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THE PLUS ONE by Sarah Archer


by Sarah Archer

Pub Date: July 2nd, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-525-53917-9
Publisher: Putnam

Gorgeous, thoughtful, intelligent, sexy, supportive—Ethan is everything Kelly has ever wanted in a man. Too bad he’s a robot.

Pressured to find a date for her sister’s wedding, robotics engineer Kelly Suttle stumbles upon the perfect solution: She builds her own. Like Victor Frankenstein, Kelly cobbles her creature together from mismatched parts, but hers are found in a highly advanced lab whose real goal is not to offer parts for Kelly’s private project but to market the first caregiver AI: a robot intended to provide meaningful companionship to lonely or ill people and even pass for human in close interactions. The trouble starts when Kelly is too good at her own job: She not only gives Ethan access to the entire internet, but also spends every day with him—with nearly fatal repercussions: She falls in love with her creation. In her debut novel, Archer concocts an endearingly unlucky-at-love heroine, although one beset with the social awkwardness of the stereotypical engineer: Relentlessly reminded by her mother that, at 29, her marriageable days are waning fast, Kelly dreads every family dinner and blind date. And although her best friend, Priya, is a man magnet, Kelly is more likely to get pickpocketed than picked up at a nightclub. With Archer’s wry tone, Kelly’s social flubs set up her fall into AI love. And while she is surprised to find herself falling for Ethan, the reader spotted it long ago, when Kelly chose the fancy lavender eyes instead of the utilitarian brown for her plus one. Indeed, reading between the lines reveals that in assembling Ethan, Kelly has attended to rather intimate details, making some of the scenes between the two a bit uncomfortable. But the real question is: Will Kelly be able to turn Ethan off after the wedding? Or will robot love spiral out of control?

A fun story that will appeal to geeks and beachgoers alike.