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Klara and the Sun Book Review

My Reasons for Reading this Book

My main reason for reading this book is that I am a ReadHead, a member of The ReadHeads podcast bookclub and the book of the month for July was Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. Going into this book I had no idea what the book was about. I also set no expectations for this book. 

Content of the Book 

This book follows the 'life' of Klara an AF, Artificial Friend, and how she navigates the life of her outside of the store walls. Klara learns what emotions are, what is and is not appropriate, and how to react to certain situations by observing the humans around her. Klara's experience in the outside world is with a middle-aged woman and her chronilcally-ill daughter, Josie. Together Klara and the family experience the ups and downs of life. Can Klara become programmed to love Josie and fight for her to have the best life possible?


What does love mean? What is family? What does it mean to be fully human?

What I Liked About the Book

Because I had no expectations going into this book I did not know Klara was a robot. When I first started the book I was grappling with the idea that she could be one of three things; robot, purse or sex worker. As I continued to read it became clear what she was. A section of the book that I really enjoyed was the picture game that Josie and Rick played. I thought that it was a creative way to communicate and showed the depth of their friendship. As a character I liked the manager, but was often confused on whether she was protecting the AFs or not. At times it felt like her intentions switched from protection and caring to distanced and uninterested. Another aspect of this book that I liked and commend was that it portrayed an 'unconventional' family unit. I did like the ideas of the AFs and how easily I could see them being present in today's world. With saying that, there were other portions of this futuristic world that were underdeveloped and resulted in questions and confusions for me as a reader. A part of the AFs abilities that I liked was that Klara was able to understand and learn emotions and what is and it not appropriate. This made her seem more humanistic. Having Klara refer to the other characters in 3rd person and by the first name used when she was introduced to them also made her seem more robotic than human because this initial introduction became programmed into her system. 

What I Disliked About the Book

It is hard to pinpoint exactly what I disliked about this book. I had to force myself to continue reading this book. Each day I went to read this book it felt like a chore or a school assignment where you are forced to read the book to get a good grade in the glass. In this situation I felt like I had to read the book so that I could give it a fair review and rating and also so I could fully understand The ReadHeads podcast episode of this book. One major complaint I have about this book is how slow the progression of the plot was. I did not truly understand or become somewhat engrossed into the plot until the very end. The plot was a slow and steady burn that sometime went out and had to be re-lit. As I read the whole book I was waiting for something to happen that would capture my attention and really make me invested in the story. I never really found that in this book. The author did not develop enough of Josie's character for me to fully understand her intentions and reasoning for why she did what she did. This is not only a complaint I had, but was also talked about in the podcast. Overall I did not like the ending of the book. Both while reading and after reading the book I was confused on how the schooling and education worked in this futuristic world. I was able to get clarification about this from the podcast episode. 

Would I Recommend This Book?

Without a doubt I would not recommend this book. That lack of development in the futuristic world and how the AFs worked made it unappealing and more confusing. I also found a lack of character development and growth to repulse me as a reader. The books pace was too slow and pushed me away from wanting to read it. There are much better books out there to read instead of this one. I would pass on this book if its on your 'to read list'. 

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