I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
Everyone we love, everything we know, is going away… and only an autistic boy can stop it.
Alex knows exactly how many steps it takes to get from his home to Mason Middle School. This is
Alex knows the answers in AP math before his teacher does, which is also normal.
Alex knows that something bad is coming out of the big screen in his special needs class. It’s pushing images into his head, hurting him, making him forget. Alex pushes back, the screen explodes, and nothing is normal any more.
Giant screen televisions appear all over the city. The programming is addictive. People have to watch, but Alex cannot.
Sophie, the sentient machine behind all this, sees the millions and millions of eyeballs glued to her and calls it love. To Sophie, kids like Alex are defective. Defectives are to be fixed…or eliminated.
I love dystopian fiction, which is why I immediately accepted Francis’ review request. Losing Normal is the story of a world where an AI, Sophie, starts controlling the minds of humans through television screens. Alex, an autistic teenager, isn’t as affected as everyone else. How Alex and his ragtag group of friends save the world forms the rest of the story.
Losing Normal is an entirely plot-driven book–the plot will make you race through the entire book in one sitting. Sentient AI is definitely something that might happen in our near future. This Black Mirror-esque story is all the more enthralling because of how real and possible the sequence of events in it are.
While there is an eclectic mix of characters, none make quite an impact as Alex and, to some extent, Sara. The book is told from both their points of view. Though initially different, their voices sound very similar after the first half of the book. This made reading it a little difficult, as I had to also keep track of whose POV I was reading.
Losing Normal is a compelling read that will make one think about the effects of technology on humankind. Read it if you like science/dystopian fiction, teenagers saving the world, and meddling, sentient AIs.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5