The Program

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The Program

by Suzanne Young

Simon Pulse | March 4, 2014 | Trade Paperback

The Program is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 4.
In this “gripping tale for lovers of dystopian romance” (Kirkus Reviews), 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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 432 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.1 in

Published: March 4, 2014

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1442445815

ISBN - 13: 9781442445819

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Suzanne at Her Best! This is a book about love, suicide, friendship and what it's like to live in a world where sadness is forbidden. I read this novel in the summer of 2013. I picked it up on a whim and I have to say I'm glad I did. This book has made its way onto my top 10 favorite dystopian fiction novels! Although this book can be considered lengthy, at no point did Young ever fail to entertain me. She showed suspense without being annoying and she used vocabulary that always made you feel that you living in the time standing right beside Sloane. Almost a year later I still remember every detail of this novel. I was - and still am- ever so surprised that such an amazing author is so little known. Her characters were flawless, and I got to learn so much about all of them without them even having to have their own P.O.V. My favorite thing about this book was by far the fact that Sloane wasn't your stereotypical female heroine/lead she didn't plot to take down the government and she didn't ride around the place waiting for a prince charming to save her after she fell. If I had to choose something I didn't like about 'The Program' by Suzanne Young, is the way it ended. However, a sequel was released so, I rest my case. I recommend this book to any Y.A dystopian fiction readers. 5/5 from me! I really wish Young gets the attention she deserves for such an amazing novel!
Date published: 2014-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Review from Swept Away By Books OH. MY. GAWD. This book KILLED me it was so good! I was not expecting that and I am seriously so happy right now. I've been kind of put off by basically anything that's not contemporary so I picked this one up a little wary and I am so glad that I did. We learn about the world that Sloane lives in as not a dystopian society really and that's what is so frightening about it. Because teen suicide happens all the time, but what happens when it becomes a world wide epidemic? The Program is created. What I found so creepy was that other than the epidemic, life occurred the same as it does now. MTV, texting, and every other mundane thing you can think of that happens in a teenagers life is still going on. The characters in The Program don't live under some tyrannical government; They live in a somewhat normal world. As Sloane and the absolute love of her life, James try and survive in a world where showing any true emotion will land them in the Program to have their memories wiped, they confide in each other in quiet moments, where they feel like they can fully express themselves without having to watch for Handlers that will take them in. I have to say, this was one of the best romances i've read in a long time. Sloane and James were so incredibly dedicated to each other and were so madly in love (to quote the book) that going through everything that they went through was so heart wrenching to read. I honestly haven't felt so deeply for a character as I did for Sloane in a long time. Sloane is tough in the sense that she held back her emotions and her grief over her brother's death for so long that it makes me wonder if I would ever be able to be brave in that sense. James was the kind of character with who you can't help but fall in love with. His utter dedication to Sloane and his loyalty to his friends was what made some of the events really difficult to get through. Young really didn't shy away from sex in this book, which is so realistic for teenagers. It made the relationship between them seem so much deeper and serious because of the fact that sex wasn't some taboo, like it can be in YA. As we progress through the book, Sloane goes through The Program and my heart reached out to this poor girl while at the same time I was screaming at her not to do certain things. It was so frustrating at times! And weirdly enough, I love that about books because it keeps me totally hooked. The reconnection of James and Sloane was painstaking to read, but so hopeful at the same time. AND THAT END! What even happened there. I don't even know. I am confused and full of questions and generally just FREAKING OUT. I want the second book SO BAD! I would LOVE to read a story about James' time in the program as he relives and eventually loses his memories. Suzanne Young, think that could happen? *pretty please with extra love on top ;)* I also really loved the cover. It fit so unbelievably well into the story. The bright, sunshiney yellow scrubs, to the stark white of the walls, and the delicate but fierce hold of Sloane and James holding hands was so perfect. Overall The Program was phenomenal and I am SO happy I took time away from my contemporaries to pick this one up. If you haven't yet, you don't know what you are missing out on! Fast paced, frightening and seriously realistic, The Program is one wild ride that I could not put down.
