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I received a paperback copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Rose is sixteen and she's dying of leukemia. While she's accepted that she doesn't have much time left, her sister has not. After a mysterious man approaches the family with a new experimental procedure that could actually save Rose's life, Koren does her best to convince Rose to try this one last treatment. This treatment consists of a brain scan that will upload Rose's mind into Aaru, a supercomputer, where after her physical death she can live on in a virtual paradise free from sickness, pain, and death. Beyond all belief it works and soon enough both sisters become nationally known. Soon they realize that their celebrity spokeperson status isn't as great as it's cracked up to be. Not everyone is thrilled with the idea of Aaru. Koren and Rose have a lot to come to terms with considering the new challenges they're facing - and rethink long held beliefs.
I'm really glad that I decided to take a chance on this YA sci-fi novel when I was approached by the author to try this series opener. I was sucked into Rose and Koren's unique world(s) right from the get go. David Meredith, the author, does a fantastic job of covering difficult and challenging subjects. I could really feel for both Rose and Koren, along with their parents. Although, the book is firmly sci-fi with some thriller elements, it still feels like it could be a contemporary - the story's real focus is on it's characters. There are so many wonderful stories that could be told in this ultimately hopeful novel.
Overall, I highly recommend trying Aaru by David Meredith - it's such a promising series opener and I'm excited to see where the story goes from where we left off. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this author's future projects. By the way, I totally had CAL from Doctor Who's "Silence in the Library"/ "Forest of the Dead" vibes when it comes to Aaru.
I read this novel from August 17 - 19, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.