Siri, Who Am I? by Sam Tschida
Published by Quirk Books on May 5, 2020 (expected)
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary
Format & Length: e-book, 304
Memento gets a Millennial makeover by debut author Sam Tschida in this smart and edgy comedy about a Kardashians-obsessed woman who wakes up in an LA hospital with amnesia, a torn party dress, and a broken iPhone and must work backward, using her Instagram account, to piece together her identity, only to discover that her life is a perfect lie.
When Mia wakes up in a Long Beach hospital with a head wound, she knows everything there is to know about the Kardashian-Jenner family but almost nothing about herself. The only items in her possession are her torn party dress–which immediately begs the question, what kind of girl parties on a Tuesday night?–a tube of Chanel lipstick, and an iPhone with a shattered screen. She might not remember where she lives but she can use her Instagram account to work backward to piece together the basic facts of her identity. Easy enough, right?
Instagram tells her that she lives in a Millennial-pink duplex that would make Kylie Jenner jealous. But when she arrives, she discovers a cute housesitter named Max who tells her the house actually belongs to JP, a French billionaire–and he has no idea how she’s connected to him. After some sleuthing, she discovers she’s the owner of a high-end matchmaking service. Could JP be one of her investors?
As Mia works backward through her Instagram to figure out who she really is–and find anyone who knows anything about her–she discovers an ugly truth buried within her perfect social media image. Is it too late to undo her lies online and become an IRL good person?
Siri, Who Am I? is marketed as “Memento gets a millennial makeover,” and while not a perfect parallel, it is an apt description for this fun contemporary read.
“Memories change over time. Some fade. Some become stronger. Everyone has different memories of the same event. Memory is just a story we tell ourselves, not an objective truth. That’s why your sense of self, which is dependent on memory, is something that fluctuates and changes.”
This starts with a young woman waking up in a hospital not able to remember anything about herself. Thankfully, she does have her iPhone. It is able to tell her her name (Mia) and she decides to mine it for information about her life. Using her Instagram detective skills, Mia finds her way to what she believes is her house. And so her adventure to rediscover herself begins.
Much of this book focuses on Mia’s road to discover herself, but this is also a rom com, love triangle and all. Many of the tropes you would expect to see grace these pages, and they are handled well. The plot moves at a quick clip for fast and easy reading. And the writing is strong, with a clear, snarky voice. The only place it fell slightly flat in was the characters. Although Mia is nicely developed, many of the rest were stereotypical. If you’re looking for a full cast of fully fleshed out characters, you won’t find it here. But I can’t say that I minded much.
Although a storyline beginning with a main character with amnesia is nothing new, Siri, Who Am I? offers a fresh perspective. It explores our society’s reliance on social media and the results of living our lives filtered through its lens. As Mia’s attempts to piece together her past by going back to places from her Instagram feed, the differences between her perfect photographs and the reality she discovers unfold slowly but surely.
“Fairy tales only exist if you keep your rose-colored glasses on…”
In the end, Siri, Who Am I? was a fresh and fun palette cleanser with some depth. I’m certainly impressed with this debut and look forward to see what she does next.
*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.