Date published: 2014-04-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Gave me the FEELS! Sloan lives in a world where suicide is an epidemic. Being depressed, lonely and sad will get you flagged by The Program. All the people who are taken in by The Program come back with their memories erased, their lives changed and their past becomes obsolete. Sloane wants nothing more than to just forget about her brother who died right in front of her. With the help of her boyfriend and best friend, they try to keep living their lives in the most normal way possible. Until Sloane finds herself all alone, she gets admitted to The Program herself and vows to find a way out. The story that develops in The Program is unique. Imagine depression being contagious and all the people around you deep in a spiral of suicidal thoughts. That’s what Sloan goes through and my God did my heart break just a little for her. Here she is all alone and fighting to keep her memories intact, you can feel her pain leap out of the pages. Her struggles, heartaches and confusion were all so real. The other character that you may have to watch out for is Realm. Not in a good way either because as soon as he appeared on the page, you know you can’t trust him. I nicknamed him “Creepy.” I loved the characters and their relationships and their problems. What I didn’t love was the lack of reasoning behind The Program. Why control people’s lives and erase their thoughts completely if they could learn from it. Mind control and hypnosis is such a creeptastic way to solve suicidal tendencies that I couldn’t believe what I was reading. *shivers*
Date published: 2013-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So far, it's my favourite YA book in 2013! Absolutely loved it!! Wow, I think this book has now moved into the top spot for my favourite YA book of 2013! In this dystopian world, the suicide rate amongst teenagers is on the rise, with one out of every three teens succumbing to the tragedy. Scientists have failed to determine the cause and have speculated that it could be due to pesticides used in the production of food or contaminants in vaccines. They believe the most likely cause is due to overuse of anti-depressants in the generation of the parents, which has altered the chemical makeup of their offspring making them more prone to depression. The protagonist is Sloane Barstow, a 17 year-old teenage girl whose school district in Oregon has established a program where students are observed closely for any changes in their manner or disposition that could signal the threat of depression. If a person is exhibiting any such symptoms, they are flagged and handlers are called in to take the “infected” student to a treatment facility. The patient will be subjected to a cocktail of pills that will strip away the troubling memories that are affecting their mood. The Program generally lasts about six weeks, and then the patient is released but is not permitted to mingle unsupervised with the regular teens. These patients, referred to as “returners,” attend high school with other returners and will remain there until graduation. If they wish to visit with friends, they can do so at the Wellness Centre while being chaperoned by a handler. Once the teens turn 18 years of age, they cannot be forced into treatment. Sloane’s brother, Brady, committed suicide when she was 15 years old. Her boyfriend, James Murphy, was Brady’s best friend and he is the only person who is holding Sloane together. He keeps reminding her that they cannot show any vulnerability and must hide their true feelings or risk being flagged. When one of Sloane’s friends is forced into treatment, it sets off a chain-reaction from which there is no turning back. Fearing for the safety of their only remaining child, Sloane’s parents call in the handlers to have her taken away. Sloane is adamant that they will not succeed in erasing her memories, and she is desperate to hold onto her identity. The Program is one of those books that just grabbed me from the get-go and never let me go! The concept of being taken against one’s will into a program that would brainwash me is so frightening. A teenager wouldn’t be able to trust anyone. What a way to live! Young created a gripping, emotional story with a sweet romance that has me yearning for more! I cannot wait to read the sequel, The Treatment, which is expected to be released in April 2014. That seems so far away, so I’m definitely planning to check out her A Need So Beautiful series while I wait. Just a caution out there for the parents: There is sexual content, so I would recommend this one only for those at the upper end of the teen range. Memorable quote: “He said that some things are better left in the past and true things are destined to repeat themselves.” This is my second narration by Joy Osmanski, and she was bang-on! She captured Sloane’s emotions perfectly, and she made it very hard for me to put this book down. I received this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.
Date published: 2013-07-30

– More About This Product –

The Program

by Suzanne Young

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 432 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.1 in

Published: March 4, 2014

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1442445815

ISBN - 13: 9781442445819

From the Publisher

In this “gripping tale for lovers of dystopian romance” (Kirkus Reviews), 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.

About the Author

Suzanne Young was born in New York in 1976. She later moved to Arizona for a warmer climate. She started teaching high school English in Tempe. She soon discovered her love for writing. When she is not busy writing she is searching her own memories for inspiration. She is the author of several books for teens including: A Desire So Deadly, A Need So Beautiful, and A Want So Wicked. Her title The Treatment, which is the second title in her series The Program, made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2014.

Editorial Reviews

"[A]n entertaining, and compelling read."
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