The Program by Suzanne Young

theprogramIn 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

This is a fairly normal dystopian book, which is good because every once and a while, you need a break from the ones that create an entirely new world. There are no nations on the brink of a thermonuclear war or aliens threatening to destroy all of freaking humanity or any of that stuff we’re used to in dystopia. Instead it deals with an issue that is familiar to everyone, only on a larger scale: suicide in teenagers. Suzanne Young did a brilliant job crafting a story around an extremely delicate subject. This Program seems like a good idea…at first. In order to keep those at risk from committing suicide, the Program takes certain memories; in turn, these kids are basically stripped of their personalities. Of course, those who are most leery will usually be admitted to the Program involuntarily. As good as the whole story is, the protagonist kind of gets on my nerves. At the beginning, Sloane just seemed a bit too whiny and too helpless for my tastes. I understand that she has been through a lot and has been too strong for too long and all that jazz but she’s one of those characters I really just clashed with, head first. James is sweet and strong and a bit of a daredevil. I totally want one. All in all, it’s a good read worthy of a recommendation. I’m waiting for the second 🙂

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