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Reset

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Can you love someone you don’t remember? After the Last War destroyed most of the world, survivors form a new society in four self-sustaining cities in the Mojave Desert. In the utopia of the Four Cities, inspired by the lyrics of “Imagine” and Buddhist philosophy, everything is carefully planned and controlled: the seasons, the weather—and the residents. To prevent mankind Can you love someone you don’t remember? After the Last War destroyed most of the world, survivors form a new society in four self-sustaining cities in the Mojave Desert. In the utopia of the Four Cities, inspired by the lyrics of “Imagine” and Buddhist philosophy, everything is carefully planned and controlled: the seasons, the weather—and the residents. To prevent mankind from destroying each other again, its citizens undergo a memory wipe every four years in a process called tabula rasa, a blank slate, to remove learned prejudices. With each new cycle, they begin again with new names, jobs, homes, and lives. No memories. No attachments. No wars. Aris, a scientist who shuns love, embraces tabula rasa and the excitement of unknown futures. Walling herself off from emotional attachments, she only sees relationships as pointless and avoids deep connections. But she is haunted by a recurring dream that becomes more frequent and vivid as time passes. After meeting Benja, a handsome free-spirited writer who believes his dreams of a past lover are memories, her world is turned upside down. Obsessed with finding the Dreamers, a secret organization thought to have a way to recover memories, Benja draws her down a dangerous path toward the past. When Metis, the leader of the Dreamers, appears in Aris’s life, everything she believes falls to pieces. With little time left before the next tabula rasa, they begin a bittersweet romance, navigating love in a world where names, lives, and moments are systematically destroyed. Thought-provoking and emotionally resonant, Reset will make you consider the haunting reality of love and loss, and the indelible marks they leave behind.


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Can you love someone you don’t remember? After the Last War destroyed most of the world, survivors form a new society in four self-sustaining cities in the Mojave Desert. In the utopia of the Four Cities, inspired by the lyrics of “Imagine” and Buddhist philosophy, everything is carefully planned and controlled: the seasons, the weather—and the residents. To prevent mankind Can you love someone you don’t remember? After the Last War destroyed most of the world, survivors form a new society in four self-sustaining cities in the Mojave Desert. In the utopia of the Four Cities, inspired by the lyrics of “Imagine” and Buddhist philosophy, everything is carefully planned and controlled: the seasons, the weather—and the residents. To prevent mankind from destroying each other again, its citizens undergo a memory wipe every four years in a process called tabula rasa, a blank slate, to remove learned prejudices. With each new cycle, they begin again with new names, jobs, homes, and lives. No memories. No attachments. No wars. Aris, a scientist who shuns love, embraces tabula rasa and the excitement of unknown futures. Walling herself off from emotional attachments, she only sees relationships as pointless and avoids deep connections. But she is haunted by a recurring dream that becomes more frequent and vivid as time passes. After meeting Benja, a handsome free-spirited writer who believes his dreams of a past lover are memories, her world is turned upside down. Obsessed with finding the Dreamers, a secret organization thought to have a way to recover memories, Benja draws her down a dangerous path toward the past. When Metis, the leader of the Dreamers, appears in Aris’s life, everything she believes falls to pieces. With little time left before the next tabula rasa, they begin a bittersweet romance, navigating love in a world where names, lives, and moments are systematically destroyed. Thought-provoking and emotionally resonant, Reset will make you consider the haunting reality of love and loss, and the indelible marks they leave behind.

