Reader, Meet Writer: Simon Stephenson
In partnership with the Southern Independent Bookseller Alliance, Page 158 Books is excited to present Reader, Meet Writer, a virtual event series featuring Southern authors hosted by national bestselling author Wiley Cash. Space is limited, so RSVP is required. Check out the rest of the tour on our website.
For fans of Fredrik Backman and Gail Honeyman, a delightfully entertaining, deceptively poignant debut novel about a human-like bot named Jared, whose emotional awakening leads him on an unforgettable quest for connection, belonging and possibly even true love.
Jared works as a dentist in small town Michigan. His life is totally normal, except for one thing. He is a bot, engineered with human DNA to look and act like a real person.
One day at a screening of classic movie, Jared feels a strange sensation around his eyes. Everyone knows that bots can’t feel emotions, but as the theater lights come on, Jared could swear he’s crying. Confused, he decides to watch more old movies to figure out what’s happening. The process leads to an emotional awakening that upends his existence. Jared, it turns out, can feel.
Overcome with a full range of emotions, and facing an imminent reset, Jared heads west, determined to forge real connections. He yearns to find his mother, the programmer who created him. He dreams of writing a screenplay that will change the world. Along the way he might even fall in love. But a bot with feelings is a dangerous proposition, and Jared’s new life could come to an end before it truly begins.
Delightfully entertaining and deceptively moving, Set My Heart to Five is a profound exploration of what makes us human, and a love letter to outsiders everywhere.
Simon Stephenson previously wrote Let Not the Waves of the Sea (John Murray), a memoir about the loss of his brother in the Indian ocean tsunami. It won Best First Book at the Scottish Book Awards, was a Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4, and a Daily Telegraph Book of the Year. Since then he has been dividing his time between the UK and LA, where he works as a screenwriter, most recently at Pixar Animation Studios.
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