In brief: Mia awakes from a coma with no idea who she is. All she has is her phone and social media to guide her to who she is.
The good: Great idea for a story!
The not-so-good: I felt that Mia’s reliance on social media for clues was a bit long.
Why I chose it: Sounded like a different, quirky read.
Publisher: Quirk Books (Penguin)
Setting: Los Angeles, USA
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Siri, Who am I? is a great name and a great premise for a novel. What if you could only rely on your phone to tell you who you are? Would it tell the truth or would it be carefully edited and filtered ‘best life’ versions? That’s what Mia has to go through after she wakes up in hospital to find her memory gone and stitches in her head. Who was she? Who is she? It’s up to Mia to discover herself via her social media and with the assistance of her boyfriend’s house sitter, Max.
Mia’s journey to who she is comes in a roundabout, comic way as she sifts through her Instagram to try to get clues about her life. Where does she live? What does she do for work? Who are her friends? It turns out that her boyfriend is a multi-millionaire who owns a chocolate company and his Ferrari is at her disposal. But they also had an argument and he’s decamped to Switzerland to cool down. (As you do). Max is a neuroscientist and Mia’s cautious guardian throughout her discoveries. He’s got his own problems though after his ex has sabotaged his research but there is just something about the chemistry between him and Mia…it’s a wild ride that takes the pair to many unexpected places and people as Mia finds out that maybe she just doesn’t really like her old self…
This is a light, comedic novel. You do have to suspend your disbeliefs (like, what kind of hospital discharges a patient who doesn’t know who she is? And being America, who is going to pay the hospital bill?) Mia also runs around in the same Prada cocktail dress for the majority of the novel, which struck me as a bit odd (surely, she could have used some of her boyfriend’s money to pop into H&M) but of course it’s very symbolic when it does come off. There are lots of coincidences and a neat wrapping up of all the loose ends, but overall it’s great, light fun. Mia’s lost memory leading to extreme reliance on Instagram does wear a bit thin after a while, but introducing Max’s dilemmas and the feisty Crystal does help a lot. I also wished at times that Mia had forgotten how to speak in #cringe #toomanyhashtags, but the footnotes throughout the story helped me cope with that. The footnotes were a nice touch and also helped to chart Mia’s growth throughout the novel. It’s almost a coming-of-age novel at times as Mia starts to realise that she hasn’t been a great person in the past and starts to try to rectify that. (First Millennial step – no filters). I found the last 100 pages the most refreshing, most likely due to the increasing doses of reality from Crystal (who says and does exactly what she thinks) and the focus off Mia’s desire to get her own way and force the her past and future into the boxes she wanted.
I did enjoy the book, and it demonstrates that Sam Tschida knows how to write witty dialogue and quirky stories with a plot that never stops.