Book Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

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Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
Published: 2013 by Simon Pulse
Pages: 405
Genre: Young Adult Dystopia
IBSN: 9781442445802
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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.

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading the Program by Suzanne Young. I thought it was original and at the same time dealt with some tough topics.

The Program is a dystopian book, but it’s very different from most dystopians in my idea. The plot is very original, I’ve never come across a book that has a similar plot. It was also very well executed in my idea. It was a fast-paced novel that kept me hooked from the first few pages.

The book is about a society where teenagers are committing suicide, according to the book every 1 in 3 teenagers dies from suicide. For this reason, the government started the Program which should apparently cure depressed teenagers and stop them from committing suicide. Sloane is our main character and the people around her are dropping like flies, so to speak. She does her best to keep herself and her boyfriend, James, out of the Program.

I really liked the characters in the book. I found Sloane to be very relatable, she had a lot of issues but I cannot imagine going through the things she had to go through and still putting on a brave face.  James I thought was sometimes hard to understand and he was a bit hot and cold. But I liked his character more and more throughout the book because I felt like I understood him more. Reign was my favorite character. Even though I am team James all the way, I loved Reign’s character. He was nice and warm and he cared for Sloane. But he also had a bit of a mysterious side.

I am very excited to start the second book, the Treatment soon. I want to see where the series goes, though I am a bit afraid it may take the conventional dystopian road. I hope there are some unexpected plot twists to shake it up a bit.

I gave the Program 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed the book and will be continuing on with the series. However it wasn’t the most surprising books I’ve ever read.

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