Title: The A.I. Who Loved Me
Author: Alyssa Cole
Published Date: June 3, 2020
Page Count: 143 pages
Source: Own copy
Date Read: June 27-28, 2020
This story was in originally published as an Audible Original.
Trinity Jordan is a data analyst on temporary hiatus from her job and is working at another job within the company (The Hive) as a driver for self-driving cars (Uber but through the computer simulation). She is also living in the company's apartment complex, complete with home A.I. named Penny (think of an apartment complex version of an Echo or Alexis). There are her two best friends, Ru and Yana who also work at The Hive and her neighbor, Dr. Zheng and her nephew Li Wei (who is our hero). It is six months since the terrorist attack that injured Trinity and left her too shaken up to work her job. When Li Wei meets Trinity, it starts the re-downloading of memories of the attack and the few weeks prior to the attack - yep, Li Wei is the A.I. Trinity and Li Wei spend time together in the hopes of getting Li Wei well versed in humans. Meanwhile Trinity's memory is starting to falter and some memories are coming back while others are fading. Li Wei remembers enough to realize that The Hive is trying to 1) keep them apart and 2) doing experiments on them. So they remember enough to escape with the help of Ru, Penny, and Yana (oh, and TIM).
Once again Alyssa Cole put together a fun and inventive romance that just is different from the rest of the genre. There is talk of racism, capitalism, sexism, etc that make this sci-fi romance feel very contemporary and now. The science fiction part is very relatable and not so far out for those of us not so versed in high concept sci-fi. Perfect poolside reading.
Sofronia and Ivan knew each other growing up as kids. Her mom worked for his mom. After her mom's death, they lost contact. They reconnect as adults at a meeting for civil rights and how to conduct non-violent sit-ins.
This was amazing. I loved this book. I adored Sofie and Ivan. This highlights the struggle for freedom, the basis human right to be treated as a person. To sit where you like. To be treated with respect. To be treated with dignity. The violence and hate.
The strength of this book (IMO) is it highlights we ALL have prejudices. We need to acknowledge them and learn from them to be better. Do better.
(Sofie is Black. Ivan is Jewish. Ivan's family escaped the Holocaust, but his father doesn't sympathize with the Civil Rights Movement. Sofie's father doesn't like Ivan because he is Jewish.)
The ending hints at an acceptance, a reconciliation. The ending is also realistic.
It's Juneteenth, the day the last enslaved person was told the war was over and they were free. Yesterday, I attended (via Zoom) a panel discussion organized by Next Gen Climate Action Committee, a political action group my friend works for, on Celebrating Juneteenth and Ensuring Black Voices in Progressive Spaces. It was a great discussion and I am glad my friend invited me, considering I live in Kansas and the group works in VA on VA matters/policies. Rep Don Scott really spoke to my head and heart and he was on for just a few minutes.
It's rainy and much cooler here, so no poolside reading today. I've got a beef soup simmering in the slow cooker for dinner; just have to whip up some cornbread to go with it and I am good to go. Spending the day reading and tonight I am going to watch Soledad O'Brien's documentary on the early days of COVID-19 in the US (it is airing on Hearst stations, so I am hoping to catch it streaming online).
Tomorrow is Litha/Summer Solstice and I have plans: including a hamburger picnic (using a plant-based "ground beef") and making Lemon-Ginger-Raspberry Zinger sun tea, while reading in the sunshine. Sunday is Father's Day, so I making a special easy breakfast for the hubby to enjoy, followed by pool time and a nice dinner.
I'm finishing up Birth of the Butterfly for BL-opoly, then taking the weekend off from the game; right after that I want to knock out finally Proper English by KJ Charles. For COYER #BLM RAT, I am reading The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole and New Year, Same Trash by Samantha Irby. That's my weekend.
Next week I will be working my way through Beneath a Ruthless Sun and One Person, No Vote for the library's adult SRP prompts. I swapped out Once Upon a Wedding anthology (that first story is a slog and I am still not done with it) with Love by the Letters anthology which I should get done by the end of the week (it is only 3 stories). I might just skip to the Sonali Dev's and Pricilla Oliveras' stories in the Wedding anthology and call it good - those were the reasons for picking up the anthology in the first place. And then whatever the BL game goddesses decide for me to read.
Happy Juneteenth! Happy Father's Day! Happy Reading!
*meme created by Moonlight Reader
Doing this weekly blog post again so that I can keep track of my TBR of books I own. Library books will be featured on Tuesday's Library Love blog posts.
+1. The AI Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole - originally written for Audible, now available in ebook, Kindle, and print formats. I picked this up for #BlackoutBestSellerlist & #BlackPublishingPower challenge - the purpose is to populate the best seller lists with black authors. COYER will be doing a special RAT from June 20th - 28th focused on reading the two books purchased between Monday and Friday of this week.
TBH, I didn't want to add any of the books mentioned on the lists going around - for one, I have read and absorbed a lot of those books already and for two, I wanted to read about black life that doesn't involve pain, humiliation, or death - I get enough of that from the news media. I wanted to read about the other parts of black life, like love, joy, and laughter. So my first choice was a romance, and one by one of my favorite authors. The other one....
+2. New Year, Same Trash: Resolutions I Absolutely Did Not Keep by Samantha Irby - I read We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by the author back in December and enjoyed it. Irby is a hilarious and honest essayist, so it will be a quick read in keeping with my overall theme for the summer reading.
-1. Dance All Night (Dance Off #2.5) by Alexa Dare. Unintentional winter holiday reading, but I loved it.
-2. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder. Aka the book that is going to convince me to read Hannah Arendt.
NOOK: 224 books
Kindle: 61 books
Print: 52 books