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.
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“Set My Heart to Five is one of the most original, funny, and heartwarming stories I’ve read in years. This novel has it all—humor, insight, social commentary, romance, Hollywood, the end of society as we know it, old movies, and classic cars. Jared may be a bot, but he feels emotions more acutely than most humans. I loved following him through the pages of this clever and poignant novel. Set My Heart to Five will set your heart well past that. It certainly did mine.”
Amy Meyerson, author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays