Lauren Lola, a fantastic author from the San Francisco Bay Area, is releasing her second novel, An Absolute Mind, on November 15th. I would highly recommend purchasing a copy. The story is set in 2064 in a Utopian future and follows college student, Sonya Ogino. She’s always been a bit different from most of her peers, but she was shocked to learn she has a mental ability called Absolute Memory. Now on a hit list for underground gangs who are out to murder people like her, Sonya is whisked away to a secret island where she is supposed to be kept safe. During her stay on this island, Sonya makes the decision to take action against inaction, solidifying her place amongst the strongest female protagonist characters of all time. I’d love to tell you more of the exciting twists and turns to come, but you’ll just have to read and find out for yourself!
Here at FanGirl, we’re all about women of strength. We love our Sci-Fi and Dystopian narratives, especially when even our protagonist is a woman of color. This book praises diversity and all ethnicities, which I love. Those with feminist inclinations will also appreciate seeing so many strong women take charge to control their own lives. It’s refreshing compared to so much of the literature of the past.
Despite her unique cognitive abilities, Sonya is also an extremely relatable character. I love that at the beginning of the book, her biggest issue is that she can’t decide what her major should be in college. This was something that I watched a lot of my friends struggle with, and to me, made Sonya’s character more relatable. It made her human.
I also love the attention to detail that Lola puts into her Utopian world. It’s complete with hover boards, unique contact lenses, interactive movie theaters, and even the futuristic version of social media. The best way I can think to explain it is that it’s like what gadgets would have been in the classic Back to the Future if it was made today.
The only real critique I have for this book is minor. To me, this book could have employed a bit more of the tactic commonly referred to as “showing, not telling.” A lot of what I could have gotten from the dialogue or actions, was also explained via descriptive paragraphs or extra exposition. For me, that takes me out of the story. With that said, give this book a chance because once it sucks you in, there is no going back. The twists and turns are very interesting. The concept is uniquely brilliant, and it covers themes that have been relevant for many years, and will remain relevant for years to come.
Lauren Lola’s An Absolute Mind is available November 15, 2016.