Author: Courtney Maum
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Sloane Jacobsen is the most powerful trend forecaster in the world (she was the foreseer of the swipe), and global fashion, lifestyle, and tech companies pay to hear her opinions about the future. Her recent forecasts on the family are unwavering: the world is over-populated, and with unemployment, college costs, and food prices all on the rise, having children is an extravagant indulgence.
So it’s no surprise when the tech giant Mammoth hires Sloane to lead their groundbreaking annual conference, celebrating the voluntarily childless. But not far into her contract, Sloane begins to sense the undeniable signs of a movement against electronics that will see people embracing compassion, empathy, and in-personism again. She’s struggling with the fact that her predictions are hopelessly out of sync with her employer’s mission and that her closest personal relationship is with her self-driving car when her partner, the French neo-sensualist Roman Bellard, reveals that he is about to publish an op-ed on the death of penetrative sex a post-sexual treatise that instantly goes viral. Despite the risks to her professional reputation, Sloane is nevertheless convinced that her instincts are the right ones, and goes on a quest to defend real life human interaction, while finally allowing in the love and connectedness she’s long been denying herself.
I was so sure I wasn’t going to like this book, what with the slow build up and the incredibly unrelatable characters, but by the time this book reached its 31st chapter (cmiiw), I was shook to my core. I felt that, however unrelatable Sloane was as a character, her imperfections and how she broke down and had her raw emotions took the best of her made her so humane and I have to say I really liked the author for writing Sloane’s outburst of emotions to be so raw and vulnerable.
This story has a premise that I thought for sure was going to be an interesting read on my part, but honestly it was so hard to push myself to pick the book up and actually immerse myself in the story. My first hurdle was the characters, there was literally nothing that could attach me with the characters, well apart from Anastasia, and she’s not even human, she’s a machine or an AI (?) attach to a driverless car! Right, let’s get back to the point. I feel that Sloane as a character is entertaining, she was this woman who is so good at her job and had a no nonsense attitude, but under it all she’s very vulnerable after the lost of her father and the fallout with her sister and mother. And I think, the fact that she can tune in to her own emotion in the beginning of the book was something deliberate because then it would become this catalyst that will took the reign of the story, sadly due to that very reason, I really can’t sympathise nor relate to her at all, and it all resulted with how difficult it was for me to enjoy the story.
The second hurdle was how slow the progress of the book was. I thought for sure that there were certain plots in the story that would kick start the conflict, but nope. It is as slow as slow could ever be, and honestly I was just skimming until eventually I reached chapter 30-ish into the story. I don’t know what was the point of delaying the inevitable when there were already enough plots to just have the story running, and I’d probably would never know due to the skimming the story on my part. Thankfully though, the part where Sloane was going on a rant and getting so angry and vulnerable that the next day she even chastise herself for being so vulnerable with her emotions was actually the one redeeming thing about this book for me.
I love how Sloane, who is this no nonsense person can become so vulnerable when it comes to her emotions, that sometimes she feels like she looks like this deranged person but at the same time managed to get her message across. I love how the author wrote the vulnerability of Sloane, I hate to see a character who seems to be always composed and got everything together, and so to see how raw Sloane’s emotions were made gave this book another star. The other redeeming thing to this book is to see Roman in shambles. Ugh what a good for nothing person. We have a saying for guys like Roman, it’s something that goes along the line that Roman is a guy who only brings his dick and nothing else to a relationship. That being said, I don’t even think Roman brings his dick to the relationship, what with his neo sensualist shit.
Now this is tricky, because even though at the end of the book I didn’t quite think this was a pointless book, I don’t know if I should recommend this book. I feel that the things that I did enjoy from the book are the things that I personally enjoy, like the vulnerability of Sloane’s emotions, other than that I don’t quite found anything that I like, apart from the premise. That being said, if you like to imagine or have an observation what the would would be like if we retract ourselves from physical connection with other people, then maybe this book is not a bad place to start.