The Program, by Suzanne Young – Book Club Event at Boswell Books
April 29th, 2013 by Liza Wiemer



Thank you to Boswell Books for hosting our book club! For more info on this fantastic indie books store, check out Boswell Books.

Goodreads Summary:  

For more info: Goodreads

Programcover In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only suzanneyoungsolution 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.

My take: 

Intense, powerful, suspenseful. Kids are committing suicide left and right. It’s an epidemic. Certain kids are more at risk than others – those who lost a family member or a friend. The Program will make sure that you’ll be okay. Except no one comes out the same. Good memories, bad memories will vanish. You’ll have holes in your life, but hey – if it keeps you alive, it’s so much better than the alternative, right? Or is The Program what’s driving kids to kill themselves?

I read this this ARC for our book club and we all agreed that THE PROGRAM is a fantastic book for discussion. Our conversations about the characters, their relationships, The Program and its impact really made me think. I hope that others will read this with a group, and if not, that there are online discussion groups to add your perspective and to get others’ thoughts. Does suicides breed more suicides? Would you want to lose your memories? Do antidepressants help or add to the problem? All fascinating questions.

At times, I found the book to be quite dark – after all, it is about suicide. The suspense and sweet romance balances some of that out.

Suzanne Young is a terrific writer. Guaranteed to have you hooked.

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Heidi from YA Bibliophile showing us her cool nails and the “ring” connected to the book!

Definitely read with a group if you can!

We truly had lively discussion and enjoyed sharing our perspectives. One thing that we all thought was interesting is that this novel has a dystopian feel, but we wouldn’t necessarily categorize it that way.

HUGE THANKS TO: The awesome Heidi @ YA Bilbliophile for putting this event together for our group. She is so creative and organized. Her enthusiasm is contagious! <3 her!


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Heidi from YA Bibliophile, our awesome organizer! Look at the awesome bags, pretzels, cupcakes she made! Oh and we had jelly beans for our “pills.”

2 Responses  
Joli @ Actin' Up with Books writes:
April 29th, 2013 at 6:41 pm

I saw Heidi’s write up about the book club and it sounds like it was a really fun time. It definitely put my book club to shame, not that my book club isn’t great because it is, but now I think I should do more. And I agree with you completely, you should definitely read books as a group. There isn’t anything lonelier than reading a book and not having someone to talk to about it.

Marina writes:
April 30th, 2013 at 10:51 am

What a powerful message!

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