FICTION

The Plus One

Putnam. Jul. 2019. 352p. ISBN 9780525539179. pap. $16. ebk. ISBN 9780525539186. F
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[DEBUT] Robotics engineer Kelly embodies all the negative stereotypes one would associate with that profession; she’s nerdy, self-important, antisocial, and controlling. She is working on a home health-care robot and having a hard time getting to the finish line. Meanwhile, her younger sister is getting married soon, and her mother is driving Kelly crazy, setting her up on blind dates so she can have a plus one for the wedding. Finally, in desperation, Kelly builds herself a date. Ethan has all the emotional appeal of a robot but looks human—he’s gorgeous, thoughtful, and most important, he gets Kelly’s mother off her back. The plan is to take him apart the day after the wedding, but Kelly falls in love with her creation. She is fighting with her best and only friend, but her relationships with her family are much improved and she grows as a person. Unfortunately, all the loose ends come together for the predictable ending.
VERDICT The story brings the notion of suspending disbelief to a new and unrealistic level. An optional purchase

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