The Plot (from Goodreads):
Newlyweds Asha and Cyrus build an app that replaces religious rituals and soon find themselves running one of the most popular social media platforms in the world.
Meet Asha Ray.
Brilliant coder and possessor of a Pi tattoo, Asha is poised to revolutionize artificial intelligence when she is reunited with her high school crush, Cyrus Jones.
Cyrus inspires Asha to write a new algorithm. Before she knows it, she’s abandoned her PhD program, they’ve exchanged vows, and gone to work at an exclusive tech incubator called Utopia.
The platform creates a sensation, with millions of users seeking personalized rituals every day. Will Cyrus and Asha’s marriage survive the pressures of sudden fame, or will she become overshadowed by the man everyone is calling the new messiah?
In this gripping, blistering novel, award-winning author Tahmima Anam takes on faith and the future with a gimlet eye and a deft touch. Come for the radical vision of human connection, stay for the wickedly funny feminist look at startup culture and modern partnership. Can technology—with all its limits and possibilities—disrupt love?
I really enjoyed this coming-of-age story of three brilliant young adults turning into successful members of society.
Many important topics are tackled in a short period: religion, race, and sexism in the tech world being the most prominent. Asha reminded me of Daisy from The Dating Plan, as a minority woman trying to make herself heard in the tech world. Family dynamics come into play as well, as Asha steps away from some of her family’s expectations and Bangladeshi traditions.
I enjoyed the snarky quips about startup culture, and thought Utopia seemed like a very interesting place to work.
Unfortunately, this one did not work well as an audiobook for me. The pace of the narration was not great. The narrator would speed up and slow down mid-sentence, and you could clearly tell where the recording was paused and restarted. She would accent the wrong parts of words and sentences and pause at odd places, and the changing cadence made it somewhat hard to focus on the story itself. I’d recommend reading a physical copy of this one!
QOTD: Have you ever had an idea for a startup?