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For fans of Fredrik Backman and Gail Honeyman, a delightfully entertaining, deceptively poignant debut novel about a humanlike 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 a 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 is almost certain 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.
Delectably 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.
"Funny as any book I can remember reading, but it's also so much more than that: a manifesto for those of us who've always felt a little different, and a meditation on the profound connections that make us human.... [Y]ou'll fall in love with Jared from his first, enthusiastic "Hi!" and that you'll never want to let him go."
—Grant Ginder, author of The People We Hate at the Wedding and Honestly, We Meant Well
"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.... Set My Heart to Five will set your heart well past that. It certainly did mine."
—Amy Meyerson, bestselling author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays
“A beautiful, funny, heartfelt analysis of what it means to be human.”
"Both whimsical and lyrical, Set My Heart to Five is an astounding examination of the human condition and all the things that make it up: curiosity, duty, art, dreams, and—of course—love. It is, much like its hero Jared, made up of both laughter and tears, and one of the most unique books ever crafted."
—Mike Chen, author of A Beginning at the End