The Program by Suzanne Young | Review

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The Program by Suzanne Young

Simon Pulse

April 30, 2013

Series: Book one in The Program series

In The Program by Suzanne Young, readers follow the lives of Sloane, a high school girl who lives in a world that is plagued with depressed teens. The government has created The Program, a rehab facility that “heals” teens of their suicidal thoughts. It removes their harsh memories, creating new, squeaky-clean people, ready for their shiny new lives. As Sloane struggles with the loss of people close to her, she must figure out if she herself can resist The Program.

The Program was a breathtaking, highly unique dystopian that reads like a contemporary. Blended with romance, a strict “program”, and heart-wrenching relationships, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the story. To be honest, there is nothing that I can complain about– it’s that good.

To start off, I was really wary about the dystopian world in The Program. It sounded like this book was going to be utterly depressing and dark (but sharply contrasted with the bright yellow scrubs on the cover). I wasn’t wrong, this book is depressing, but it’s also extremely uplifting and powerful. I loved the concept that Young created. The world-building was phenomenal and it was really easy for me to believe that this world could possibly happen someday. I was fully immersed in the world of The Program.

Next, the characters were absolutely in-depth and well developed. Quite a few characters in The Program come and go, but Young doesn’t hesitate in making them well-rounded and real. But to the real point: our main character Sloane was a very strong and adamant girl, and the phase change that she experienced is extraordinary. It was so fascinating to watch her change, and rediscover herself. Her determination was very admirable. The boys in this novel (yum) were also extremely endearing. There isn’t technically a love triangle, but– it’s hard to explain (just take my word for it). They were swoon-worthy, protective, and promising. Sigh.

While I was also hesitant about picking this book up because of Young’s previous book that I didn’t really enjoy (A Need So Beautiful), I can happily say that I don’t regret picking this book up at all. Fortunately for me, The Program is a definite favorite of mine for 2013. Despite mentioning the fantastic world and characters in this book, there’s also just something about it that made me flip the pages continually. There were so many moments where my heart felt like it was being squeezed/torn out/shattered. This story was thrilling; it’s a “feel all the feels” type of book. Coming highly recommended from me, I cannot sit an entire year for the sequel. Suzanne Young, I beg you to write faster.

RATING: 5 / 5

Immense thanks to Simon Pulse and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy to review!

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9 thoughts on “The Program by Suzanne Young | Review

  1. Oh, wow! I've heard this book is good, and I'm glad you enjoyed it too. The most important part of a dystopian is a world building that allows readers to visualize, and more importantly, understand the new society because it can be so easy to create a cookie cutter setting, and The Program sounds great in that regard. After reading a few emotional contemporaries about suicide, it would seem to be intereting to read a futuristic take on the topic. You may have just convinced me to pick up this book!

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  2. I just recently used my Audible credit for this one and I can't wait to start listening! Characters are so important to me and I love that Young made sure to make them all equally well-rounded, even those that were in passing.
    I haven't read her other books, but the fact that this is your favorite makes me feel better about spending that Audible credit. 🙂
    Great review, Jen!

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  3. This book is currently sitting on my TBR shelf and I can't wait to read it! I was initially hesitant as I was worried about the sensitively with which Young would handle the topic of mental illness and depression, but thankfully I have yet to see a complaint about that! Her idea sounds very high concept and I love the complexity of emotion it seems to inspire in people.

    Thank you so much for the helpful review and I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it! 🙂

    P.S. Just as an additional aside, I am absolutely mad about your blog layout and what you've created here. It's so beautiful and I really admire all the hard work you've clearly put into it!

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  4. You're the second review that I've read that has been glowing for this book, so now I'm rethinking wanting to get it, because I totally do! It sounds so emotional and I'm so glad that the characters were well done and the dystopian world wasn't too drab and dark. It seems like the perfect kind of world to be in, and I'm super happy that you loved this book!

    Fantastic review, Jen!

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  5. This sounds really fantastic! I wasn't sure about it at first, mostly because of the premise, but I definitely want to give it a try now. You know I'm not always keen on love triangle situations, but I'm glad to hear that it's not quite they way it seems. Lovely review!

    Also, congrats on the new solo blog! I love the design. 🙂

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  6. Jen! You have a new blog – it looks lovely 🙂

    And this is the first review I've read of this and I'm glad it's good. I passed up on buying it when the author was on tour but maybe now I should read it!

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  7. “The Program was a breathtaking, highly unique dystopian that reads like a contemporary.” I NEED T READ THIS BOOK NOW. It sounds amazing. I've heard of this book a lot but this is the first review I've read. I'll definitely look out for this one, thanks for sharing 🙂 <3

    Zoe @ Bookhi
    http://www.bookhi.blogspot.com

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  8. OK, to be honest, I wasn't really looking forward for this one. It didn't really interest me except for the fact that it was a dystopian. But, Jen, ohmygosh! You've made me want to read The Program! I mean amazing world building, characters, & plot. What else could a girl ask for? Seriously, fabulous review!

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