Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Audiobook Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 4/30/2013
  • Read by: Joy Osmanski
  • Source: Digital audio provided by the publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N | Simon & Schuster 

Includes a bonus interview with the author! 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.

My Thoughts

A book about a suicide epidemic? Sounded super interesting to me!! I was intrigued. I wanted to know what happened. What is making people want to commit suicide? What do they do to the in The Program to erase their memories? I needed this book!! Unfortunately, it wasn't really as good as I was hoping. While I still enjoyed it, there were just a lot of things that didn't work for me.

Sloan is the main character and she was a character who I liked, despite some things that bothered me about her. I really loved how passionate she was and refused to let the program win. She was a mess of emotions and pretty all over the place, but somehow, she still manages to keep her head. Even with everything that happens and she's not sure she even knows herself. What I didn't like about her was her obsession with James and him being almost her only thought so often. I get that she loves him, but it's like everything she does is for him and about him and it got old very quickly. She was definitely a feisty chick and really determined though, and I liked that a lot about her.

There is a bit of a love triangle in this, but it was one that I actually didn't mind since it made sense. Of course James is the love of her life, but things aren't quite so clear after The Program is involved. I loved James and thought he was fantastic. He is caring, sweet, funny, and totally in love with Sloan and it melted my heart. I wanted so much for them to be able to be together and for everything to work out. Then there's Relm (I have no clue if that's the right spelling since I listened to the audiobook) and I never really trusted him. He seems to really care about Sloan and want what he thinks is best for her, but there's a big difference between what is best for her in his eyes and in hers. I just never felt like he was right for her, but I could understand why Sloane was torn.

What I didn't like about this book was, we never really find out what has caused the epidemic and why. We really find out almost nothing at all about the actual illness itself. It's obvious that it's a way to erase people's memories and make them who they want them to be in a way. It's like they wipe you clean and mold you to their specifications. They have "handlers" follow you and watch you, but we still don't know why or how. I just hate not getting important information in a book. Basically we just go through everything with Sloane, find out a little inside info about some people who work for The Program, but that's it.

The audiobook of this was a bit iffy for me too. I liked the narrator for Sloane. I thought she did a good job with her. I could tell who was supposed to be talking by how she changed her voice for the characters, but I didn't think the male voices were that great. Also, it might not bother other people, but the over emphasis on the "h" in the "wh" words, especially "when". It just really stood out for me and was a little distracting. Overall the audio was good though, and I think that I would have rated the book the same even if I had read it instead of listening.

The premise of this book sounded really awesome, and I think it really could have been, but it just didn't feel like I got enough out of it. I liked getting to know the characters, and see their struggles. I thought Sloan was done really well, but with the lack of information I had a hard time really liking this as much as I wanted to. It might be dystopian burnout, or it might just be the book. It was good, but it didn't stand out among all the other dystopian books on the shelf.



29 comments:

  1. I've been hearing rather okay-USB reviews on this one. They all seem to range 2-4 stars, which really clicks because now I dunno if I should read it but I'll probably give it a shot soon. I was never aware that this was a romancy novel, I've been missing some cute reads so just maybe...

    Stunning review Amy! So this is the one you were talking about in your post about Pet Peeves, URGH. Def. not getting the audio then. ;)

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    1. Yeah dude, skip the audio of this. I wanted to bang my head on my desk or rip my hair out. I don't even know if it was that noticeable or if it was just me, but it drove me nuts!! I did think the story was pretty good though.

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  2. I know Jenni really enjoyed this book, so I actually requested it. After reading your review, I'm a little worried. It frustrates me when dystopians don't explain their history and background to the readers. But Sloane sounds like a girl I would really enjoy!
    Lovely review! :)

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    1. I mean, we do get some information on things, just not the information that I really wanted. I mean, I kind of have some ideas to things because of little things that happened and things I noticed. It's obviously a series, so that's why, but I still like to get a bit more out of a book.

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  3. Aw I'm sad that this one didn't work better for you. I didn't find that it was lacking information at all. Maybe just because I looked at the world as it is now and saw that suicide as an epidemic is a possibility. So they take the kids and wipe all the bad shit out of their life, the bullying the deaths in the families, I thought it was genius! I can see how her constant thinking about James could get annoying, but I let that slide because he was the only person in the whole world she could be herself with. I hope you continue on with the series with me!

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    1. I will definitely continue the series. I just wanted to know why all these kids suddenly become depressed enough to kill themselves. And what was with the black spiral thingies!! Obviously the "illness" is something that the government has done to them. I don't know, maybe I am just totally over thinking it all lol!!!

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  4. I have this on my wish list. A lot of people have the same issues that you had with the book. It still sounds like it could be interesting, if I go in thinking it is not the BEST THING EVA.

    Great review!

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    1. It was interesting, and for the most part I liked the story, but I felt like I needed more out of it. It is a series, so I should keep that in mind. If I knew everything now, there would be nowhere for it to go.

