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.
Includes a bonus interview with the author.
©2013 Suzanne Young (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
I really just want to gush about this book that it's so hard for me to write this review. I have to slow down, step back and think about this coherently. It's been 2 days since I finished The Program and I haven't started listening to another book YET. This is not my norm...I end one, I start one. I just can't get this one out of my head. Okay...let me back up.
This book has been on my TBR since I first read the premise last summer. I'm chosey about my dystopian and YA books especially but this one just sounded so interesting to me. I've seen mixed reviews about this book and after I was told the audiobook was good, I didn't hesitate. I listened to this book in 2 days. I usually just listen on the car rides to and from work, but this book was so addicting that I just COULD NOT stop. My addiction was to the point that my husband was even taking notice. LOL
I've seen other reviews and it seems like others are upset about the premise of the book "suicide as an epidemic". Listen...if you are SUPER nit picky about science not working out perfectly in your book, then this book may annoy you. If you want to read a book for the enjoyment and aren't going to harp on the tiny details, YOU'LL LOVE THIS ONE!!!
Okay, review really below.....
The Program is told only from Sloane, the heroine's POV. She is living in a time where suicide has become an epidemic, an epidemic that caused the loss of her brother. Teens are struggling with their raging emotions but aren't able to fully express themselves for fear of The Program. Tons of people have bought into the propaganda including teachers and parents. There are handlers watching students at school all day long for an signs of distress.
There are 3 parts in the book. The first part Sloane tells us about her world. We learn about her relationship with her friends, her parents and most importantly James, her boyfriend. All of the students in her high school are scared of The Program. The only thing they know is that after 6 weeks in The Program the once "sick" teens are now blank slates and have lost their memories.
Sloane and James have been together for two years and are madly in love with each other. These two are just adorable together. They are trying to be strong for one another so that they don't get sick. There is only so much that they can do when everyone is getting sick around them, so Sloane and James are faced with the likelihood that they will enter The Program. Since the book takes place with them already been together for two years, we don't see their love blossoming first hand. We do get to see them present tense, as well as Sloane's past memories (some flashbacks) and hear her feelings for James.
I don't want to spoil most of the book but readers do learn the ins and outs of The Program, including how their memories are taken away. Sloane continues to be very strong throughout everything. No matter what has happened to her, she continues to stand up for herself and what she believes is right.
There are several great secondary characters including Miller, Lacey and Realm. Tons of twists and turns in this one. Jaw dropping incidences that had me completely baffled. Realm...oye Realm!! Realm made me want to love him and kill him at the same time.
The Program is a love conquers all book!! “If it's meant to be, you'll find each other again.”
**Note- This book is for mature YA readers. There is cursing and sex (not graphic at all) in the book.
(Fans of Shatter Me series would love this book!)
I bought this one to listen to with my daughter and wasn't disappointed. The story is very timely and made for many long and interesting discussions with her about suicide and being able to show true emotions. The characters are typical teenagers. Unlike some books where the characters are perfect in every way, Sloane and James have the same feelings and fears as many of the teens I know.
I don't want to give away any of the story beyond saying it is much more than a book about teen suicide. At the end of the book, the author talks a bit about creating it and the story line of the next book in the series. Very exciting!
Yes! I've already listened to it twice and now my daughter is listening to it. The story is very intriguing and performed very well. The story leaves you wanting more.
I cannot wait for the sequel!!!
I started listening to this and I knew my students would love it. Several of my students listened to the audio and also bought it for their Nooks. They liked it better than The Hunger Games. We all hated for it to end and can hardly wait for the sequel. Our school library is getting it for sure.
I would recommend it, even more if they are parents of teenagers that are reading it (I'm 33, so my friends are more likely to be parents than to be teenagers themselves).
It has an interesting subject matter, different from other young adult books I have read, more close to our everyday society and enhancing some important issues that are a reality in the teens: the first love, facing the loss of your love ones, social pressures and expectancies, depression, suicide… and I'm pretty sure a lot of teenagers are going to feel really identify with some of the situations described in the story.
So yes, for those who like young adult books I would recommend this one.
I liked Joy Osmandi's performance, it was believable in terms of emotions and I think she accomplished all characters pretty well, easily identifiable.
I don't have to guess in this one, the end of the book is so open that is made for a follow up and in fact in the short interview with the writer at the very last chapter she confirms even the name of the sequel, not the date. And to be honest, I would listen the sequel, this is the kind of book that can keep me entertain enough as long as it keeps going with an interesting story.
Book-lover. Hobbyist. Student. Techie. Writer. Guitarist. Artist.
The Program was probably one of the saddest, most frustrating, and most depressing books I've ever encountered. It didn't help that the book was set in a dystopian world where depression and suicide was considered an epidemic. Don't get me wrong, I loved the book! It had an ingeniously well-developed plot. It was cunning, clever, and sadistic...and I guess making me a masochist for continuing to listen. The author was obviously not afraid to kill characters.
Throughout the audiobook, I kept on trying to predict what was going to happen and continued to fail. That was probably one of the reasons why I kept on listening to it. I could only listen to a few chapters at one sitting as a few chapters were enough to make me feel depressed, too. It made me cry more than any book I've read or movie I've seen. Knowing that you can get infected with depression so easily from any one of your classmates or friends was already bad enough, but they also had to hide and keep emotions, expressions, and reaction of anything else other than happiness.
Even though I wasn't a big fan of Sloan ad there were things I didn't like about her personality, I felt for her. Not being able to grieve properly after your brother committed suicide right in front of you and having to hide all your emotions and feelings that are not happiness could have been enough to make me depressed enough to die from a broken heart. There were times when she was just being plain stupid but I asked myself what I would do if I was put in her position where they controlled everything and slowly took away my precious memories and it made me realized I probably would have done worse. I would have fought with everything I had even if it made me dumb, weak, stupid, and annoying.
James was my favorite character. He was charming, sweet, funny, caring, and protective. He was a knight in shining armor, but not too much to make him unrealistically perfect. He had his moment, too, when he was at his lowest point in life. He showed vulnerability and weakness. It made him a more realistic and powerful character. Even his relationship with Sloan wasn't forced at all. Their relationship was beautiful, romantic, realistic, and passionate.
The narrator also did a great job. I was so engrossed in every word she said and it made me feel like I was a part of the story. Her voice transported me to Sloan and James' world of depression and suicide. She captivated me and made me keep on listening to the audiobook.
In summary, The Program was a very captivating and frustratingly depressing book that manipulated, violated, and attacked my whole being beautifully. There were times when it made me feel so depressed that I wanted to hate the whole world but then there were times when it made me feel so grateful for the freedom I have. I recommend this audiobook to masochist readers like me who (secretly) enjoy getting their hearts broken to pieces. The Program was more than a dystopian book. The Program was a piece of art - a beautiful, powerful, and manipulating masterpiece.
I was pleasantly surprised on how much I really liked this book. It did have some repetitive sayings but the storyline pulled me in enough for me to have forgotten about them. I really hope the sequel comes out soon. I keep looking to see if there is a set date for the audio version. Please start writting Suzanne Young!!! :D
The unfolding after the forgetting.
Different tones and attitudes of the characters...quite enjoyable
Yup! Will listen to again before the next one.
I recommend it to all my friends. Hope to read more of Suzanne Young's work
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