This is Me.
by C.E. Wilson
Publication date: August 11th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
Anthropomorphic Sentient Individualized Servile uniT
Rogan is a robot. More specifically, he is an Asist – a personalized humanoid servant that provides protection, assistance, and companionship for a lonely young woman living on her own in the city. Chloe is trying to get her big break, singing at bars and clubs all over the city at night while she pays the bills as a substitute teacher during the day. Ever since she activated him many months ago, Rogan has been her beautiful, dependable, obedient, dead-eyed security blanket.
One morning she is shocked when he disobeys a direct command in an attempt to please her and his dull artificial eyes flash a hint of something new. Is this the result of the adaptive Asist servility programming or is Rogan actually thinking? Can a robot think? Can a robot feel?
As Chloe struggles with these thoughts she is blindsided by the singular Niven Adams, a handsome, confident man with the voice of an angel who is everything she’s ever wanted in a boyfriend. He’s the perfect guy for her, except for one problem. Niven doesn’t approve of Asists and takes an immediate dislike to Rogan. As Niven charms his way deeper and deeper into Chloe’s heart, Rogan tries to convince her that he is more than a mass-produced disposable servant.
With Rogan doing everything in his power to prove that his thoughts and feelings are real and Niven trying to persuade her to abandon her robot and have a normal human relationship, Chloe is trapped between the two things that mean the most to her. Does she embrace her relationship with the blond newcomer, or face that her Asist’s feelings may be more than features of his programming?
What really makes a person a person?
Is it a ticking muscle inside their chest, or is it something more?
**I received a free copy of the book in exchange for a review**
My review may contain a spoiler or two
This Is Me is one of those books that has a fantastical feel to it, and it just sort of sucks you in from the very beginning and doesn't let up until the very end. It has a sort of Doctor Who type vibe, like this story is something you would see as an episode of Doctor Who, but longer. It also kind of reminded me a little bit of the movie Ex Machina, but less crazy and weird.
You've got your main girl, Chloe, who moves to a big city for a substitute teaching job. Her parents don't like the idea of her living in the city, so they buy her an A-SIST, which is basically a machine/robot made to look human and care for their Companion (their human owner). Chloe's A-SIST is a guy named Rogan. He's got the stereotypical emo look, and he's covered in tats. Sexy, right? Chloe and Rogan are good friends who do everything together. Unfortunately for her, there are some people who don't approve of people treating their A-SISTs as more than just a machine.
Chloe's got a best friend named Monica, who happens to be one of those people. But even though Monica isn't fond of A-SISTs, she still tolerates Rogan and Chloe's friendship. It isn't until Monica starts to insist that Chloe find a real, human guy to hang out with and/or date that things start to go wrong.
Enter Niven Adams...
Niven is a character you want to try and maybe like, but end up despising pretty much the entire time. He's like the worst of the worst, and you hope he (and his roommates, especially Blake) get their just desserts by the end.
One of my favorite characters was Bree. She's small, sassy, and awesome. She's an A-SIST mini, which means she's the size of a doll, but she doesn't let that get in the way of doing what she wants, saying what she wants, or being with whom she wants. She's fantastic!
Now, I don't want to spoil too much, so I won't say anything else about the characters. The plot, I felt, was decently paced, although there were a few spots here and there where it sort of dragged a little bit. Not enough to bore me or make me want to stop reading, though. By the time I got to the last...85% of the book or so, I was flying through it, eager to see how it ended. And I was kind of left wanting more. I need more story!
I think, other than Niven and his roommates, the one thing I didn't like was Chloe's attitude and demeanor throughout some of the book. She was frustrating and annoying at times, and I just wanted to smack some sense into her. That's about it, though.
I really enjoyed the way the book was written. It was very relatable/modern, considering today's society and whatnot, but with a sci-fi type spin on things. I really liked how the story also sort of made you ponder the question: What makes a person a person?
Overall, This Is Me was a really great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'd like to read more about Chloe, Rogan, Bree, Fitz, and the others. I definitely recommend this book to fans of science fiction and new takes on AI stories. 4.5 stars!
C.E. Wilson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, grew up in Millersville, Pennsylvania, and has been living in Pittsburgh since 2009. For the first few years living in Pittsburgh, she was an English teacher. Her first book, "Oath of Servitude," was published in 2012. In 2013, she quit teaching to be a full time author and hasn't looked back since. She loves spending time with her daughter and husband.