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Set My Heart to Five

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  557 ratings  ·  178 reviews
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 engin
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published September 1st 2020 by Hanover Square Press (first published May 28th 2020)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  557 ratings  ·  178 reviews

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Emer (A Little Haze)
Oh how I truly wanted to love this book.
I thought I would because the premise is so intriguing.
Imagine a version of our world in the near future where ‘bots’ exist. Bots are androids with human DNA that look and sound human... but obvs are not. They can’t feel like a human does. They are programmed. And in this version of our future they are programmed to do certain jobs and tasks, don’t have the freedoms that humans have. Are prejudiced against etc. Very much thought of as subservient and are
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this original, delightful, poignant, and heartwarming book. It was written with wit, wisdom and insight into the human condition despite its shortcomings and the perception of what it means to be human.

The story takes place in 2053 and is narrated by a bot, Jared. We don't know the entire fact about world conditions. We are told that New Zealand and perhaps North Korea were obliterated, some cities are permanently aflame, all planes in the sky crashed on a single day, and Elon Musk inci
Amy Meyerson
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, how I loved this novel. Set My Heart to Five is 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. I loved following him through the pages of this clever and poignant novel. Set My Heart to Five will set your heart well past that. It certainly did mine.

Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jared is a bot. Bots have taken over the responsibility for the jobs that humans no longer want to do, including Jared's job as a dentist. Bots live lives in human bodies, going to work, living in houses, eating, but with one big difference---bots have no feelings.

Then Jared goes to see a movie and discovers he is crying. What is going on? What is he capable of? What will those who run the bot world do when they realize Jared may be able to experience emotions?

I loved this book. I knew I was goi
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5, I loved this. I'd say 5 in a different mood, even. RTC.

Later: The premise here is perhaps cringey to a certain type of reader: in a near future containing “driverless ubers” but no New Zealand (casualty of a nuclear exchange with North Korea, apparently), Jared, a bot who looks exactly like a human but whose brain is a biological computer and who has no emotions, begins to develop feelings, along with a taste for classic movies. Pursued by an incompetent but dogged jobsworth from the Bureau
Susie Wang
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, netgalley
Got it on Netgalley and read the opening pages. This is written like a script with a ton of British humor!
This is a love letter for movie lovers.

Jared the bot develops complicated feelings after seeing a bunch of "old movies". These are classics that any movie love would have watched. He doesn't reference them by the titles, but by plots. And he describes them in a hilarious way.

There are also many references to rules
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
10/10 in love with Jared! (If you've read it - you'll know!)

A sublime delve into what it means to be human. Jared's journey of self-discovery (a bot discovering he has developed human emotions and feelings) is one I didn't want to end. It made me want to be a more humane human. I laughed out loud and cried along with every step he took. Jared's 'awakening’ is so precious and perfectly written. His use of the Feelings Wheel makes us question what we are actually feeling at any given time. His des
Rachel Bridgeman
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: july-20
Hugest of thanks to Midas Pr, once more, for inviting me on the tour for ''Set My Heart To Five', which is out now in hardcover and ebook editions, and, shortly in audiobook as well!

Interspersing a film script of Jared's life with his internal dialogue, the reader skips forward in time to 2053, when robots are grown (to the optimal of 43 and 'live' until they run down a set amount of years).

Humans have declared the jobs which robots can and cannot do-surprsingly to Jared, because humans are inex
Angela Groves
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was the exact pick me up i needed right now. It's not just another 'robot gets feelings story'. It's real exploration of the human heart and the depths of emotion. It's adorable, it's funny and it's a real catharsis. ...more
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, fiction
I don’t know if I it’s just because I have mild autism, but I totally identified with this robot from the beginning. I love the way he talks. I love reading a book that has words I have to look up! That hasn’t happened in I don’t know how long.

This is a story about a bot who looks just like a human in the future after the “Great crash.” The story of the crash and how it happened is part of the fun of reading the story! Anyways, there are bots doing all kinds of jobs, and Jared is a dentist. Who
Ryan Smith
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful book! This is the kind of book I would feel confident recommending to anyone. It's smart and hilarious. Yes, it made me cry--and not many books have done that--but it's a joyful read. ...more
Lel Budge
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jared is a dentist, he’s also a bot.

Set in a time where the jobs humans no longer want to do are now done by androids.

But, Jared is different, he is interested in humans and their emotions, so with help from a friend, Jared begins to experience feelings himself…..(a little reminiscent of iRobot).

Told by Jared this unique tale is part narration and part movie script….he loves movies. It shows how odd human emotions appear when viewed from the outside.

It’s full of dry humour with a wry look at th
Kerry-louise Jones
This is a new take on a coming of age story. Jared is living in the future, 2054 to be exact, when bots are the norm and currency is bitcoin. Everyone knows that bots are not supposed to have feelings but Jared discovers that he has developed them.

This was a really sweet and uplifting read with a lot of humour and witty observations. Jared was such a lovable character and I enjoyed following his journey to get a film to screen that would show humans that not all bots are bad. It highlights some
Laura Hill
Thank you to Hanover Square Press and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on September 1st, 2020.

