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The Program | [Suzanne Young]

The Program

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, April 2013 - This fresh take on dystopian YA draws on the lives of everyday teens to build a realistic world complete with young love, and well-meaning, but overprotective, parents. It starts out with a strikingly unique premise: With a growing depression-related suicide epidemic among teens, infected teens are whisked away to The Program, a form of in-patient intensive therapy meant to heal the behavioral contagion. But it seems to involve a little more memory-wiping than counseling. Our heroine, Sloane (what a name!), is smart, savvy, and madly in love her boyfriend, James - with whom she witnessed her own brother’s suicide. This is a book that speaks and relates to the unspoken issues teens see in the real world: self-harm, the brave face, long bouts of depression, and the wish to just make it all go away - whether that be through running away, memory loss, or even death. This would have been my favorite book when I was 15, and the relatable sense of angst will definitely appeal to Twilight fans. Joy Osmanski is a fabulous YA narrator - I’m excited to listen to her take on Sloane. —Erin, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (146 )
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  •  
    suzanne Ottawa, ON, Canada 05-16-14
    suzanne Ottawa, ON, Canada 05-16-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The pieces just don't add up."

    ***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS***

    The Program is an evil bad thing where teenagers get sent if they show signs of depression. ALL TEENAGERS show signs of depression at some point. I just couldn't suspend my disbelief on this point - I was really hoping the book would explain the sociological background in which people (big bad parents in this story) would willingly send their children to have their memories erased. The grownups in this book are portrayed as uncaring (the doctors, handlers, parents) and I just can't fathom a world, even an alternate universe, where people care so little about their own children. The ONLY treatment for signs of depression is memory erasure. Not therapy. Not talking it out. Not even mild exercise. Your kid's depressed? Have her memory erased. WTF?

    Teenagers go from normal to suicidal in a matter of 2 weeks - WHY? This is never explained. Why are so many teenagers committing suicide - we're told that its a contagious disease - are people being poisoned? Is there mind control coming out of the TV? I was really hoping there would be some revelation about the causes of the epidemic.

    When Sloane gets taken in to The Program, the very first time she is offered medication she takes it. Without being coerced. Without being injected against her will. Without even being threatened to be injected against her will. This is totally believable because she spends the first part of the book talking about how evil The Program is and how they will erase her memories.

    When she comes out of the program, she seems to be the only person who is interested in learning about her past. Another point which I found hard to fathom.

    At no point in the book is any differentiation made between grief, sadness, and depression. Everyone is sad once in a while, and grief is normal and expected when someone close to you has taken their life. But not everyone who is sad or grieving commits suicide. Not all people suffering from depression commit suicide. So why are these teenagers killing themselves? Unanswered questions might make a book more interesting, but in this case it just makes it hard to believe.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katharine 04-26-14
    Katharine 04-26-14
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    "Wonderful. Till the End."
    Where does The Program rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Maybe 3rd? I have had thoughts such as the characters and provoked tears many times. it is such a sad book but brings hope to every act of defiance from the girl.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    James. He continued to act like the old James, when the girl changed dramatically. very frustrated, but continued to wait for their realizations to kick in.


    What does Joy Osmanski bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    At first her voice was very bland, but as I continued it played in favor of the characters and had just enough emotion to make me understand the mood of the book and situations.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Will you remember?


    Any additional comments?

    I want the author to make this a series, just so we can know what happens to Sloan and James. And if Realm will make different choices with the new girl! Pleaseeee!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Chicago, IL 02-18-14
    Amy Chicago, IL 02-18-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Horrendously miscast narration"
    What disappointed you about The Program?

    The book, thus far, is decent. The character is a depressed teenage girl - think Kristin Stewart. The narration performance sounds like a fifty-something mother of four, with no ability to do other voices. Dialogue is impossible to follow because the men and women sound the same. I didn't think it could get worse until she attempted a character with "a slight British accent." I rarely want to switch to the text version, but this time I might have to.


    What other book might you compare The Program to and why?

    The Delirium series. It's YA dystopian romance with a heavy focus on depression.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Joy Osmanski’s performances?

    I will actively avoid them.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was frustrated and depressed as I went through the story with the character, seeing her missteps and feeling her pain. I was even more frustrated trying to reinterpret the story around the horribly miscast narration.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea K. 09-02-13
    Andrea K. 09-02-13 Member Since 2013

    Book-lover. Hobbyist. Student. Techie. Writer. Guitarist. Artist.

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    "Books and Bindings Review"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loren Stuck 08-26-13
    Loren Stuck 08-26-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Can't wait for the next book!!!!"
    What did you love best about The Program?

    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


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Program?

    The unfolding after the forgetting.


    What does Joy Osmanski bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Different tones and attitudes of the characters...quite enjoyable


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yup! Will listen to again before the next one.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend it to all my friends. Hope to read more of Suzanne Young's work

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Gig Harbor, WA, United States 07-03-13
    Monica Gig Harbor, WA, United States 07-03-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Bor-ing!"

    I thought the idea of this book was good. But it was really boring and entirely too long.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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