14 March 2015

Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
Published: April 30th 2013
Source: Hardcover
Pages: 405

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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 really don't have much to say about this book. I did not really like anything but neither did I hate anything. I thought the premise was pretty interesting but the whole plot was very illogical for me. There will be a spoilery rant below (there's a warning), do share your thoughts if you've read this!

    I did not like Sloane at all. She was overly dependent on 2 different guys throughout the book, both emotionally and physically. It was a major turn off. The first half of the book is basically how she relies on her boyfriend to keep her in check so that she doesn't end up in The Program. The second guy that comes along, I don't even know what he was for other than to baby Sloane. -.- I don't buy the part about him actually having a significant purpose. (You'll know what I am referring to if you've read this)

    World building was very weak, we barely know anything about the Program itself other than the fact that depression is now infectious (what?!) and they thought that this would solve the problem. I bet the next book is about how the Program is a load of bull. This was such a frustrating read and it was not enjoyable at all. I think Sloane was supposed to be an unreliable narrator because she just regurgitates whatever society and the school has taught her (some people argue that this is a reflection of the ignorance of our current society) BUT I think there is this thing called the internet where she could have gone to find out more about depression? Wouldn't you want to know more about it if its killing everyone around you?? And then they'll actually find out that you can't just go around infecting people with depression? I mean they just blindly hate the Program, there is no real basis other than that they hate that people are basically a blank slate when they come back. So would you rather people kill themselves!?!? The characters are not actually actively doing anything about they hate for the Program and that makes for a boring story don't you think? I was just not convinced that they were as against it as they claimed they were because they didn't even bother finding out about what was actually happening in the facility. *SPOILER STARTS HERE* Even when Sloane was in the Program, she didn't even bother to find ways to retain her memory. Like write a note and stick it somewhere in the facility?? Why eat a stupid pill? She also never once tried to ask the other kids about what they knew about the Program or whatever. I am pretty sure there are bound to be some rumours and stuff floating around. *END OF SPOILER*

    Also, the protagonist mentions that there is counselling available and they are even trained in peer counselling but obviously these are NEVER used throughout the book. I don't get it. They just keep telling each other that 'everything will be fine' or they try to literally beat each other out of depression. Are these people idiots?

    This book is not about depression. It doesn't actually delve into it but rather just uses it as and interesting premise to base a romance off of. If you're in this for the romance, go right ahead. But if you are looking for depth are are legit curious about how a depression epidemic actually unfolds, this is not the book.

    I could go on and on with this rant but to end on a positive note, the writing was decent and it kept me going. The darkness and tragicness of the situation was quite well-written I really felt it, which was not easy considering my frustration throughout the book. 


This was an entertaining read but I had a lot of issues with it. To me, the characters were idiotic and very very very passive which I just could not stand. THIS IS AN EPIDEMIC PEOPLE, maybe do some research? I was hoping that Young would use this opportunity to really talk about depression but other than providing false information (even though it may be on purpose) and giving us very superficial characters with depression, honestly this would have been better as a contemporary romance. Just two kids with depression running away from home, sounds like a John Green book? :P I was never really invested in this story but I was hoping that everything would wrap up nicely at the end of the book. But nope, none of the things I cared about was actually addressed so that was disappointing. I saw on Goodreads that apparently the second book addressed a lot of the issues but meh, I've lost interest in this series. I started writing this review with 3 stars in mind but after all that, I can't justify it.

Plot: 2/5 
Pacing: 2/5
Originality: 4/5 
Writing style: 3/5
Characters: 1/5 
Feels: 2/5
Cover: 4/5
My rating: 


  1. I hate it when authors write girls as weak and dependent on men. I'd rather read about the Katnisses and Celaenas of the world! I'm so disappointed because I've wanted to read this book for a long time and now I don't know if I should! World building is a must and I don't know if I will be happy reading a book that is lacking in that!

    Awesome review as always!

    Pearl @ AsteriskPearl's Book Blog

    1. Yea she was just an all around poorly written character, she was just kind of going with the flow the entire time, if that makes sense? That's the thing about this world, its a bit confusing because I am not sure if the depression they are referring to is the same depression as what we know? But yes it doesn't really talk about anything happening outside of their school/program other than as a side note about how others are starting to adopt this program. :/

      You might wanna try it seeing as how I am in the minority :P Thank you! :))

  2. I've had this book on my TBR list for a while and I think I'm going to remove it. I lost interest.

    Great review, btw!

    Cee @ The Mistress Case