I am so excited to share today’s post with you! Awhile back I got an email asking if I’d be interested in running a book club for Suzanne Young’s The Program. I jumped at the chance! Simon and Schuster graciously provided copies of the book and bookmarks for each participant and a tote bag for me! Plus, they gave me a stipend to buy some yummy snacks! We had so much fun meeting and discussing the book. There was so much to talk about. But first, more about the book and author:
About the Book:
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.
About 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.
Our Book Club:
Not to brag but I’m part of a pretty awesome book club. The ladies that I get to meet with and talk about books are the best! I regret that we didn’t get a group picture. I totally meant to but am lame and forgot. We just got to involved talking about the book! Most of our comments are spoilery since they center around secrets revealed! Here are some of the non-spoilery highlights:
* We all agreed that it was an engrossing read and most of us loved it. THe one person who was in the fence didn’t dislike it but thought it was a bit depressing (I mean, teen suicide. Yeah. Understandable.)
* We had a couple different takes on what exactly happened at the end and what we think happens next. This was super fun to discuss. I have some very definite ideas about what I think happens and cannot wait to see if I am right!
* We can’t decided who is on the cover. Before reading the book we thought it was Sloane and James and it lead to some predictions in the story. After reading it we’re not so sure….
*The book is divided up in to sections. The page and chapter numbers started over in each section. As a reader this was very disconcerting. However, it totally makes sense with the story. Still, it drove me (and a number of other book clubers nuts!)
*There are so many talking points with The Program. A lot of what we talked about was “The Program” itself. Was it really helping or was it adding to the problem? How could people let it happen? Who is behind it all? Etc…
Okay, I’ll stop there because I don’t want to give anything away. On to the snacks! As I said, I was given some resources to buy/make snacks and goodies inspired by the book. Here is what I came up with:
I had so much fun putting it all together. Let’s take a closer look. First, there’s Diet Coke since it’s mentioned a couple times. Also, in the back there are pretzel rods covered with white chocolate and yellow sprinkles. Pretzel rods are in the book as well 🙂 I added the white chocolate and sprinkles to jazz them up and match the book! There are a number of different color pills mentioned in the book. I made note of each color and bought Jelly Belly jelly beans to represent each one. Also mentioned a number of times are orange cupcakes that one character shares with another. They come in packs of two and I took this to mean those orange Hostess cupcakes. Of course these are no longer in production so I had to make them myself! I found a recipe online and gave it my best shot!I think they turned out pretty cute.
I figured that was plenty to snack on so I spent the rest of the money putting together some goddy bags.
It’s kind of hard to see but each box had the bookmark from the publisher, a paper medicine cup with one of each “pill” and a plastic ring like you get out of one of those quarter machines outside stores. I put yellow shredded paper inside to match the book and stamped a camera in yellow in the front. The camera is there to represent memories which are also central to the book.
Finally, I put together a basket with some items I felt connected to the story.
There was a deck of cards, more rings, nail polish, a photo frame, a pen with smiley faces and another cup of “pills.” I won’t explain all these since you need to read the book to find out what they mean! I had planned to give the stuff away at the meeting but we got to talking and it just didn’t happen! Oh well, it was still a fun idea 🙂
Here’s me showing off the book with the goodies and my yellow nails and scarf. When I commit to a theme, I commit!
Thanks to the ever wonderful Boswell Book Company for letting us meet and bring treats! Thanks to Erica for taking pics at the event!
So, that’s our book club in a nutshell. Want to have your own? Use the rafflecopter below to enter to win FIVE copies of The Program and a $50 visa gift card to run your own book club! How cool is that?!?!?! Thanks Simon and Schuster! US only. Must be 13 or older to win.
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