30 review for Reset

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    TL;DR: Interesting take on classic dystopia that fans of the genre might enjoy, but with repetitive explanation and clunky dialogue. Most unfortunately, #Reset is a celebration of heternormative, mononormative, and frankly, toxic romantic love and relationships that deeply turned this reader off. My rating: 2 of 5 stars The premise of Reset is reminiscent of other literary dystopian societies in the vein of Brave New World, We, 1984, etc. As a lover of the genre, I was interested in this take. In TL;DR: Interesting take on classic dystopia that fans of the genre might enjoy, but with repetitive explanation and clunky dialogue. Most unfortunately, #Reset is a celebration of heternormative, mononormative, and frankly, toxic romantic love and relationships that deeply turned this reader off. My rating: 2 of 5 stars The premise of Reset is reminiscent of other literary dystopian societies in the vein of Brave New World, We, 1984, etc. As a lover of the genre, I was interested in this take. In Dahlan’s Reset there are 4 city communities that survived an apocalyptic war generations before. The city’s creator instituted a system, called Tabula Rasa, whereby every resident has their memories erased every 4 years and children are produced and raised in facilities, not families. The philosophy behind this system is that humanity’s downfall is its propensity for things like love, hate, prejudice, revenge, etc., and therefore, it can only exist if the memories that make those feelings endure are periodically removed. One of my first frustrations with the book was simply how many times this philosophy was explained. It got very repetitive. The conflict in the story arises because there are a small subset of people, called Dreamers, who convene in secret meetings to take a hallucinogenic that helps them remember their memories through dreams. The main question that Reset raises--a few too many times--is whether life is really worth living without memories, and the love and relationships they allow us to build. The dialogue felt clunky and artificial. So many parts were supposed to have cute and sexy romantic vibes, but they just didn’t. I did a lot of cringing at the dialogue between Aris and Benja and Metis. I also really disliked how mononormative this book was. It really, really glorifies the whole soul mate, love at first sight, fated romance thing. At several points it also comes off as explicitly critical of people who have open, poly, or ENM arrangements. At one point it’s even stated that “A marriage is an agreement between two people to be monogamous.” Sure that’s the dominant social norm, but it excludes a lot of happy, healthy married couples for whom that agreement is not a condition of their marriage. On top of that, there’s also some less explicit shade thrown at casual dating and sex. Before the main character regains some memories, she was prone to having one night stands, but her life during that time is characterized as empty. There are also instances where the book justifies some really unreasonable examples of male jealousy. And generally toxic male behavior. On a similar note, one of the plot twists is grossly reminiscent of the classic “woman does wrong and the world gets punished” trope. Eve eats an apple and gets humanity kicked out of Eden. Pandora opens a box she wasn’t supposed to and unleashes death and sickness on the world. Now we have: woman hurts man and he takes away everyone’s memories and capacity for long-term loving relationships. And somehow it’s treated as an understandable response? No thank you. Now I’m getting nit-picky, but a description of one female character also drove me nuts: “She’s pretty. If only she would wear it with less severity and a little more warmth.” Like, I thought we all agreed it’s gross to tell women to smile more. This really irked me because it’s the kind of description I would expect from a male author. Feminist rant done. I’m sure this book will appeal to lovers of The Bachelor and rom-coms that don’t hold up, but I need more nuance and social change in my fiction diet. Many thanks to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for giving me advance access to this book in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tonya

    This book came to me courtesy NetGalley and is one of the most thought-provoking stories I’ve read in years. For the first time in forever, I was forced to slow down my usual break-neck pace through the pages. There were sentences that were so impactful, so profound, I had to savor them. Think about their implications. Consider the ramifications. It took me three days of profound enjoyment to reach the end. The book was amazing. And its ending left me in a glow that hasn’t left me in the past week This book came to me courtesy NetGalley and is one of the most thought-provoking stories I’ve read in years. For the first time in forever, I was forced to slow down my usual break-neck pace through the pages. There were sentences that were so impactful, so profound, I had to savor them. Think about their implications. Consider the ramifications. It took me three days of profound enjoyment to reach the end. The book was amazing. And its ending left me in a glow that hasn’t left me in the past week. In general, I love authors who play with human perception of time and connection with others. This book combined that with lyricism and philosophical passages that had old Beatles tunes haunting my brain and made me ponder how different individuals might conceive of and implement a utopia. And what they would force the populations of these idyllic locations to give up. As someone who treasures my dreaming capacity, a passage like this one gave me shivers of horror: By some reason that Metis doubts was Bodie’s will, he underwent the Dreamcatcher treatment. All Dreamers know the consequence of dream erasure. Once erased, the memories attached to those dreams are gone. They will no longer resurface. from “Reset” by Sarina Dahlan And the creeping gap of missing memories–even when driven by so noble a goal as peace in a post-apocalyptic world–makes the humans operating within them not much more than empty puppets: “I don’t deny that Tabula Rasa was created out of a desire for peace. But anything that takes away choice eats away at our soul. Without our memories, we are but empty vessels waiting to be filled and drained at each cycle. Love, the most vital of human needs, cannot exist fully outside the garden of memories.” from “Reset” by Sarina Dahlan The story was an elegant and unique love story on many levels, crossed with a philosophical treatise on what it takes to live harmoniously, combined with a classic sci-fi exploration of the ethics of using advanced technology. The world-building allowed for a full exploration of each of these components within a richly imagined environment–down to the vaguely salty after-taste of water reclaimed through desalination for use in a manufactured desert oasis. I’ve already started passing out the title and Amazon links to my friends and colleagues, because this book deserves discussion and sharing, whether or not your normal tastes run to sci-fi or even romance. I’d never heard of this author prior to reading this book, and from her Goodreads profile, it appears this might be her first novel, but based on the excellence of its execution, her next book will be an automatic purchase for me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Wolfe

