The Program by Suzanne Young Review

Publication Date: April 30 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: Ereader (Scribd)
Page Count: 405
Synopsis: 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’ve been wanting to read this book for a while. A story about an epidemic being teenage suicide intrigued me and kept me wondering how on earth could that happened to our society. Though, it shouldn’t be a surprise since suicide is the second leading cause of death among the young people. It’s also a topic that hits straight home to me and I didn’t really know what to expect.

This book felt like a roller coaster to me. Not the action-packed plot turns type a way. The way that I sometimes I liked the book and sometimes I didn’t.  My feelings about the book lacked consistency, so this was kind of hard to rate. While writing this review, the flaws, unfortunately start to outweigh the positive aspects of the book.

The concept of suicide being contagious is quite interesting. We all know that it’s not contagious but it can sometimes feel that way. Just hearing the word suicide can bring the mood of a room full of happy people down. When we discover someone we love commits suicide can make us go into deep grief in which we either think: Why did they do this? Did they kill themselves because of me? Why should I live then? Also the psychological term of modeling is also quite scary. “If this person kills themselves because their lover broke up with them, then I must do the same.” But science determines that it all has to do with our brain (although some research indicated that there is a tiny chance that it might be contagious).

People say that this book pokes fun at suicide. That it’s offensive. As a person that has experience this,I didn’t find it that offensive. It was more confusing and it was hard to figure out the logic of it.

One thing that I was kind of confused on was the test they took to see if students are experiencing signs of suicide. I know in today’s day in age, therapies, counselors and schools use this method to see if someone is depressed, but I don’t think that it works in this situation. In their world, you get sent to this scary place  where they wipe out your memories and fully change you. No one wants somebody to strip away their memory so everyone would most likely lie on those test. For those reasons, I don’t get why the program would think that this is an effective way to decide if someone is depressed.

And I didn’t get the whole point of the students talking to the counselors. Counselors are supposed to be people that you confide in and talk about your problems and to ask questions. Obviously, no one in the book would tell them how they actually feel because of the risk of going to the program.

To be honest, I felt like the author was poking fun at adults. I actually think that she thinks ALL adults are ignorant (WHICH IS NOT TRUE).

I also didn’t like the structure of the book. I hated how in almost the last half the book we the audience know something that the narrator doesn’t know. Its probably the most frustrating thing in the world and I wanted to throw my ereader across the room. I rather it was the other way around because it builds up suspense. Though, this is just a personal thing.

I thought it would be refreshing to have characters that were already together. I thought it would take away insta love and frustrating angsty romance. Boy I was wrong. I’m not going to say why…but I was really wrong(so much angst like damn).And I kind of didn’t like how the romance had the most spotlight. It felt more like a teen romance novel than a dystopian.


The writing was okay and the story was predictable. Although the book had it’s faults, the ending left me intrigue to read the next book (like all first books in  dystopians). I also read it pretty fast. I read this off of Scribd and they don’t currently have the second book out so I think I will wait until it becomes available.



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