Book Review: Lingering


  • Title: Lingering
  • Author: Melissa Simonson
  • Series: None
  • Genre: Sci-Fi
  • Publishing Date: March 30th, 2019
  • Publishing Co.: Indie
  • Length: 310 pages
  • Format: Kindle Unlimited, Paperback
  • Acquired: Given free paperback copy in exchange for an honest review
  • Amazon LinkLingering

Death doesn’t have to be the end. 

With Lingering, your departed loved ones are only ever a text message or phone call away.* 

Say all those things you should have said. Get their advice, hear their comforting words, Tell them of your struggles, triumphs, and problems. Let them celebrate your achievements and soothe your fears like they used to. Everyone is welcome, and consultations are always free. 

*Some conditions may apply. Please call for further details.

First Chapter Challenge: 6 pages

In this small first part of the novel, I already feel like I know who Carissa was. From her deeply detailed idiosyncracies, I feel as if I have lost her myself, not just Ben. And now that this woman Jess is giving Ben a way to speak with her again, how could he pass this up? We all know he’s going to call Jess back… But what’s going to happen after that?

Will this be a phone call into another world? Or will it simply be a trick? Will he truly be speaking to his dead fiancee? And how will this impact humankind, if we no longer have much to lose in death? I can’t wait to find out!

Final Judgement: 5 Stars out of 5

Trigger Warning: This book contains adult language as well as sexual/sexual violence content

In this novel, Melissa Simonson takes us on a crazy sci-fi ride not so distant from our present world. In this book, a genius man and his quirky sidekick girlfriend take on the task of creating a way for people to talk to their loved ones after death, and so is born Lingering. This is where our main character Ben falls into their clutches. He recently lost his fiance Clarissa, and he would do just about anything to get a piece of her back. At first, it starts off as relatively harmless texting back and forth, as Ben talks to a computerized mimicry of the girl he loved. But then Lingering takes this a step further, and they are able to create a a copy of Carissa’s voice, so now Ben is able to talk with her on the phone, whenever he wants. He can vent to her, get advice on what to buy his little cousin for her birthday, can even reminisce with her on times past… But will Lingering take it even further than that? Will Ben have the willpower to stop this facade before it becomes too crazy? Will he ever be able to cope with her death if her voice is always at his fingertips?

It was a transformative thing, death. I had no idea who I’d turn into without Carissa, or if I’d even want to know who I’d become.

I was so mad at her that night. She called three times, but I never answered (pg. 3).

This was one amazing sci fi. It was so realistic, because I could totally believe that there is some tech genius out there in our world right now, trying to create this exact program. Death is one of the hardest things we go through, so who wouldn’t try to create a computer program able to mimic a person based off of their social media presence? It seems almost too easy for it not to already be a thing! That’s where the scary part comes in. This novel is so close to reality, so close to changing our entire perspective on death, forever. It definitely makes you question the morality of the program, as well as the function of coping itself. If you could talk to someone after death, would death lose its potency? Would people be less cautious, because they know that their loved ones would never be let down by their death? Would suicide rates increase? It is an interesting concept to ruminate over.

But you can’t see, I wanted to say. You’re not real, I can’t let myself believe that you’re her. But that was growing harder and harder to accept, not when she was so Carissa, everything that made her who she was (pg. 42).

Aside from the plot being absolutely amazing and realistic, and downright relatable, the character building was simply phenomenal. As I said above, I already felt like I knew Carissa from that first chapter… And it just continued on from there; with Carissa, with Ben, Riley, Jess, Nick, Joe, etc. Almost any character I came across, I felt as though I would recognize them walking down my street. I knew exactly how they would react in a situation because I know them. It made the novel so much more important to me! I cared so much about the characters and their happiness that every decision, every event held a measure of anxiety and suspense as I waited to see what would happen next.

Life is made up of moments. Some are extraordinary while others are soul-sucking, and I’d had plenty of both to sift through as I stood in that lobby (pg. 137).

In addition to this, the writing itself was very eloquent. The language and syntax was a pleasure to read, and it quickened my normal reading pace substantially. I was never bogged down in the actual process of reading, because the language transformed my experience to where I was actually a third party looking down from above at my characters. I was no longer reading this novel, but living it.

Robot was derived from the Czech robota, meaning forced labor (pg. 132).

Definitely worth the read! Whether you are a sci-fi buff or simply someone who would like a vacation read or a short escape from reality, this is the book to choose. It is quick, easy to read, and will keep you engaged the entire time! You may be confronted with uncomfortable questions of death and your morality, but who wouldn’t like a bit of a challenge?

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