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This is Me. by C.E. Wilson

Thursday, August 11, 2016
C.E. Wilson, This is Me., book review, romance, science fiction, On My Kindle Book Reviews

Source: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Format: eBook
Publication Date: August 11, 2016

Back Cover

A-SIST Anthropomorphic Sentient Individualized Servile uniT

Rogan is a robot. More specifically, he is an Asist – a personalized humanoid servant that provides protection, assistance, and companionship for a lonely young woman living on her own in the city. Chloe is trying to get her big break, singing at bars and clubs all over the city at night while she pays the bills as a substitute teacher during the day. Ever since she activated him many months ago, Rogan has been her beautiful, dependable, obedient, dead-eyed security blanket. One morning she is shocked when he disobeys a direct command in an attempt to please her and his dull artificial eyes flash a hint of something new. Is this the result of the adaptive Asist servility programming or is Rogan actually thinking? Can a robot think? Can a robot feel?

As Chloe struggles with these thoughts she is blindsided by the singular Niven Adams, a handsome, confident man with the voice of an angel who is everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend. He’s the perfect guy for her, except for one problem. Niven doesn’t approve of Asists and takes an immediate dislike to Rogan. As Niven charms his way deeper and deeper into Chloe’s heart, Rogan tries to convince her that he is more than a mass-produced disposable servant.

With Rogan doing everything in his power to prove that his thoughts and feelings are real and Niven trying to persuade her to abandon her robot and have a normal human relationship, Chloe is trapped between the two things that mean the most to her. Does she embrace her relationship with the blond newcomer, or face that her Asist’s feelings may be more than features of his programming?

What really makes a person a person? Is it a ticking muscle inside their chest, or is it something more?

Summary

After graduating from college, Chloe decided to live in the city so that she could pursue her passion for music while working as a substitute teacher for a private school to help make ends meet. Unhappy with the thought of Chole living in the city by herself, her parents purchased a customized Anthropomorphic Sentient Individualized Servile uniT (ASIST), Rogan, to protect her and provide companionship.

Rogan is more than an automated servant to Chloe, he is her friend; a constant companion who she can talk to and get advice from. When Rogan disobeys a direct order from her, Chloe begins to wonder if Rogan has evolved beyond his programming and is having thoughts of his own that he acts upon. She begins to see Rogan as an independent lifeform with thoughts and feelings beyond his programming. Unable to dismiss Rogan as an automaton, she realizes that she is beginning to see him as more than a friend.

As Chloe grapples with this realization, she meets Niven Adams; a gorgeous man with a singing voice to match. She can hardly believe that Niven has taken an interest in her; however, it becomes apparent that he thinks of Rogan as a mere machine and has no intention of allowing Rogan to remain in Chloe's life.

Will Chloe be swayed by Niven's feelings towards Rogan and revert to seeing Rogan as nothing more than a companionable servant, or will Niven's attitude towards Rogan warn her away? 

Review

The premise of the book had me hooked immediately. I enjoy books that discuss the possibility that artificial intelligence can go beyond its programming to have emotions and independent decisions. My curiosity was piqued when I saw that the potential for romance was added to the equation.

Having read The Boy with Words right before reading this book, which I enjoyed, I noticed a marked improvement in this book. The dialogue in this book flows smoothly and naturally so readers will find themselves immersed in the plot and its characters.

I think that Wilson did a wonderful job of demonstrating how Chloe's peers' and society's views about ASISTs cause her to question her feelings and beliefs. It is a reflection of today's society and does a wonderful job of showing how society creates obstacles for those whose beliefs do not reflect what the "majority" believes. I adore social commentary in books and this has it in spades!

Readers will experience a myriad of emotions through Chloe's eyes, from fear and heartache to hope while reading this book. This is Me. is one of those rare books with protagonists that will grab your heart in the beginning of the book and will not let go. I read this book in less than eight hours, which is a rare feat for me because I just could not put it down and do something else.

If you enjoyed the philosophical questions posed in I, Robot and you can tolerate some clean romance, you really cannot pass up the opportunity to add This is Me. to your bookshelf!

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About C.E. Wilson

C.E. Wilson, author, This is Me., On My Kindle Book Reviews
C.E. Wilson, author. Courtesy of Goodreads.
C.E. Wilson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, grew up in Millersville, Pennsylvania, and has been living in Pittsburgh since 2009. For the first few years living in Pittsburgh, she was an English teacher. Her first book, "Oath of Servitude," was published in 2012. In 2013, she quit teaching to be a full time author and hasn't looked back since. She loves spending time with her daughter and husband.
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Have you read any of C.E. Wilson's other books? If so, what did you think? After reading this review, do you have any book suggestions for me? Let me know in the comments.

Enjoy!