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  5. Thanks for review this. I been wondering about this book and was't sure about it.

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    1. It was good. I think that with the amount of dystopian novels I have read I just wanted a little more out of it to make it really stand out. It was definitely better than a lot of them I have read so far this year.

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  6. Oh you're right there is a love triangle! I never really saw it that way because of the whole scenario like with memory loss etc. It's not like those triangles where she can't decide between 2 guys and 1 gets hurt (barf).

    Oh no this was an H pronouncer? LOL and you just talked about that in your BGDC. That would drive me crazyballs!

    But anyways I didn't love this one either. I would have liked more answers on the epidemic too, but mostly I didn't connect very deeply with the romance so for such a big romance oriented book it stopped me from loving it.

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    1. Yeah, I liked the memories where we get to see how her and James fell in love, but I did feel disconnected from it. I really liked her desperation to hang on to her memories and not have her life erased. OMG and I didn't even mention it in my review, but her mom!! I seriously wanted to smack that woman!!

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  7. Loling at the over emphasis on the "h"s. Is it like how that character on Family Guy says Cool Whip? I don't know if you get that reference, but if it is, bahaha. I remember I checked out the narrator and was unsure if I'd like this one. I think passing on the audio was a good choice for me. I'm a bit scared of this book now, because everyone's given it like four stars or 1. Ahhh!

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    1. The story itself wasn't bad. I wanted more out of it, but I still enjoyed it. I don't think I would listen to an audio with this narrator again though.

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  8. I know the next book focuses on the program more so hopefully you'll like it better. I think people need to go in knowing this is heavier on the romance. I knew it would be and loved the romance. Except one spot when I wanted to slap her, but that was just once. I didn't even categorize this as dystopian in my mind. It was just... something else.
    Its too bad the audio wasn't so great. I find myself curious about that whole h thing though.
    Wonderful review but I'm sorry you didn't like it more!

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    1. I am definitely going to continue the series, but if it's the same narrator for the next one, I will just read the regular book.

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  9. You rave so much about audiobooks that I decided to try my first one: Clockwork Angel by CC. I didn’t like the narrator at ALL! All the voices sounded like a 60 year old lady. Hard to pictures teens while listening to it and it was very hard to focus on the story. Took me like 2 weeks to finish it.
    I started Clockwork Prince today and it’s so much better. I absolutely LOVE Ed Westwick’s voice and could listen to him recite the alphabet for all I care :)

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    1. Audiobooks are a tough thing. I love them, but a narrator can really change how I think about the book. This one for example, I may have liked a little more had I read it on my own instead of the audio.

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  10. Hmmm... I REALLY wanted to read this one! Now I'm torn! On one hand... Was it the audio book that offset the entire thing? Bc seriously- it could be my FAVORITE book ever and I swear if I tried to listen to the audio version I'd be like... meh.

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    1. Don't do the audio. Just read the book. I really think you will love it. I think I would have liked the regular book better. I still thought there were some things about the book itself that would have bothered me, but the narrator was hard to listen to sometimes.

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  11. Oh no, we don't find out the cause of the epidemic? Hmm. I sort of cheated in reading your review, because I'm going to be reading this soon, but I think it's actually good to be forewarned about that. And to manage my expectations, because I think most people have been raving about this? Thanks for the review, Amy! I always appreciate reading your perspective.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  12. Aw, I hate it when a book leaves me with so many questions at the end. I've been hearing so-so reviews about this book lately, and I had such high hopes for it too. Idk if I'll be giving this a shot. Great review sweetie!

    Vi
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

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  13. The story does sound very cool. I hate when I don't feel like the author gives a good explanation or background on how things came to be. And I hate when the narrator brings down my enjoyment of the story.
    Great review, sweetie!

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  14. I'm glad you still liked this one, even though the main character was kind of obsessed, but yay for her being passionate and fierce! I remember you were ranting about that in your vlog last Saturday for Book Trends too! That must be annoying to hear it all. I might pass this one up because if what you said about how the epidemic was caused because I hate plot holes more than anything and it would seriously ruin my enjoyment of it >.<

    Fantastic review, Amy!

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  15. See, initially the cover of this one just did not do it for me. Then the more I saw it around, I started to get more and more curious. But reading your review now makes me think I'll pass. More insta-love makes me want to barf AND the fact the the suicide epidemic is never explained? That just sounds like something that would drive me crazy not knowing and leave me grumbling after this book! I'm happy you managed to enjoy it overall & thanks for the insightful review girl!!

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  16. I debated about this one. Thinking I'll pass now that I've read your review.

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  17. I'm bummed that this one is lacking in the details department but I still really want to read it. Sloane sounds like a great MC and I love triangles when their not nail-biting. Great review!

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  18. Ehhh - since you say the narrator was iffy I'll definitely stick to the print. Suicide epidemic hahah immediately made me think of Virgin Suicides what about you?

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