The Program by Suzanne Young
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Source: Review copy provided by Publisher
The Program by Suzanne Young is one of the first books in a long time that really shocked me. The Program was designed to prevent teens from killing themselves after a teen suicide epidemic spread world wide. Traditional antidepressants no longer work and teens who are getting depressed, quickly kill themselves. The Program takes teens into a hospital and puts them through therapy and a drug that causes them to forget the memories that made them want to kill themselves. Teens know that they have to walk a fine line so they aren't "flagged" and sent away to this program. Sloane lost her brother Brady when he killed himself and her best friend Lacey was recently flagged. Sloane knows she can't show emotion in public no matter what. She only confides in her boyfriend James and her best friend Miller who dated Lacey. Miller is determined to make Lacey remember her old life and her love for him. James was Brady's best friend and he is Sloane's everything. They count down until the day they turn eighteen and the program can't touch them. But when Lacey returns and doesn't want anything to do with Miller it sends him into a downward spiral. James and Sloane try to keep him happy and look for signs he is becoming depressed and possibly suicidal, but one weekend they leave him alone and he takes his own life. James is so tired of losing people and he soon starts showing signs of depression. Sloane does her best to be normal for both her and James, but he can't avoid the Program. Sloane's parents are worried that after losing Brady they could lose their daughter as well and soon turn Sloane into The Program. The Program breaks even the strongest person and even though Sloane is determined to stay who she is and keep her memories, what can you do when drugs are pumped into you to make you talk and to steal every memory you have that makes you who you are? Is it better to live a life without your memories or risk losing your life because it's just too much to bare? There were so many times I yelled at the counselors in The Program and to Sloane to not fall for what they were telling her.
The story is told in three parts: life before The Program, life at The Program and life after. The Program is one of my favorite books this year! So many twists and turns and so many mind games! You will love it!
Narrator: Joy Osmanski is a great narrator! I was so caught up in the story I felt like I was there.
Sample audio of The Program