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Genre: Suicide

Monday, May 19, 2014

Review: Before You Break by Christina Lee

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Before You Break by Christina LeeBefore You Break by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths, Book 2
Also in this series: All of You, Whisper to Me, Promise Me This, There You Stand
Published by Intermix on 18 February 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics, Suicide
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Also by this author: All of You, Whisper to Me, Promise Me This, There You Stand

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Tennessee

First Line(s): “Daddy, please. I…I need to see Christopher,” I sobbed. “I need to be with him.”

Before You Break by Christina Lee wasn’t a book that I meant to read at this time. I have a list for the month and I had every intention on sticking with the list so I’m not sure what lead me to picking this one up. All I know is that once I started I didn’t want to put it down. Its not the greatest story ever told but it was engrossing enough that I read it in just a few hours. I liked the character of Quinn and wanted to know more of his story although the female lead, Ella, did annoy me at times. She was a bit of a mary sue and didn’t have much of a backbone at times. She often let her boyfriend walk all over her and just made me sigh heavy sighs when reading her POV.

I also wasn’t a fan of how she and her friends would communicate with each other. Well, most of their chatter I was fine with but I didn’t understand the need for the insults used as endearments that they used (i.e…Love you bitch). It just never seemed like a smooth conversation and always seemed so awkward and forced so I always tried to block them out when they appeared in the text. Other than that it was nice to see Ella living a life outside of the male lead of the story. Although initially this one seemed like it might be a cheating story and so it did take away my enjoyment even if Ella and Quinn did have a lot of on chemistry on the page.

I liked the character of Quinn and how complex he was. For once, in a new adult story, the male lead was dealing with some very real demons but unlike most he did seek some help by calling into the schools suicide hotline. And even though he was going through some tough things he didn’t use that as an excuse to be a complete and total dickhead to those around him. Quinn was a genuinely nice guy and he had real feelings for Ella and I was glad when she started to return them. Because as a couple they did work together and I was invested in their HEA.

Before You Break is a quick read and I enjoyed it. I like the story and the characters more than All of You. While this may not be a story that I re-read I don’t feel like my time was wasted. By the end of the book I liked Ella more than in the beginning and I look forward to see her and Quinn again in the next story, Whisper to Me, which involves Ella and Avery’s friend Rachel. Now there’s a character that I am interested in learning more about.



Sunday, June 2, 2013

Audio Review: The Program by Suzanne Young

Posted by Irish in 4.5 Stars, Review, Young Adult4 Comments

Audio Review: The Program by Suzanne YoungThe Program by Suzanne Young
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
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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.

To say that I liked it is a bit of an understatement considering that I listened to all 11 hours in roughly 2 days. I spent almost any entire day in the office listening as I work and I during the course of my day I wanted to cry, cry harder, and then smack a book character (or two upside the head). In The Program, teen suicide is an epidemic and the government has developed a way to “save” them be eliminating those memories that lead to their downward spiral. Teens in this world are under constant surveillance and are afraid to show emotion in fear that they might get flagged and sent to the Program. In The Program we learn the story of Sloane and James and its one of the most heartbreaking and uplifting stories that I’ve read. I loved reading about their story and even though they made my heart break they often gave me that wonderful heart achy feeling that I love in books.

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.