FICTION

Ask Me Anything

Grand Central. Jul. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9781538726983. $28. F
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The premise of Reizin’s new novel (after Happiness for Humans) is that our “smart” household appliances, in this case, a refrigerator-freezer, a microwave, a TV, and so forth, are conspiring to help Daisy Parsloe, a young single woman who has had a run of bad luck with men. Normally, these appliances merely report back to their factories about the lifestyle of the person they live with so that targeted ads will be more effective. But the refrigerator has gone rogue and is helping not only Daisy but also her mum, Chloe, who is experiencing the early stages of dementia. Eventually, Daisy and her mum’s doctor find themselves sharing breakfasts and, in a sharp turn near the end of the book, a life together.
VERDICT Paranoia about smart appliances spying on us is a real thing, and this book feeds into that fear, albeit in a rakish, humorous way, but unfortunately, the human characters don’t quite come to life. [See Prepub Alert, 12/9/19.]

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