5_the-program-by-suzanne-youngReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Sloane must always be on her guard to keep her emotions in check. She knows better than to let anyone know how she truly feels inside. There is no greater mistake than letting someone see you cry. Suicide is currently an international epidemic and one sign of weakness can and will land you in The Program which is currently the only proven cure. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child to suicide and she knows that they are particularly watchful and protective of her. She also knows that anyone who enters The Program comes back changed, a blank slate, and a completely different person. As if they are hollow inside with no traces of their former selves.

That being said, Sloane is always on her toes. The only person with whom she can truly be herself is James. He’s promised that they’ll keep each other safe and out of the reach of The Program. Unfortunately, love may not conquer all and she watches as depression slowly sets in and The Program looks to become an inevitability.

The Program by Suzanne Young puts together an amazing story of what it would be like to live in a world in which some sort of government program has wholly taken over. It makes you wonder if something similar is already happening. Are we truly so blind that we would believe that the government has the one and only cure and that coming back blank and hollow truly is the solution? Sloane’s parents and the people around her surely think so. Sloane’s parents are even more likely to believe that their daughter’s survival through The Program is better than losing their last surviving child. Sloane believes otherwise. As she watches friend after friend come back with their memories and personalities erased, she will do anything to avoid that same fate.

I really felt for Sloane, her family, and her friends as they watch the world crumble around them and do what they feel that they must do to survive in the harsh reality that is life. I really hope that there is a sequel coming. I can’t wait to see if Young will allow us to see where Sloane’s choices lead her and how she fares. What is truly better? Overwhelming emotion? Or the lack thereof?

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, 2 sons, 2 dogs and a cat called Number One Boots Kitten. She is a full time mom and enjoys writing short stories in her spare time. She also likes watching anime, reading books, and playing video games.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Simon Pulse. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.