Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

The Program coverThe Program by Suzanne Young
Goodreads | Amazon
Release Date: April 30th 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: The Program #1
Rating: rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads description: 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

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into The Program. A book about suicide as an epidemic? But I’m glad I took a chance with it.

Sloane lives in a world where teenage suicide kills one in three teenagers. Nobody knows the exact reasons but they have several ideas. Society views suicide as a behavioral contagion for teens. Sloane’s school district came up with The Program as an answer. They monitor teens for signs of depression and if they discover anything, they remove them from school and their homes. People outside of The Program don’t really know what happens inside, but when teens return from it, they don’t remember much from their lives before. They go to a different school and seem fundamentally different.

Everyone knows someone that’s committed suicide. Everyone is expected to be perfectly emotionless despite the fact that so many friends and family members die. They are always watched and questioned. There are handlers around to cart people off to The Program at any signs of depression.

Continue reading