The Program

The Program

4.05 (53,303 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
4.05 (53,303 ratings by Goodreads)

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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.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 30mm | 476g
  • Simon Pulse
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • f-c matte lam jkt w- emboss; printed matte lam case w- different art
  • 1442445807
  • 9781442445802
  • 126,937

Review quote

*STARRED REVIEW* "With this powerful psychological drama, Young contributes a unique, attention-worthy standout from the crowd of young adult dystopias."-- "BCCB"
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About Suzanne Young

Suzanne Young is the New York Times bestselling author of The Program series. Originally from Utica, New York, Suzanne moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She is a novelist and an English teacher, but not always in that order. Suzanne is also the author of Girls with Sharp Sticks, All in Pieces, Hotel for the Lost, and several other novels for teens. Visit her online at or follow her on Instagram at @AuthorSuzanneYoung.
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Rating details

4.05 out of 5 stars
- 53,303 ratings
5 40% (21,420)
4 34% (18,382)
3 18% (9,422)
2 5% (2,884)
1 2% (1,195)

Our customer reviews

The Program is an intriguing and thought provoking first to a series that gave me all I wanted from it-romance, thrill and food for thought. I failed to completely connect with our main romantic couple, but in many ways I still consider it a great read. Given the heavy topic (suicides and depression oozing from the pages), I wasn't emotionally involved, and that is the only "negative" thing I have to say. The Program has a great composition. It consists of three parts (before, during and after). The events in each accentuate a motif, a certain repetitiveness in the human nature that challenges the idea of the Program, to wipe out all potentially triggering memories. The dystopian streak is not that prominent. The Program is still in experimental phase, implemented in a small number of states. The focus of the story is the romance between Sloane and James, both in the high risk population. It's an interesting situation to watch the characters before and after the treatment and follow the train of their thoughts. The main idea is, even if all your memories were eradicated, would you make the same 'mistakes'? If most of your past were simply deleted, how much of you would there still be in you? I was wondering all the time what would have to happen in the society to start such an avalanche of depression and suicide. Then there's the Program itself. While it's easy to adopt the characters' negative attitude toward it, Suzanne Young also gives you enough footage to see the upside of it. As a mother I had to ask myself what I would want for my child. Where is the morality of it if the patients have absolutely no choice? Is a clean and fresh start that horrifying an alternative to suicide? Is the cost of keeping your children alive living with barely more than a shell of its former self worth it? Read it and decide for yourself. The Program raises a lot of questions, but ends on a hopeful and promising note, especially considering the epilogue. The same character that at some point I thought was cheesy soars to heroic proportions, and I cannot wait to read more. (Source: Pulse It free read)show more
by Ivana
Wow... This book is heartbreaking, frustrating, dramatic, romantic and more. It was more then I expected, to be honest. Way more. And I loved every part of it. So in this book suicide is an epidemic. And the only 'cure' they could come up with is The Program. (Stupid donkeys... I may have a few ideas that could help you know. For instance... Stop the monkeys that are making those super kill pills or let people mourn when they've lost someone... Don't wipe their memory if they get depressed because it's actually your fault they are because they can't show their emotions the way they should... Okay, I'm stopping now. Moving on.) So you get it. The Program basically erases your memories. Takes the bad ones that make you 'sick' away. So if you show signs of being sick, they take you to one of the facilities and wipe your memory and then in the end you're happy again and all the bad stuff is gone. (I would rather take one of those kill pills instead of getting my memory wiped.) It's actually pretty original. But seriously. So many geniuses in the world and that's the best they could come up with? Tsss. So the main character in this story is Sloane. She is a really fun character and I loved her. I felt for her and I felt a lot. No kidding. The first part of the book is heartbreaking (the whole book is actually but okay). Her brother died, her best friend doesn't remember her, her other best friend dies and the boy she loves is taken from her too. Yeesh, talk about a hard life. But she is a fighter and she wants to hold on to James as long as she can. She doesn't want to forget. I love her for that. She's strong. The second half of the story is equally heartbreaking and a bit frustrating near the end. If you lose your memories, can you get them back? Does your heart remember what your mind forgot? That's the main question in the second half of the story. And it was so frustrating to know what she did not anymore. But I am sooo glad the way this book ended. And I can't wait for the next book. Oh and I love James. He's awesome and hot. And Realm is ... I don't know, I don't like him. Awesome book, I want the sequel. Like... more
by Bieke Paesen
Brilliant! I was not expecting it to pack such an emotional punch, but man, did it ever. It is so chilling to think about a teenage epidemic of suicide! My father did it back in October, so I know all too well the ramifications of family and friends left behind. Suzanne did such a good job portraying that. The twist-- Sloane (the main character) and the other teens in this chilling world are being monitored for any signs of depression so they can't outwardly express their grief. I can only imagine not being able to cry for fear of losing all my memories. Because that is what happens to the teens who are deemed at risk of suicide. They are sent through the program, and while it erases the depression it also erases all memories from their life before. So, I can't decide which they mourn more, the ones who are gone through suicide or their friends or boy/girl friends that have gone through the program but don't remember them anymore. So sad! The dynamic of the characters was so well written and layered. Sloane and her boyfriend James used to run around with Lacey (taken into the program) and her boyfriend Miller. But James used to be a close friend of Sloane's brother Brady. So there is so much complex history and emotions driving their interactions. One of the scenes that really got to me was when Sloane injured herself just so she would be free to cry because she missed her brother who died and her best friend Lacey who just came out of the program and didn't remember Sloane or her boyfriend Miller. I adored the romance in this one. James and Sloane and their dynamic had me right away. I loved how they looked out for each other and provided the strength for the other when they were falling apart a bit, and glued them right back together. James is devoted and I was swooning all over him. Their teasing, banter, and loyalty had me cheering for them. Each part of this book hooked me in even more, and made me realize how much I liked Sloane's character. There are new characters that I didn't know whether to trust, and even by the end of the book I have no idea what their angle is on everything, and how this person will play into things in the next part. I love the line that if it is meant to be, it will happen. The first time I heard it I rolled my eyes, but I love how that is a theme, and the people that show up to prove that right, and things that happen more than once. I know that is vague, but I think that once you read it, you'll understand what I am talking about. It is so hard to review a book like this sometimes because so much happens that I want to talk about but, I also don't want to spoil anything. So I try to talk about what you can figure out from the synopsis or within the first couple of chapters. The pacing was amazing, and kept me in suspense waiting for the next bit of action, or seeing how the characters are growing. I loved this first book and will definitely be continuing this series. Bottom Line: Intense and emotional. I connected with Sloane and swooned over more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
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