Thursday, 29 August 2019

Book Review - How To Build a Boyfriend from Scratch by Sarah Archer

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Title: How To Build A Boyfriend From Scratch
Author: Sarah Archer
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 2nd July 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Dating is hard. Being dateless at your perfect sister's wedding is harder.

Meet Kelly. A brilliant but socially awkward robotics engineer desperately seeking a wedding date…

Meet Ethan. Intelligent, gorgeous, brings out the confidence Kelly didn’t know she had and … not technically human. (But no one needs to know that.)

With her sister’s wedding looming and everyone in the world on her case about being perpetually single, Kelly decides to take her love life into her own hands – and use her genius skills to create Ethan.

But when she can’t resist keeping her new boy toy around even after the ‘I do’s’, Kelly knows she needs to hit the off switch on this romance, fast. Only, when you’ve found (well, made) your perfect man, how do you kiss him goodbye?

Easily the most original book I've read in years.  Whenever I wasn't reading this my mind was on the story, and Ethan, and frankly wondering if Kelly wouldn't mind producing me a boyfriend this amazing. 

For Kelly, who works in robotics and artificial intelligence, and while struggling on producing the human aspects of her care giver robot - and being driven mad with the pressure her family is putting on her, to get a plus one for her sister's wedding,  takes the impulsive decision to build herself a boyfriend. 

That's right Ethan is a robot, so life like that he really did feel practically real. The technology in the book was enough to satisfy my inner geek, and I'm not sure how far these advances are to becoming a reality, the thought that robots can teach themselves and start being sentient is rather impressive. 

In terms of what Kelly is trying to achieve with her Comfibot, all I could liken it to was a more human, realistic version of Baymax, from Disney's Big Hero 6 film.  And what Ethan is is almost another level too. 

This is a relationship that fools everyone, and even has Kelly forgetting at times, and it was all rather intriguing, but it's what follows, from what should have been Ethan's turning off date, after Clara's wedding, that is where this book kicks things up a gear. 

And wow I didn't see that ending happen, or pretty much any of it.   The book was tricky to predict, had me utterly enchanted and I just wanted to know more at all times. 

In amongst it all we see how Kelly's personality starts to change, how she gains confidence from her relationship with Ethan, to how she interacts with colleagues and family. Her family drove me nuts, and it was great seeing so many sides to our main character.  

This is a comedy with a difference, and I think it would make a wonderful film.  I really want the technology in real life to get to the stage that I could have my own robot boyfriend, they seem so much better than humans!!   

A truly refreshing and unique story that I absolutely adored and couldn't get enough of.  

Thank you to Rebecca Bryant at Harper Collins for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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