Happy Monday everyone!
I hope your weekend was excellent – here in the Southeast it was a little unconventional due to the ice, but have no fear. We prevailed! And by prevailed I mean that the ice was gone by Saturday night. However, it was a nice excuse to do nothing but stay curled up on the couch with coffee and books.
For my first review of 2017 I picked a book that was recommended to me by my roommate for my trip home over Christmas! (Side note, always live with someone who sends you home for a week with five books. Always.)
Enter The Circle.
Published Date: Oct. 2013 Total Pages: 495 Average Rating: 3.45
Summary (Taken from Goodreads):
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in America–even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.
My thoughts: Holy cow y’all. While I’ve read several distopian society books , I can say with a fair amount of confidence that I haven’t read a true utopian society book since I had to read 1984 and such in high school. Not that I don’t find them interesting, I just always seem to pass them over on the shelves.
While I’m sure this was relevant in 2013 when it was first published, I found the book’s overall plot to be eerily relevant to today’s technology driven society, especially as it pertains to AI, robotic interface, and digital transparency. The book itself is easy to read, fast paced, and only took me a few days to tear through.
However, my favorite part of The Circle was that it really made me think about how we are using technology and the very fine lines that exist between useful and harmful. The Circle shows the extremism of technology and what would happen if an internet interface, such as Google or Facebook, became an all-encompassing platform and ruled the way everything we did. Sounds outrageous, but with the onset of constant live video feeds, self driving cars, and apps like Uber Kids (Uber service with vetted babysitters to transport kids) in development, it’s not that far-fetched of a concept. Cool, but SUPER creepy.
Mae, the main character, is what I would call vapid in the best way possible. She doesn’t think for herself and buys into every element of the Circle and it’s lifestyle, making her the perfect representation of the human psyche and what would happen if man simply bought into everything that he was presented.
Even better, it’s being turned into a movie and Emma Watson is staring. I can’t wait!
Watch the trailer here.
Overall, I’d say 4 stars and a lot to think about – definitely recommend reading the book before watching the movie!
What do you think? Let me know!