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.
"The Program" is okay. I give it 3/5 stars. The written/spoken style of the book is fantastic. However: it's a little slow in some parts, didn't spend too much time in the Program, and I personally don't care for love stories-if it is a small part of the book it is okay-but that is what the book is all about.
There was another person who posted that they listened to the book in two days. Me too! I listened to it in bed, in the car, when I woke up, while I was on the toilet... I HAD to know what happened next. I almost bought a text version thinking I could read it faster than I could listen.
Some people didn't like the voice of the performer but I thought she did a decent job. She didn't over-perform which I find very annoying but she still added in laughs and inflection where appropriate. The thing to keep in mind is that throughout there is an undercurrent of fear inside and outside the characters speaking so narrating the story in an overly enthused way would seem out of place with the story.
I highly recommend all around!
I hate reading, but I have to read 2 books by the end of my semester for my English class. I couldn't stay focused so I purchased the audiobook and it really helped. It helped me stay on track and I finished the whole book in 2 days!
I really liked the book, it was thought provoking and left you pondering the question, is it better to know or not to know, is better to remember or to completely forget. There are arguments for both sides and I liked the way that it freed you to ponder questions and provoke debate.
This book didn't whisk me away and it had dark undertones, it was not the kind of book that I would read over and over, I really believe that once was enough. I would, however recommend this book to friends and family!
The book was centered around Slone, it was interesting to see how she evolved before, during, and after the Program.
Joy Osmanski had a rather monotone voice, but for this type of novel I really believe that it worked. She was pleasant and I would listen to her again.
I feel an ache in my heart, but I can't remember why...
This book had a garden of Eden like premise, only backward.
Slone knows everything, she feels the pain of the past and that pain fills her with desperation.
When she enters the Program she forgets herself and her pain... is she better or worse for it? It is a hard question to answer.
I was conflicted by the feelings that I had for Slone's mother, who believed she was doing her daughter justice by sending her to the program, but in the process she was not allowing her daughter to grieve or grow as a person.
I enjoyed the twist at the end... without giving to much away, I wondered if all of these individuals were in on it... it was interesting and unexpected.
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