    Reset is a truly thought-provoking book. Filled with romance, danger, and insightful questioning of doing things the way they are always done. I typically read young adult fantasy, and would have loved for this book to have been written as such theme-wise. I feel a lot of opportunities to discuss issues in society were skipped. In relation to writing style, I adored how this author chose to relay details. One major theme of the book is living in the present vs. the past, and it only feels fittin Reset is a truly thought-provoking book. Filled with romance, danger, and insightful questioning of doing things the way they are always done. I typically read young adult fantasy, and would have loved for this book to have been written as such theme-wise. I feel a lot of opportunities to discuss issues in society were skipped. In relation to writing style, I adored how this author chose to relay details. One major theme of the book is living in the present vs. the past, and it only feels fitting that everything is written in the present tense. At times the descriptive language felt lacking, but for the most part it seemed to follow the characters emotions, which was cool to see. When things were happening in a fast, confusing blur, the descriptions were lacking and incomprehensible, just like real life. When the characters were calm and at ease, an in depth description of surroundings was given. As for plot, Reset is incredibly creative. It is highly focused on romance, which I like to an extent. While I usually prefer romantic subplots with a main focus on magic or adventure, I have to say I highly enjoyed the main plot being Romance based. I do feel there were more sex scenes than needed, and many didn’t add much to the story. The treatment of the content, and the idea of everyone being erased and starting a new life every four years, was a happy marriage between Sci fi and the lost love trope. All in all, a great read. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys romance with a little action and sci fi.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Miesha Wilson Headen

    Reset will be one of my go-to books to hand sell in the science fiction genre in 2021. I listened to the author talk during a breakout session at Winter Institute 16 and became obsessed with reading it. The premise of the novel is that two people, the Planner and the Crone, created four utopian cities prior the Last War, resulting in the destruction of the earth. There is no hunger, unemployment, homelessness, or inequality. There is also no memory of anything – love, friendship, possession, or Reset will be one of my go-to books to hand sell in the science fiction genre in 2021. I listened to the author talk during a breakout session at Winter Institute 16 and became obsessed with reading it. The premise of the novel is that two people, the Planner and the Crone, created four utopian cities prior the Last War, resulting in the destruction of the earth. There is no hunger, unemployment, homelessness, or inequality. There is also no memory of anything – love, friendship, possession, or prejudice. Every four years, through a process called Tabula Rasa, everybody has her memory erased and receives a new name, a job, a house, and life. Reset is a go-to science fiction book in 2021 because it is a face-paced, well-written, sexy, and smart. The journey of the two protagonists, Metis and Aris, to their metaphoric memory home is hallowing filled with zealots, clones, and drones. The dialogue articulates philosophical questions about the nature of consciousness, choice, the fitness of humans for a communistic society, likeability algorithms, and love without the boring stiltedness of Phillip K. Dick. (It helps to have fully drawn male and female characters.) The sex scenes have the steamy subtly of the best romance novels. For comparisons, Reset has the intelligence and heartbreak of love in a surveillance state as Orwell’s 1984 and Hoffman's The Standardization of Demoralization Procedures. It’s like a better written Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. For movie comparisons, Reset can be likened to Matrix for the Architect and the Oracle and the sense of looping time.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Tas

