I didn’t realise what this book was about when I started reading it, so it made it very intriguing from the beginning. This book starts with Jenna, two weeks since she woke up from an accident that had put her in a coma. She has lost her memories and is slowly regaining them, but something doesn’t feel right.
The narration in this book is ingenious. There isn’t a personality to warm too like in standard novels, but that’s because Jenna doesn’t know who she is. Instead of getting to know Jenna, we are taking part in the debate on what makes a person who they are. Can we tell who she is from her memories? Is she that same person now? It was great that the way the story was told prompted those questions as much as Jenna asked them herself. Considering this is billed as a Young Adult book, Mary E. Pearson grapples with some incredibly mature questions and examines them through an exceptionally mature protagonist. I don’t think at 16 I would be able to deal with the questions that Jenna contends with.
This book is very much a debate about the way in which the world is heading re. technology. Specifically biomedical science. We are becoming intensively reliant on computers and technology, so it’s no wonder so many films and books are depicting and exploring what life could be like when technology gets even more advanced. What I like about this book is that it explores whether it is right or not. It makes us consider that, yes it would be amazing to make these groundbreaking discoveries in medicine so that everyone can have the same if not better quality of life, but is it right to do so? Do we forfeit our humanity in the process? It is a powerful thing to consider and by the end, we still don’t have an answer. After all, what is it exactly that makes us human? Our soul? What is a soul? It was staggeringly thought-provoking, which is what I adored about Mary E. Pearson’s writing. With this reliance on technology and A.I rapidly becoming a reality, I think it is good to consider things like this.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I couldn’t find anything to fault about it as it is well written and it has some amazing issues and debates running through it that you can’t help but take part in. I love books that make you question yourself and your moral positions, and this book does that by the bucket load.
If anyone does read/has read this, I would love to hear what you thought about the issues raised in this book.