Depressingly Awesome: A Review of THE PROGRAM by Suzanne Young

The Program (The Program, #1) 
Suzanne Young
408 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 30th, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating:  LOVED

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.

    Suicide, programs, and a life worth fighting for THE PROGRAM is a novel that will have you frustrated and sad at the same time.

   If it meant living happily again, would you get your mind wiped clean? Until all that’s left of you is a shell, empty of everything that made you yourself?

   Sloane knows that if she wants to be herself and not a shell of who she once was, she has to keep her emotions inside. Bottled up where they won’t have a chance of spilling over, and getting her sent to the Program. A place were depressed teens are sent to become better, a place where everything that made you sad is wiped clean from you, so you have no memory of who you’re friends are and that you were ever sad. A place where pretty much all the teen would rather die than go to.

    I had absolutely no intentions of picking up THE PROGRAM, suicide and depression? Not me. Nuh-uh. But after getting voted twice on What’s Next and reading all the truck load of good reviews on Goodreads, I gave it a shot. And I’m glad I did. THE PROGRAM is too awesome for words to describe.

    THE PROGRAM took a while for me to fall for, and when I did I was crying, smiling, and mind-forcing at the characters. There were parts that frustated me (in a totally good way), and all I wanted to do was scream as the characters went on there ways clueless of what was happening.

    Sloane, wasn’t exactly a strong heroine, there were times when she was falling apart but still she was strong and fought for what was right. I loved sweet and cocky James, he went through alot and still he always tried to anchor the others. And I can’t say much about alot of the characters, but let’s just say that I hated Realm.

   THE PROGRAM was one extremely emotional rollercoaster that left me excited, dizzy, and sniffling. The ending was a little rushed and could’ve had more time spent on, but it was still good.

    Like I said, THE PROGRAM is too good for words, and you should definitely check it out. I can’t wait for THE TREATMENT, the name alone is making me giddy.

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Asma is a cat-loving co-blogger at IceyBooks. She's a 15 year old homeschooler who spends her time blogging (obviously), reading, and whatever else strikes her fancy. She's also a part time pirate and assassin.



  1. Reply

    Ashley @ The Bibliophile's Corner

    August 10, 2013

    AHHH! I have been wanting to read this one for a while. I always feel weird saying I want to read a book about suicide and depression….but I want to read this one. I will definitely be getting this one soon.

    Great review!

  2. Reply


    August 10, 2013

    Wow, I think this one ended up flying under my radar because this is the only review I’ve read that’s made me excited about this one! It’s interesting, because I wouldn’t normally think a book about suicide and depression would be for me at all, either, but you make it sound SO good. Awesome, thanks for this review, Asma!

  3. Reply


    August 10, 2013

    First I have to say, I love the new look, ladies!! Not sure how long you’ve had it since I get your posts via email and haven’t visited in maybe a month, but it’s new to me, and I dig it! Lovely.

    Second, great review, Asma! I am so glad you loved this one — I did too!!! It’s definitely one worth giving a chance, if anyone hasn’t read it. I was a bit stunned at just how good it was. I was definitely bawling in parts, my heart was breaking, and I was furious at times, BUT I felt like underlying all of it is an abiding feeling of HOPE, and I really think that’s what saves it. Some people say dystopians are too depressing or unreservedly bleak sometimes, and I definitely get why folks wouldn’t like that (though I don’t seem to mind so much). But you can rest assured that you will feel some relief while reading this one, because there is such a sense of hope and the power of love underscoring it all (that sounds horribly cheesy, but I’m not sure quite how to say it otherwise!). I loved this book, and I’m so glad you took the chance, Asma!! It’s GREAT, and I also can’t wait for The Treatment. Is it out yet?!?! No?! ;-D

  4. Reply

    Claire @ Bitches With Books

    August 15, 2013

    I really want to read this! Ugh, I must get a copy!