Friday, June 14, 2013

Audio Review: The Program

Title: The Program 
Author: Suzanne Young 
Pages: 408 
Format: Audio 
Release Date: April 30, 2013 
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon Audio)

Goodreads Description:

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.

THE PROGRAM is a book that will make you think. It deals with some tough issues and raises some serious questions. Of course, you shouldn't expect anything less from a book dealing with a suicide epidemic.

As a person working in the mental health field, I was curious about this book. THE PROGRAM sounded like a mental hospital dealing strictly with depressed/suicidal teenagers. Turns out, it pretty much was. However, THE PROGRAM is a lot more extreme than your run of the mill mental health hospital. The lengths the program goes to cure teens was mind boggling. I understand that a mass number of teen suicides is terrifying and an adults would be eager to find something/anything to correct this problem. Still, though wiping people's memories? 

I liked Sloane. She felt real and genuine. Things were tough but she didn't sound whiny. She was strong, determined, and completely defiant when it came to the program. And who could blame her? Who wants to lose everything that has made a person who they are? James really isn't my type I don't think. I can definitely see his appeal but there were times were he was too cold. When we were first introduced to Realm I really liked him. He's definitely more my type but as I learned more about him I didn't like him quite as much. I get the reasons for his decisions but I still didn't completely agree with them all. But at the end of the day I think I would have to be Team Realm.

As I listened to the audio of THE PROGRAM, I found myself pondering several questions. One was does losing our memories change who we are? Without our memories can we truly be ourself? I think the book answers that question. I believe that even without memories a part of you still remembers who you are. Taking your memories isn't taking your personaility. It's simply taking your memory of how you became who you are. 

The other question I pondered was, are we destined to repeat history even if we have no memory of our past? Surprisingly, THE PROGRAM deals a lot with fate and destiny. I believe that Young trys to show that there our some people in our life that we are destined to know and destined have a part of our lives. That point was probably one of my favorite parts from THE PROGRAM. 

As for the narrator, I wasn't really a fan. I felt that the voice was just too monotoned. It was almost like a computer narration. There wasn't much of a variation for all of the different character voices. 

Overall, I enjoyed THE PROGRAM and all of the interesting questions it raised. THE PROGRAM is a emotional roller coaster that will captivate readers and have them thinking about the book long after the last page is turned. I am very curious to see what book two has in store for us!

Buy The Program


  1. I was really looking forward to listening to the audio of The Program, I'm so disappointed to hear that the narrator wasn't very engaging. I think a narrator can make or break the audio, regardless of the quality of the book itself. I may just read this on my Nook instead of getting the audio. Great review! This definitely sounds like a book I don't want to miss!

  2. This sounds like such an interesting premise to me. And I love that you mentioned Sloane didn't sound whiny. That would be a deal breaker for me (for a lot of us, I'm sure! haha). Great review!

  3. I've been on the fence about this one! I've heard both good and bad things, but I definitely want to read it after reading your review. Good to know about the audio, though, since I'd been debating getting it.

    Great review! :)

    Rachel @ Paper Cuts


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