The Program - Suzanne Young


Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian 
Synopsis: 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. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate.  Under constant surveillance at home and at school, the only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment.. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.


The first thing I will say about this book is the first thing I saw in a review, that whether you (like me) believe the author missed a trick in not doing so, what she does not do in this book is offer any kind of commentary on depression or mental/emotional disorders in general. Don't go in expecting any insights on that front and you won't be too disappointed.

The first part of this book cracked me up. It's entire purpose is to illustrate the depth of love Sloane and James have for each other, and their absolute fear of the Program but to be honest it's not very well written. James seems to see Sloane as little more than an object of sexual gratification and Sloane seems to merely depend on James for reassurance that he will protect her from the Program. I did nearly give up at this point. However, I am including this particular aspect in my review primarily to prepare anyone who chooses to read this book for it - once you get past that section, it's actually not a bad read at all. I read the rest of it in one sitting, curious to find out what happened, and quite liking the characters other than James that showed up. It's still not the most amazing piece of writing I've ever come across, but I think it might just have had a compelling enough plot to make me pick up the next installment. Maybe.

TL:DR: Not brilliantly written, but a fun bit of mindless YA dystopia.

Rating: 3/5

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