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Publisher's Summary

In the spirit of Station Eleven and The Age of Miracles, this exciting literary debut novel imagines the consequences when four ordinary individuals are granted a chance to continue their lives in genetically perfect versions of their former bodies.
Would you live your life differently if you were given a second chance? Hannah, David, Connie, and Linda - four terminally ill patients - have been selected for the SUBlife pilot program, which will grant them brand-new, genetically perfect bodies that are exact copies of their former selves - without a single imperfection. Blemishes, scars, freckles, and wrinkles have all disappeared; their fingerprints are different; their vision is impeccable; and, most importantly, their illnesses have been cured.
But the fresh start they've been given is anything but perfect. Without their old bodies, their new physical identities have been lost. Hannah, an artistic prodigy, has to relearn how to hold a brush; David, a congressman, grapples with his old habits; Connie, an actress whose stunning looks are restored after a protracted illness, tries to navigate an industry obsessed with physical beauty; and Linda, who spent eight years paralyzed after a car accident, now struggles to reconnect with a family that seems to have built a new life without her. As all try to reenter their previous lives and relationships, they are faced with the question: How much of your identity rests not just in your mind but in your heart, your body?
©2016 Jessica Chiarella (P)2016 Simon & Schuster
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Alice on 01-15-16

Not what I hoped

The writing was good, but I need at least one character I care about. All of these characters were so self-absorbed and selfish, I really didn't care what happened to them. And although the plot was an intriguing idea, there were holes big enough to drive a tank through. The narrators were good, but they couldn't save this story. If you are looking for a mindless beach listen, this would be fine.

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16 of 17 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By DecemberRain on 01-17-16

A book that asks you how you know who you are

Hannah, David, Linda, and Connie.
Four strangers chosen at random to be stolen from the brink of death given a second chance at life.
They are cloned, and moved into genetically perfect versions of themselves.

But there are unforeseen consequences that come along with the wonder of it all.

Questions are addressed about which parts of ourselves are physical and which are carried with us on a deeper level.

Hannah, an extremely talented artist, seems to have left her muse in her old body.

David has been freed from his old physical addictions but he just picks them back up again.

Linda, who spent 8 years trapped awake in her paralyzed body, is having trouble reconnecting with the world.

Connie too, goes down roads that led to her original destruction.

They all find that a piece of themselves has been lost, that suddenly being a fresh perfect version of themselves comes with some loss and confusion. Reinventing themselves is more than just something physical, and it takes awhile for the rest of them to catch up.

I loved this story. I have imagined a world where something like this would be possible a lot, as an answer to health problems as it was here. Its a popular theme in science fiction.
I enjoyed how in this story, they missed their old imperfections and how they discovered that perfection isn't as wonderful as one would assume because our imperfections are a big part of who we are, they shape us into the person we become throughout the story of our lives.
Of course there is a big upside too: freedom from pain, beauty, a second chance, and the thrill of experiencing everything again for the first time.

The writing was well done, I felt like I was there with the characters, and the narrators were all excellent.

5 stars across the board for this , I recommend it to anyone who finds the subject matter even a little interesting . The story will sweep you up and take you on a journey that will make you think about some big questions, and carry you into the storm to experience all its beauty and pain.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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