by Emma Pass
Narrated by Fiona Hardingham
Published 2014 by Listening Library
10 hrs., 47 mins. Audiobook
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Jenna knows she’s been wrongly accused. She never meant to kill her parents; she’s not sure how things got out of hand. When a rebel group breaks her out of prison, everything she’s ever known about her life and ACID–the brutal and controlling government policc force–changes and she’s not sure who or what to believe.

ACID is like a framework for a good book that’s missing the craft of a good storyteller. There are certainly things that Pass does really well. Jenna is a well developed and kick ass main character. The ideas behind the novel are also really interesting and sometime exciting. There’s just a lot missing. The supporting characters are severely underdeveloped. I never got a sense of who any of them really were. Jenna’s character completely dominates the book. This is even true when it comes to her love interest. Their romance was certainly one I saw coming from a mile away, but there’s no real build up or romantic tension. It was inevitable, but not enjoyable. I just didn’t care about him or their relationship.

One of the biggest issues I had was the length. There’s so much information and story, but very little of it feels crafted. So many questions build up about Jenna’s past and what really happened, but Pass takes far too long to answer them. I am terrible at guessing plot twists and endings, but I predicted pretty much everything that happened. It was just too obvious, but Jenna never finds any of it out until the end (or near the end). It made the story come off as boring, at times. That’s not a good trait for a book this action-filled. There are also parts of the book that are pointless. I’m a strong believer of getting rid of anything that isn’t crucial to world-building, plot development, or character development. With that in mind, there’s a lot of material that could have been cut or rewritten.

I picked this up because it was on the top ten Amazing Audiobooks list that YALSA puts out each year. I can somewhat understand why they chose this one for the list. I don’t understand why they chose it for the top ten. I’ll agree that the audio performance and production is fantastic. Jenna is a great character, and Fiona Hardingham really took on that character. Her performance was next to flawless. I really loved all the ACID reports, correspondence, and conversations via their com devices. That added a nice effect to the audio experience. My issue is that the story itself is lacking. Based on that alone, I wouldn’t have chosen it for an award or recommendation list. There are other great books out there similar to this one.

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