Writing: 4.5/5 Plot: 4/5 Characters: 5/5

Jared is a bot. Engineered from human DNA, he lives a productive life as a dentist in Ypsilanti, Michigan and is deeply programmed to serve humans. Until one day … he starts to have feelings. Thus begin his simultaneously hilarious and yet poignant adventures as he heads to Hollywood
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This book made me smile on every page. I loved Jared and his infectious enthusiasm. I could have done with a little less foreshadowing of the foreshadowing but that's a minor gripe. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and I look forward to seeing whatever is left of the original story when it's inevitably rewritten for the screen! ...more
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of those special finds that only comes along so often. I feel like this is the kind of gem you hope to get your hands on by asking all of your bibliophile friends what their best recs are, and STILL... you just don't find a book like this very often. And it feels so timely given all that is going on in the world.  
First and foremost, it is an utter page turner. Seriously,once you are along for this fun ride, I dare you to put it down - even to sleep. And it literally made me lau
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure where to start with my review for this book other than to say that I 10/10 loved it!
Jared is a dentist but he is also a bot. He has to explain this to people as it isn't obvious. Bots don't have feelings but Jared starts to. He has a friend he confides in and his friend tells him to go watch old films. He rates film in volumes of tears. He is really getting this feelings thing. He now feels he wants - no needs - more from life. But he fears the robotic corporation shutting him down
If you can get over the incredibly annoying first character narrative, you're gifted with a Shakespearean comedy of errors. But with a character who is compelled to describe and explain every single tiny thing, sometimes punctuated with inaccurate charts, graphs, flowcharts and venn diagrams, it draaaaaagged. Readers don't need the Bots description what a bird or pharaoh is. Plus, I presume the incorrect bar chart was meant to be witty but all it did was make me shudder and twitch in horror - at ...more
Jodie Moone
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a funny and insightful book into human behaviour through the eyes of a bot! It’s both clever and smirk-worthy, and taking a step back to see the world through Jared’s eyes was both enlightening and humorous.

At first, I didn’t think this book would be for me. The “bot-written-style” through me off, but as I continued, I fell more in love with each page.

The nods to pop culture were refreshing, the original dismissiveness of Jared being like humans was brilliantly done. “Ha” and “I cannot” s
Simi Friedman
Nov 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
This could of been truly really really funny , but instead I true abhored it. (the reviews on the book had to be paid/ his friends ). MAYBE if it had been a short story it might of worked. but this is a way too long, pretentious book.

1 I know hes a "bot" but the way of writing is SO SO annoying and hard to read. You'd think a bot could write more like a human. Then again IT aka the bot doesn't seem human like just because it expresses emotions.

the continuous "has!" "humans!" every paragraph mad
Aug 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

This is far too long and boring.
The main character appears to have too describe every fine detail of there life which tends to become repetitive.
This was not for me and is one I did not finish after attempting twice.
Janet Hutchinson
I started off initially enchanted by this book, but soon got bogged down. And a little tired of the Ha! I honestly preferred the “script” portion of the book, over the story line. And it felt about 200 pages too long.
Nov 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-books-audio
A robot suddenly realizes he has feelings and embarks on a journey to enlighten humans and free his fellow bots. A really funny, sweet story.
Karla Oceanak
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
10/10 the whimsy, pop-culture nostalgia, joie de vivre, and affable skewering of idiot humans (I cannot!) I needed right now. Jared has set my jaded heart to five.
Dec 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I gave this book a 3, it's a 3 1/2. It was a cute book and an easy read. It's sweet story about Jarod the robot who suddenly experiences sadness and discovers overtime that he has emotions and goes on to create a life for himself and fulfill his dreams. He lives his home and starts a new life. ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set My Heart To Five by Simon Stephenson is a beautiful and heartwarming read that you will never forget.
The book is an emotional roller coaster ride that you will not forget. It makes you laugh out loud, it makes you cry. But ultimately it’s a beautiful and heartwarming story.

A story that you cannot help but engage your friends and loved ones in a discussion about what it means to be human, handing over a copy of the book so they too can be swept up in Jared’s story and all the references to ol
Fabienne Schwizer
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

In 2054, a time past the ubiquity of the internet, Bots are everywhere. They look like humans, but they are still Bots and are considered as not much more than unfeeling slaves. Told entirely from the perspective of Jared, one of those Bots, Set My Heart To Five explores what happens when a Bot develops feelings, and what it means to be human. Using a unique writing style - a Bot trying to imitate a sort of human flow-of-consciousness - interspersed by screen-written moments, Jared and his world

Caroline Kerdouci
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I could award a book a five star review for premise alone then this would be it. Original, definitely quirky and cleverly written with such a lovable main character, Set To Five offers a fictional glimpse into a not so futuristic world where humans and bots coexist, although not in harmony! Jared is a dental bot, living in Ypsilanti,fascinated by humans and their capacity for feelings, something that is pretty much incomprehensible to a bot programmed only to be logical and perform his dental ...more
Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So far this takes place in a world where bots have taken over some human jobs (dentistry) b/c humans no longer want to do them, there is no moon, and transportation consists of driverless buses and cars.
Susan Heiss
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
That last line of the review says it all.
"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."
I loved this book and its main character. Quirky, entertaining, hilarious, thought provoking and moving.
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Hello, GoodReaders!

So, I'm an author and screenwriter (and once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away I was a medical doctor). I am originally from Edinburgh in Scotland but currently live in Los Angeles, California. I've had stops in Glasgow, London and San Francisco along the way.

I like all kinds of books and most kinds of movies (except horror, urgh) and love just about everything that has fo

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