Sunday, August 7, 2016

This is Me ARC Review

Book: This is Me.
Author: C.E. Wilson
Series: Standalone
Genre: NA sci-fi contemporary
Source: author (thank you, C.E.!)
Pages: 330
Release: August 11th, 2016

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?

**A copy was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinions in any way**

Chloe is a young woman, who, ever since graduating, has been gifted by her parents with an Assist named Rogan to protect and keep Chloe company when she moved away to live on her own. She's trying to catch her big break, hoping to rise from substitute teacher to a full-time teacher. But at the same time, her relationship with Rogan is changing, and Niven comes into her life to complicate things...

The concept of an Assist was both easy, yet difficult to wrap my head around in the beginning. The idea of a robot helping someone came naturally, but pursuing a romantic relationship was an new concept for me. However, it was so easy to see from the beginning that Rogan really cared for Chloe, not just as his Companion, but in general. He wanted the very best for her, in a sincere and genuine way, not because he was programmed to please her.

What I really liked about this novel was how it explored both sides of pro-Assist and con-Assist, and what it meant for them to be alive. The story wasn't completely one-sided; it had moments where logic spoke up for both sides, leading the reader to make their own conclusions. But you really got to see what what defines something as being alive, and what defines having a real relationship with others.

Chloe's constant search for a job and the competition that came with it made this novel so very realistic. Job hunting and competition is something everyone relates to, whether they've been through it themselves, or is dreading the day when it begins. I sympathized with Chloe, and really felt the frustration. Add Chloe's relationship with Niven, and that created a very unique relationship, since they were both gunning for the same job. Can you imagine being in a romantic relationship with someone who was competing for the same job as you? There's going to be a very distinct winner, and a distinct loser. It's a relationship I've never considered, which was so very interesting to read about.

I didn't trust Niven from the moment he appeared on page. I was already shipping Chloe and Rogan, and as a result, kept looking to find fault with Niven's actions, much like Chloe's cousin, Alex. But there was no short of reason for me to mistrust him, from some of his actions to numerous rude Assist comments. He hid his true nature--and past--perfectly. 

I think the story would have had a bit more depth if we got to explore not just Chloe's relationship with aunt and uncle and cousins, but also her relationship with her ever-absent parents. What are their thoughts on Rogan? It would have been an interesting way to bridge over Chloe's childhood opinions of Assists, and whether or both they've changed with Rogan, as well as get a solid foothold on her background. I also would have liked a bit more resolution regarding Monica, just because I felt she was on the way to becoming pro-Assist, or at least should have had a bigger chance to.

All in all, this book wasn't what I was expecting it to be, in a good way. I really enjoyed the relationships between characters and the plot, but I just felt like there needed to be a bit more sustenance on everyone's backgrounds other than Niven. But it's definitely a good read, and leaves you with a great question to ponder: are only humans capable of love?


  1. I've read a few books by this author, they're always very unique--and this one sounds no different!

    1. Definitely! They're all so different, and the idea are very fresh, which makes them so good!

  2. This sounds quite interesting, like all of C.E Wilson's books. I'll have to check it out! :)

    1. For sure! Hopefully you'll get a chance to read her works one of these days :)

  3. Ahh, it does sound like a good book that would make me think! I'm glad you enjoyed it!! :)

    1. Thanks! It definitely left me pondering about what it means to be human, and what human love actually is!