The Program (Paperback)
Content warning: Suicide
The third-floor windowpane of Sloane's high school is sealed shut. Just in case anyone gets the urge to jump. Which, in Sloane’s case, a third of her teenage peers take that jump. With suicide now being an international epidemic, a facility called The Program becomes instated. A care center that extracts an individual's memories to erase any pain or suffering from their mind. The idea of the place is to free those under the age of 18 of the now seemingly abundant depression. Yet Sloane knows the truth. Those who come back from The Program are not better or even happier. The Program survivors have lost touch with themselves and their reality. Sloane feels uncomfortably numb in this world as she watches her classmates, friends, and family get dragged off into a system that erases more than just memories. It erases people.
-LieselSultry September Staff Picks
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.
About the Author
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 AuthorSuzanneYoung.com or follow her on Instagram at @AuthorSuzanneYoung.
*STARRED REVIEW* "Readers will devour this fast-paced story that combines an intriguing premise, a sexy romance, and a shifting landscape of truth. With big questions still unanswered and promising twists, this first volume in a new series will leave readers primed for more."
*STARRED REVIEW* "With this powerful psychological drama, Young contributes a unique, attention-worthy standout from the crowd of young adult dystopias."
"For lovers of dystopian romance, this gripping tale is a tormented look at identity and a dark trip down Lost-Memory Lane."
— Kirkus Reviews
"The uncomfortable mix of the good intentions and horrific outcomes of The Program is chilling, and will likely haunt readers as a slightly-too-plausible path adults would choose to “save” their teens."
— The Horn Books
"Young's book is unrelentingly emotional and dark . . . [and] confronts readers with questions about whether the past or the present defines a person, while make[ing] a strong case for the value of all memories, good and bad."
— Publishers Weekly
"[A]n entertaining, and compelling read."