Thursday, December 26, 2013

Audiobook Review: The Program

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The Program
by Suzanne Young 

Source: my own copy 
Publication date: 30 April 2013 
Genre: Dystopia Sci-Fi Young Adult 
Date Read: 26 December 2013 
Narrator: Joy Osmanski 
Length: 10 hours 56 minutes 

In Sloane’s world, 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.

My thoughts:
I loved the beginning of The Program. I could not stop listening to the fabulous Joy Osmanski introducing me to Sloan and James and all their friends.

It was strange to think of suicide being a sickness of epidemic proportions. In this future world, suicide is contagious and more and more young people are dying every day. The powers-that-be try to cure this rising tide by erasing the flagged teenagers' memories. So everyone is on edge, trying to not be noticed by hiding all emotions and completing the daily questionnaire by stating that they feel happy and contented. It is smiles all around.

Even with this hard-to-believe concept, I soon gave in to the story's buildup and enjoyed
Sloane's experience in the program. It was definitely fast paced and scary, with a few icky characters making an quick appearance.

Unfortunately when she was released back into the normal world, things started to grate on my nerves. The control that was enforced into all aspects of life was especially hard to take even when I tried to remind myself that that was the point of the story. Sloan's parents was especially irritating and I think the author did an excellent job of us just having to hate them. On the other hand, I can't imagine that Sloan would not want to distance herself from them.

The love story between Sloan and James was very intense for a YA title but I found their re-discovering of their love sweet and heartwarming. Their relationship is just as perfect as we want our fictional romances to be.

I enjoyed some parts of this book and but unfortunately there were stages where I wish I could just fast forward toward the end and the obvious conclusion. I would even go as far to say that if I have not been invested in Sloan and James “finding” each other again, I would have given up. Thinking back, I do not see the point of the introduction of some of the characters and can only imagine that they will feature in the future books.

I liked the story but unfortunately I am not invested in Sloan and James enough to look out for the sequel. 


  1. I found myself with the same problem as you. I also listened to this one on audio, maybe we should read the actual book instead, it might make a difference. But I found some parts to just be so SLOW and I felt that I go forward it, and feel like I didn't miss out on anything. I admit there were quite a few points that I liked, but there were some points that were either slow or obvious.


  2. I struggled through this one too and I can't decide if I want to keep reading the series. Cool idea, minimal storytelling