The Program by Suzanne Young: Book Club Activities


Today, I’m really delighted to be sharing a bit of fun I had last weekend with some of my local book friends — discussing The Program by Suzanne Young, book club-style! We gathered, chatted about the book, and noshed on The Programthemed snacks. Today, we’re sharing a bit of our discussion, our snack tips & recipes, and giving YOU a chance to win goodies to host your own book club party about The Program.

Photo by Angel Morgan
Photo by Angel Morgan

The Program Book Club Discussion

This book club gathering featured my local book friends Candace of Candace’s Book Blog, Mel of Novels, News & Notes from your NW Neighbors, and Angel. Because I’m also friends with author Suzanne Young, I also arranged for her to Skype with us during our discussion.

Here’s a round-up of what we discussed about The Program:

  • Does The Program really help stop teen suicide, or does it create more suicides?
  • Impact the book could have on schools that have experienced student suicides
  • Whether The Program will become an “issue” book
  • Sloane’s mother in The Program, and her perspective on The Program & saving Sloane
  • What to expect from the sequel (Suzanne shared a sneak peek with us!)
  • Romance and kissing

The Program Book Club Snacks

My first snack is thematically perfect, but a bit inappropriate in the grand scheme of things. That said, I couldn’t resist:

The Program Pills

In The Program, teens are given red and yellow pills to erase their memories and “cure” them of suicidal tendencies. So of course I served up red and yellow jelly beans in little white paper cups:

Photo by Angel Morgan

I used mini cupcake liners, but if you can find mini paper white cups — like those used for condiments at stadiums — or plain white Dixie cups, those are even more perfect.

The Comfortably Numb Cocktail

comfortably numb cocktailSuzanne says a big influence on her writing of The Program was Pink Flloyd’s “Comfortably Numb.” So we thought it fitting to name this cocktail concoction after the song. This twist on a classic Bellini is also color-coordinated with the book cover:

  • Prosecco (or other sparkling wine)
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Mango Juice

Combine pineapple, orange, and mango juices and let chill. Mix equal parts chilled Prosecco & combined juices in a tall champagne flute, and stir gently. Enjoy!

A non-alcoholic version can be made using sparkling water or club soda instead of the Prosecco.

The Program Book Club Contest

Host your own Book Club – enter for your chance to win five (5) copies of The Program and a $50 Visa gift card!

Fill out the Novel Novice + The Program Book Club Entry Form and tell us what your book club party would entail for your chance to win.

  • One entry per person
  • U.S. only
  • Use the entry form
  • All entries due by midnight (PT) on Monday, May 6th.

Program, TheAbout 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.

suzanne youngAbout the author

Suzanne Young currently lives in Tempe, Arizona, where she teaches high school English. When not writing obsessively, Suzanne can be found searching her own tragic memories for inspiration. She is the author of several books for teens, including The Program, A Need So Beautiful, and A Want So Wicked.

Find out more

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