Series Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

| |

Synopsis for The Program (from Goodreads):
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.


Series: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
# of Books: 6 (Full Series Order Here)

There is also a novella after The Treatment called The Recovery

Book Order: Chronological & Connected

The Remedy & The Epidemic are paired; The Program and The Treatment are paired; The Adjustment and The Complication are paired.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: April 2013 – April 2016
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook


NOTE: I have not read books #3-#6.  See why not below…

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Suzanne Young’s A Need So Beautiful was one of the first books I put on my TBR once I started keeping an actual list. I have yet to read it. Shocking, I know 😉

What drew me to The Program was the cover. The bright yellow in a very white clinical setting? Call me intrigued. And when I read the synopsis? Even more intrigued. So I put my name on the holds list, eagerly awaiting there arrival

The Remedy + The Epidemic vs The Program + The Treatment

I just want to set the record straight about these books. This series contains 6 books, but they are two dual sets. The RemedyThe Epidemic are one duology focusing on one set of characters and The Program & The Treatment follow a different set. All take place within the same world. The Remedy is listed as a prequel to The Program as its events precede the events in The Program; it was published a few years after The Program.

I chose to read The Program & The Treatment first. I have also decided to further break up my headings into subheadings to review keep each duology separate.

The Concept:

The Program & The TREATMENT

The idea that there is a massive epidemic of young people committing suicide is a rather morbid basis for a book albeit unique. It is a tough topic to handle but one I think Young does well (though I wish there was a little blurb at the end about suicide prevention/information). It doesn’t glorify it and I think it shows the impact suicide can have on someone’s family and friends really well. It helps shed light on an issue we often shy away from in society.

The Plot:


The plot for The Program is extremely slow! Nothing really happens until the halfway point and even then, it’s a slow incline. The first half really establishes the world and the relationships Sloane has. I personally could of had half the number of pages and still had the main idea. I found it to be dull and because it deals with such a depressing topic, it isn’t a very uplifting read, making it hard to get through at times.

Once we actually get to the nitty-gritty of the epidemic, that’s when things get interesting and The Treatment keeps the pace going…for all of 10 pages. WOW, I didn’t think things could get duller but they did! This book was a lot of waiting around and romantic pining. WAYYY too much focus on the romance! I did appreciate the science fiction elements when they were there but, I wanted more. I wanted so much more that I almost quit reading just before the halfway point. But the need for answers (ie why the epidemic? why the program?) had me reluctantly pressing forward.

The Characters:


Sloane was incredibly dull to me. I didn’t love her, but I didn’t hate her either–which is not good. Indifference is the death to any character and poor Sloane just never managed to get me on her side. While I understand her difficult situation and why she isn’t the first person jumping at the opportunity to save the world (I actually found that lack of motivation oddly refreshing), I just really wanted her to DO SOMETHING! Something other than pining for James or the other person in her unnecessary love triangle.

I didn’t really connect with any of the characters and that made reading this not as enjoyable as I had hoped.

The Romance:


I don’t really enjoy stories where the romance is already established. I like watching couples fall in love as I read and with Sloane and James, they have already been a couple for a while. Don’t get me wrong, they are cute and I like them together. But they are that nauseatingly cute couple that get too sugary sweet as you read. So by the time I got to The Treatment, I was a little over them as a couple. Oh, and it didn’t help that there are love triangles abound with them as well. It’s not a good thing when the romantic relationships can’t even save the dull plot.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I’m really, really undecided about reading The Remedy. I’m really intrigued by the premise and I want to give these new characters a shot. But at this moment, I’m holding off on picking it up.


Series Rating: 2.5/5

The Remedy TBD | The Epidemic TBP | The Program 3/5 | The Treatment 2/5


The Treatment was a huge disappointment. I wanted a science fiction YA with a dash of romance; but instead, we get a YA romance with a dash of science fiction. In the end, The Program wasn’t for me!

Read if You Like: dystopian worlds, lots of romance, books about mental illness
Avoid if You: want more action



book book


connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Reviews RSS Email


Comments 4

  • Great thoughts about this series! I’ve read The Program and The Treatment a while ago, and I really enjoyed it, but you’re right about it being focused on romance instead of action. I loved the whole idea behind the book, and I would have loved sometimes, for it to be a little more focused on action, and the whole dystopian idea, the epidemic, instead of on Sloane’s whining a little bit. I still found it enjoyable, though, but that’s because I enjoyed the romance between Sloane and James 🙂

    • I feel like I should have read more reviews on this before I picked it up because in hindsight, I think I would have determined it isn’t the series for me.

      I think with dystopian novels there are two types: the ones that have people who DO something about the situation and those who LIVE through the situation. And I think after reading this, I’m more interested in the “do-ers” than the “standby-ers” if that makes any sense.

      • That does make sense! And I get what you mean, sometimes it’s annoying to read about people who are just standing by while all the drama is happening. It’s annoying at times!

      • THIS BOOK IS MY FAVOURUTE. I don’t understand why you didn’t like it!! It was amazing I couldn’t put the book down. Do James and Sloane ever come back? I’m on the remedy and I still have to read the adjustment, the complication and the epidemic. Do Sloane and James ever come back? Or do the characters ever meet?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from SERIESous Book Reviews

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading