Book review: The Sudden Appearance of Hope, by Claire North

My name is Hope Arden, and you won’t know who I am. But we’ve met before-a thousand times.
It started when I was sixteen years old.
A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A friend who looks at me and sees a stranger.
No matter what I do, the words I say, the crimes I commit, you will never remember who I am.
That makes my life difficult. It also makes me dangerous. Goodreads

Book cover from Goodreads

The internet gave us all the power of speech, and what did we discover? That victory goes to he who shouts the loudest, and that reason does not sell.

If you’ve read Claire North’s book titled The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, I think it is safe to say that the next time you saw another book by Claire North you would want to get your hands on it, well it certainly was the case for me. The second book from Claire North that I bought after The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August was titled Touch, but I haven’t got the time to read it when I already bought The Sudden Appearance of Hope and by some wrongly calculated measures, I end up reading this one first before Touch. Don’t matter, it’s not like it was a series.

I’ve seen the book quite a couple of times each time I went to the bookstore, but there was something about the title and the cover that bothers me. It looked a bit meh to me, until I saw the small cover of The Fifteen First Lives of Harry August that I noticed this meh looking book was written by Claire North and I really couldn’t stop myself from grabbing it from the shelf and just march straight to the cashier. I really wished that the cover would  have been better, though.

Oh my, I don’t know where to begin. This book is just so cool. First off, a character that everyone can’t seem to remember? How amazing was that? How do you go around writing a story when your main character is someone who can’t be remembered? You have got to have a solid storyline to make that work, and yes, the story is that solid!

I don’t quite enjoy the ending or the story leading up to the ending of the book. I felt that it was a bit rushed, because the high point of the story had passed several chapters before the actual story came to an end, but as I finished the book, it was not entirely on the story only that made me so caught up in it, but the idea and the questions posed in the book that got me hooked.

I love the fact that this story took something that is already present in today’s life and then upped it by a lot, making you question about your current lives, especially your digital lifestyle. The ethical question about who you really are as person being made into a data that then will be used and tweaked using certain algorithms that is then being sent back to you, subtly telling you how to live your life. It’s just so amazing, and scary.

I love the fact that the book is so relevant on what is actually happening these days, especially in the digital realm. The internet gave us all the power of speech, and what did discover? The victory goes to he who shouts the loudest, and that reason does not sell. I can’t believe how perfect that quote was in describing the current situation on my Facebook’s newsfeed, where those who screams the loudest on certain topics (mostly politically and/or religiously related) are those who speak the words of wisdom and truth, and whilst there are people that are much more reasonable, they are unheard of as they don’t scream nor do reason sell, because outrageous topic and lies sold more than the actual reasonable comments.

With The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, it was easy to like some of the characters. The characters were distinctively written that you can just immediately decide who’s your favourite and not-so-favourite. The Sudden Appearance of Hope was quite different in the character’s department, I can’t quite make out what I think about them. I mean, there’s Hope as the main character, and whilst she is indeed unique and entertaining and strong, I don’t know if I can root for her the way I root for Harry. And then there’s Byron, Luca, the Pereyra siblings. There were so many layers to each character that I really don’t know what to make of it. But, it’s not a bad thing, if anything it’s actually amazing because that’s what real life people actually are, you can’t have one genuinely good person that can do no wrong and another inherently bad person that sole purpose in life was to wreak havoc all the time.

So, yeah, kudos for that. I really did enjoy reading and getting to know all the characters in the book.

A rounding yes.

Please read this book! This book has an interesting premise, incredible set of characters, and this will make an interesting discussions if ever you decide to read this in your book club.

Title: The Sudden Appearance of Hope

Author: Claire North

Genre: Adult fiction, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Science fiction


Goodreads link


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