Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

Title: The Program (The Program #1)
Author: Suzanne Young
Genre: Dystopia
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: April 30th 2013
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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 haven't cried during a book as much as I have during The Program. This book is terrifyingly real, and haunting. This is my second time reading The Program and it has effected me more this time then it did the first time I read it. Young's description of depression managed to hit the nail on the head, something I have seen no other author do. I can try my hardest to review this book, but I won't ever do it justice. 

Its and epidemic, 1 and 3 teenagers are killing themselves and many more are hiding the signs of depressions, for the fear of their memory being wiped by the Program. Three of those teens are Sloane, James, and Miller are just holding on. Keeping the dark feelings down and trying to appear normal. But when Miller can't handle it any more and kills himself, Sloane must keep James from falling into a depression and being taken away from her. With her brother's suicide a year earlier and now one of her best friend's suicides the darkness is coming for Sloane, and close behind is The Program.

In the beginning of the novel Young gives you one set of characters, half way through she wipes them clean. It is heart breaking, because the story isn't just about suicide and depression it is about the power of love. Both James and Sloane are wiped clean. They have no memories of each other at all. In the first half of the novel you had two characters who are crazy in love and in the second half, those same characters don't even know each other anymore. 
“You're right, you know," he says. "You're just right for me. And I'd bet my life that we've done this before. Because I can't imagine that I wouldn't have fallen in love with you the first time.” - James
In the beginning of the novel we hear a lot about the returners (people who have been through the program, and now are being reintroduced into society) and in the second half we see Sloane begin her life again, but every times she looks at James her heart races a little, almost like she knew him before. I loved getting to see them getting to fall in love with each other all over again, sure it was heart breaking about what happened to them, but they still found each other like they promised each other before they were wiped. 

Overall I loved The Program, Young managed to screw with my feels and make me cry a ton of times. I am a bit bummed that this series has only two books, but I know that Young will wrap everything up well for us. (*crosses fingers*) Then there is The Remedy coming out in April.



  1. I haven't read this book yet, and I'm not sure if I'm really ready to read something like this, but it sounds like such a fantastic book! I must add it to my wish list!
    Great review Amber!

  2. I actually have a copy of this book I bought a year ago, I haven't gotten to it yet :( It does sounds really great though, I'm going to look into soon seeing how much you loved it! x Benish | Feminist Reflections


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