Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature from The Broke and the Bookish. Last week’s subject was light reads and this week we’re going to the dark side. Surprisingly, this week’s topic was easier for me than last weeks! I’ve been gravitating towards lighter books lately, though I’ve certainly read my share of tough subject books.
These books deal with the tough stuff:
1. Miracle by Elizabeth Scott - Miracle takes on the aftermath of a plane crash and PTSD. Living Dead Girl by Scott could also easily be on this list- it still haunts me to this day.
2. Live Through This by Mindy Scott – Live Through This is a gripping novel about abuse.
3. If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch – If You Find Me is a tale about abuse, and survival.
4. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson – Wintergirls is a chilling book about anorexia. Anderson’s Speak should easily be on this list as well.
5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – I tend to think of this book being about depression and grief for the most part, but there are other tough issues explored as well.
6. Hold Still by Nina LaCour – This book centers on the aftermath of suicide.
7. Speechless by Hannah Harrington- Speechless is about a bully who becomes bullied herself.
8. Don’t Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala – Takes you inside the life of a runaway trying to survive on the streets.
9. The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas - Loved this book about grieving and healing after losing a mother, but after going through this myself this is the kind of book I avoid now. It’s so interesting how personal experience shapes our book choices.
10. Something Like Normal by Trish Doller – Male POV about a soldier experiencing PTSD on his return home from Afghanistan.
Do you prefer to read lighter books or those dealing with tough subjects? Are there any tough subject matters you avoid?
It’s read-a-thon time! Here’s my game plan:
Finish my books in progress- The 5th Wave and Click to Subscribe
Listen to 1-2 more review audiobooks – Down London Road and Ten Tiny Breaths or something else TBD
Read 1-2 other ARC’s – potentially Golden and The Language Inside
Cheer on other blog participants
Participate in challenges and at least one #boutofbooks chat
Don’t stress if I don’t get through everything- just have fun
I’ll do a wrap-up post at the conclusion of the read-a-thon!
Hope you all had a nice weekend and happy mother’s day. My family gifted me with a new kindle paperwhite so I’m pretty excited to get that set up. My current kindle 2 is on its last legs.
We are having triple digit heat in my neck of the woods so it was hard to concentrate on reading this weekend. Summer is here early!
May is shaping up to be quite a big book month! It’s a little intimidating to be honest. Good thing Bout of Books readathon is going on. What books are you excited to read this month?
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey – Yep, the hype got to me. It’s really good so far.
Invisibility by David Levithan & Andrea Cremer – My daughter is a total David Levithan fangirl so had to grab this one.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein – New to paperback
What We Lost by Sara Zarr – New paperback cover and title (previously called Once Was Lost)
Digital- not pictured:
If I Should Die by Amy Plum – kindle edition
The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr – audiobook
Don’t Let Me Go & Where You Are by J.H. Trumble – Won from Brigid Kemmerer in her Breathless Release Week celebration. I loved Where You Are and I’m happy to own a copy, and to check out the first book in the series.
The Keep by Veronica Wolff – The Watchers book 4 from NAL Trade.
Audiobooks from Penguin Audio:
The Black Country by Alex Grecian
The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindel
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success by Phil Jackson and Hugh Delahanty
Silken Prey by John Sandford
A Delicate Truth by John Le Carre
Digital Review Books:
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (audio received after I bought the book, so I can compare reading experiences! The narration is fantastic)
Down London Road by Samantha Young (audio)
Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly
Gated by Amy Christine Parker
How to Love by Katie Cotugno
Once We Were by Kat Zhang
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
The Hazards of Skinny Dipping by Alyssa Rose Ivy
Let me know what you’re reading in the comments. Have a good week!
Book: The Program by Suzanne Young, Simon & Schuster Audio, April 30, 2013
Book Info: YA Dystopia, Audiobook received for review from Simon & Schuster Audio. Running time: 10hrs, 56 mins. Read by: Joy Osmanski. Also available in HC, 416 pages from Simon Pulse
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
The Program takes place in an alternate reality where suicide is a teen epidemic. If a teen aged 13-17 shows signs of depression they are sent to the Program for treatment, where doctors erase the suicidal thoughts with therapy and drugs. Once your memory is reset you are considered cured and can re-enter society. Sloane wants to avoid going into the Program at all costs, so she tries to avoid the attention of the watchful handlers and teachers. She lost a brother to suicide so her parents are especially attentive to Sloane’s moods. Her safe haven is with her boyfriend James, and with him she can be herself and not so controlled. But they are both feeling the weight of depression and it’s harder and harder to escape notice of the Program.
The future is pretty bleak in the Program. I was worried about how depressing this book would be to read, but it’s actually a really interesting premise. This book gave me food for thought about depression, therapy, and anti-depressants. It made me wonder, if I could, would I erase painful memories so I could live my life blissfully unaware of my psychological scars? I guess it’s tempting, but I wouldn’t want to have that decision forced on me like in the Program. It reminded me of the procedure in Delirium to cure the love disease, except this is more of a complete mind eraser/reprogramming.
There is a strong romantic side to this book, with an epic love story between James and Sloane. It’s pretty interesting and creative how we learn their backstory and how their relationship evolves over the course of the book. I was invested in their saga and wanted them to beat the odds.
A few side characters play a part in Sloane’s journey, most notably Realm. He’s someone a little sketchy who you’re never sure if you can trust. But mainly this is Sloane and James’ story, and they have plenty of obstacles to overcome all on their own.
Joy Osmanski read the audiobook. I listened to her narrate What the Spell prior to this book but I didn’t even recognize her voice this time around. Osmanski captures the essence of Sloane and her voice sounds like a teen. Her pace is good, and I had no trouble telling the characters apart. When I wasn’t listening to this audiobook I was thinking about it and wanting to get back to it. There is some trickiness in the storytelling with flashbacks and mind games and Osmanski handles that well and brings the reader along for the ride. So in terms of the unique nature of the book, the audio format enhances the reading experience, but I’m curious to see how it compares in print.
At the end of the audiobook there’s a bonus interview with Suzanne Young and she discusses how she came up with the story and teases the next book. There is one more book in the series, and I think it’s considered a companion book. The ending does make me excited to see what happens next, though the book works pretty well on its own too.
I think The Program will appeal to readers who like romantic dystopia like Delirium or Matched. For what it’s worth, I’m more into contemporary these days and I did get more of a contemporary vibe in this one than sci-fi/dystopia, and the author considers it to be alternate reality in fact. The Program is a book I wanted to talk about immediately after I finished it, so I think it would make for a good book club discussion. The book illustrates depression quite well, while not being depressing if that makes sense. It also strikes a hopeful note and I’m interested to see where Young takes it next.
Suzanne Young talks about The Program: