The Program
by Suzanne Young









The Program
by Suzanne Young

Summary
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.

Characters
NameSloane
GenderFemale
AgeTeenager
AttributesAfraid of showing any outbursts and being sent to The Program; under constant surveillance;

NameJames
GenderMale
AgeTeenager


Genre
Science fiction
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Young adult fiction
    --
Fantasy
    --
Romance
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Topics
Emotions
Romantics
Love
Man-woman relationships
Teenagers
Suicide
Government takeover
Mental depression
Epidemics





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.





Gr 10 Up-Four years ago, teen suicide became an epidemic, affecting one in every three teens. To combat it, a school district in Oregon developed "The Program," where teens are treated for their depression by erasing their memories and secluding them from their peers. As an increasing number of her classmates are taken away for treatment, 17-year-old Sloane Barstow knows better than to show emotion to anyone other than her boyfriend, James, especially since her brother drowned himself two years earlier, leaving her parents constantly on edge. But when her friend commits suicide and James is taken away, Sloane begins to slip into a depression that forces her into The Program, where she is gradually stripped of all memories of James and her past. As she struggles to start over, she finds herself questioning the integrity of The Program and why she is inexplicably drawn to a troublemaker named James. The story is intriguing, and while a little slow at times, teens will find themselves racing to the finish to see what happens to Sloane and James. Young has created strong characters that readers will fall in love with and has developed a captivating world that will not soon be forgotten. Recommend this one to fans of Lauren Oliver's Delirium and Veronica Roth's Divergent (both HarperCollins, 2011).-Candyce Pruitt-Goddard, Hartford Public Library, CT (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.





In Young's chilling and suspenseful story, teen suicide has spiked dramatically and been deemed a "behavioral contagion." Now students are watched closely and not allowed to mourn; if they exhibit the slightest signs of depression they are "flagged" and dragged (often literally) by "handlers" to the Program: six weeks of memory erasure followed by placement in a new school. Seventeen-year-old Sloane can't trust anyone with her true feelings except her boyfriend, James, who was with her when her older brother killed himself. When their best friend takes his own life, too, James is committed, followed by Sloane. Part two details Sloane's time in the Program, in which she's stripped of all control and her dignity, and the third section of the book follows her return to society. While Young's (A Want So Wicked) book is unrelentingly emotional and dark-qualities that sometimes threaten to overwhelm the story line-it confronts readers with questions about whether the past or the present defines a person, while makes a strong case for the value of all memories, good and bad. Ages 14-up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.





*Starred Review* Imagine that suicide is a contagious condition affecting only teenagers. The early warning signs are negative emotions, depression, and despair, and infected teens are driven quickly to the point where they can think of nothing but suicide. This is Sloane's world. She watched her beloved brother kill himself before her eyes. If not for the love of her boyfriend, James, Sloane is sure that she would kill herself, too. But she and James have vowed to each other that they will fight the disease, and love and comfort each other through grief. Teens seen demonstrating negative emotions are reported to The Program, where they receive the cure for the suicide infection but at a terrible cost. When Sloane finds herself swept into The Program, she realizes with a growing dread that everyone seems to know more than she does. Readers will devour this fast-paced story that combines an intriguing premise, a sexy romance, and a shifting landscape of truth. With big questions still unanswered and promising twists, this first volume in a new series will leave readers primed for more. Compare to Lauren Oliver's Delirium or Ally Condie's Matched series.--Colson, Diane Copyright 2010 Booklist






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