are completely gone and you don't remember anyone from your past. It's what they call a clean slate. That is exactly why Sloane doesn't show any type of emotions at school, much less at home. The only person she can confide in is James. They depend on one another, and try not to bring attention to themselves. But most of all they're trying to figure out a way to fight the disease.

Anything that has to do with such a heavy topic is not something you can easily read, but the way Young captivates you from the very beginning with her incredible writing style you can't help but feel that immediate connection with Sloane.

I can honestly say there is nothing like The Program out there right now. The storytelling by Young is done so effortlessly that you lose yourself in this book within minutes. The idea of this actually happening is pretty scary. The thought of not being able to have a choice on whether I want to be admitted into The Program is terrifying and the fact that I wouldn't be able to properly mourn the lost of the people I care about is heart wrenching.

The Program is an intense emotional story about love, lost, hope and betrayal. The underlying message that you get from The Program is to basically value everything: the good, the bad and the ugly because in the end it's what makes you, you. I enjoyed this story tremendously and will for sure be picking up the sequel.


  1. Woww this book sounds intense! Definitely sounds like something I'd like to read so will be adding this to my TBR pile :) Great review!

    Laura @ What's Hot?

  2. I really loved the book and the sequel, but it was SO heart wrenching, as you said! Just a quick note (though NOT a spoiler), it does end up as a sort of love triangle...
    Okay SPOILER below:
    WAHHHHHHHH I feel so bad for Realm- the same thing with the Delirium series. I guess I just have a thing for the guy noone likes and is all guilty and yeah. Ima go cry now.


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