Booktalk: The Program by Suzanne Young

Program cover

Maybe you think you’re sick of dystopian future books, already.  Maybe you think that if you have to read one more book, look at one more book, or even think about one more book, you’re just going to …

Well, no.  You’re not going to kill yourself.  In fact, even if you THINK you’re sick of dystopian books, you’re going to make an exception for The Program by Suzanne Young because it’s a super-cool mind-bending story that is packed to the gills with drama and excitement.

I’m not kidding.  Go read this book.  And then sit next to me while we grind our teeth and wait for the sequel.


Several years ago, teen suicide was declared a national epidemic.  One out of three teenagers were killing themselves, and nobody knew why.  Maybe it was something in the food.  Maybe it was because so many people were taking antidepressants.  Maybe it had something to do with peer pressure.  Parents used to say things like, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?” but now they don’t say that anymore.

It’s hard for Sloane and James not to think about suicide when they’re surrounded by death on all sides.  But they have to hide their true feelings, because now the government is involved.  Now if teens start showing any signs of depression, government agents can take them away and force them into the Program.  The Program is the only known cure for suicidal thoughts.  On the plus side, at the end of six weeks, you don’t have those suicidal thoughts anymore.  But on the minus side, you’ll lose your memories of your friends, your family, and everything that was ever important to you.  In other words … you might as well be dead.

Sloane and James will do anything to keep each other safe and stay out of the Program.  They will do anything to keep themselves whole, and keep their minds from being wiped clean.  But unfortunately, they won’t be the ones making the final decision.

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