This might be an unpopular opinion, but I did not like this book. Before we get too deep into this review, I will say, I fully respect and understand what Kazuo Ishiguro was doing with Klara and the Sun, but it was not for me. At all.
Ok, so, in this seemingly future world, kids have AI companions who help them through their childhood and teen years. Klara, our main character, is an AI who comes to live with Josie—a young “lifted” girl who is very, very sick.
The entire book is told from Klara’s perspective, and we as readers only know what she knows (spoiler: it ain’t much). I understand the story is supposed to explore themes of humanity, love, and the limits of AI technology, but to me, it read more like a slice-of-life novel about Klara. I wanted more background and world building to round out the setting and atmosphere, but instead we have Klara’s obsession with the sun and limited knowledge of the seemingly complicated world she lives in.
The sci-fi aspects that were woven in also weren’t new. It felt derivative. There are so many other (better) sci-fi books out there that use AIs as a way to explore human emotions and connections. Reading this book felt like déjà vu. If those are the themes you want to read about, there are better stories to get it from😅
Overall, I didn’t like this book. However, while it wasn’t for me, I can see how many others would enjoy it, and come to love Klara. I’m glad I read it for a book club, because I’m looking forward to the discussion!
I can’t say I personally recommend this book, but I know others will. And that’s part of the joy of reading! If you’ve enjoyed other books by Kazuo Ishiguro, you will likely enjoy Klara and the Sun as well.