Narrator: Joy Osmanski
Series: The Program,
Also in this series: The Treatment, The Remedy, The Epidemic
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on 30 April 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Suicide, Young Adult
Length: 10 hours 56 minutes
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: The Treatment, The Remedy, The Epidemic
Place(s) Traveled to: Town outside of Portland, Oregon
First Line: The air in the room tastes sterile.
I’d heard rumblings about The Program by Suzanne Young since it was announced and while I was looking forward to it I was a little wary as well. There are just so many dystopias out there and so many have been a disappointment that at first I wasn’t sure about this one. Then more of my blogger friends started to talk about it and so when an opportunity came up to review the audio I thought I’d give it a chance. But it wasn’t until Andi from Andi’s ABCs started to rave about it that I decided to move it up in my listening queue.
The Program is an emotional journey and a heartbreaking story that reminds me so much of one of my favorite movies, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Both the movie and this book deal with big questions of memory and just how far would you go in order to protect yourself, or someone else. In Eternal Sunshine people pay to have certain memories erased for various reasons…mostly because they are painful in some way. In The Program similar memories are forcibly removed from teens under the guise of saving them.
But without all of your memories, the good and the bad, are you really you? How much are you changed when you don’t fully remember who you are? Life can be painful but its those moments that help define us and who we become just as much as the happy memories do. So its no surprise that one reason teens in The Program fear being sent away so much is because those that return seem to come back empty and changed from who they were before.
The Program isn’t just about memory and how it defines a person but it also deals with the question of love and relationships. The phrase x and y are meant to be or that they will be a couple forever are used often by teens and adults alike when they think they are in love. Sometimes a relationship works and other times it doesn’t. Think of the person that you love most, if they were erased from your memory do you think that some part of you would still know them? Do you think that you would find them again?
The one problem I had with The Program was the epilogue. I am not a huge fan of epilogues as it is as they are often a let down. Usually because they try so hard. And while this one doesn’t try hard or jump decades into the future it does change POVs. This normally wouldn’t bother me but the scene captured in this epilogue was just so…blah. Its an almost exact rehash of something earlier and it just didn’t resonate with me at all.
I really enjoyed The Program and I do look forward to seeing where things go in the next book of this duology. If you like dystopians you may like this one. If you are a bit wary of them this could be a good one to try as its kind of dystopian light in that the world hasn’t gone through anything cataclysmic. The world is just like ours with just a few differences. If you are a fan of the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind then you will probably enjoy this book as well. If you haven’t seen the movie but liked this book then you should totally check it out (its also currently available on Netflix streaming).
About the Narrator
Joy Osmanski is the narrator of this audio and this is my first time listening to a book that she’s voiced. Overall she did a good job though there were times when she mixed up voices, sometimes in the same scene so that was a little off putting at times. Though never enough to take me out of the story completely. I enjoyed her style and would definitely listen to her again.