    Read this review and other Science Fiction/Fantasy book reviews at The Quill to Live Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start over every four years? I don’t mean politically, I mean your entire life. Just a blank slate, all your wrong doings, cherished memories, ex lovers, wiped away so you can start fresh? Well if that sounds like a dandy way to live, you might want to check out our latest dark horse, Reset by Sarina Dahlan. Reset takes place in the Four Cities, a post-apocalyptic ut Read this review and other Science Fiction/Fantasy book reviews at The Quill to Live Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start over every four years? I don’t mean politically, I mean your entire life. Just a blank slate, all your wrong doings, cherished memories, ex lovers, wiped away so you can start fresh? Well if that sounds like a dandy way to live, you might want to check out our latest dark horse, Reset by Sarina Dahlan. Reset takes place in the Four Cities, a post-apocalyptic utopia, designed and built by the enigmatic Planner. It is seemingly the only place humanity exists after the devastating Last War, in which the world destroyed itself. The people in the Four Cities live a peaceful life, without concern for material needs, and have all their worries taken from them. The price being that of their memories. Every four years they have to undergo the process of Tabula Rasa, and have them wiped. The Planner felt that the only way for humanity to attain peace was to consistently remove the past to avoid prejudicial buildup. The book follows a few characters as their lives get tangled up in the final months before the next Tabula Rasa. Metis, a concert pianist by day, and the mysterious Sandman by night, leads a small group of folk known as the Dreamers. They are consistently in search of the past, even though it is forbidden. Metis is searching for the next Sandman to take his place over the next four years, and happens upon Aris, a woman who is deeply embedded in his dreams. With only four months left in this life, will he be able to convince her that she must be the next Sandman? Unfortunately, I have mostly negative feelings about Reset. I was sold on the premise, but the execution left me wanting. Before I get to the meat of my issues, I want to highlight some things that I really enjoyed about the book. It’s clear that Dahlan thought through the central idea and how people would end up living their lives in this new normal. The Four Cities, while not deeply explored, feel thought out and “planned.” There is a central and pervasive mythology about the history of the place, and it's incredibly tangible while having a vague sense of dread attached to it. Dahlan explores these mixed feelings in small and incredibly interesting ways. A lot of these smaller ideas felt like they could easily be expanded upon through short stories, enriching the world of Reset in cool and thoughtful ways. The one that stuck out to me the most was the Memory Market, a place where discarded items from people’s past were laid out so people could wander through and see if anything sparks something within them. Unfortunately, these ideas were relegated to paragraphs or sentences, and didn’t add much to the specific story being told. I will say, a lot of my issues with this book do stem from personal taste. The majority of the book is romantic in nature, and focuses very heavily on how one’s relationships would be affected by the Tabula Rasa. While I’m not against romance in my books, I have a hard time with unrequited love stories, and Reset is all about that. Metis is haunted by Aris, and can’t stop thinking about how to get her to understand who she is to him. His memories of her are vibrant and full of desire and passion, yet she does not remember him in any way. A friend of Aris’, Benja, is similarly plagued by his dreams of a man in a white hat, and can’t stop talking about him to Aris. Thane, a sort of secret police officer, is also an admirer of Aris after a date with her and is jealous of her closeness to Benja. Meanwhile, Aris is just a free floating woman who does what she wants, and does not care for romantic or sexual attachment of any kind. This love square/triangle (Benja also has feelings for Aris, but accepts that she sees him as a friend), is the central focus of the story and it became very tedious for me very fast. I think it would have been easier to swallow had the characters been people to root for. I’m not one to shy away from some good romantic drama, but I just didn’t feel for any of the characters. Aris was the most relatable in that she wanted no part of everything, but she didn’t really seem to have a reason to not be attached. She didn’t have other passions or needs to fulfill; she just felt like someone who needed to be shown the error of her ways when it comes to love. Metis and Benja were tough to relate to. They were just at eleven the whole time, pining for their innately chosen lovers, every aspect of their life consumed by it. Unfortunately, a lot of the emotions that are explored are theirs, so it only caused me to sour through the rest of the book. Thane, someone who could have had some interesting development, felt like a wet rag. There was a chance to explore his competing desires of duty and jealousy, paired nicely with regret and anguish, but he’s just there, draped in the corner waiting to be washed with the rest of the rags. I could go on and on, nitpicking my individual issues with the book, but it would just feel mean and petty. I just couldn’t get into it beyond those small moments of interest. Part of it may be that I had bigger expectations when it came to the exploration of memory, and the idea of loss in relation to it. I wanted more ambiguity, more questioning, more concern for the society that had been created. Dahlan has expressed some of those ideas in small doses, and placed them in the story in just the right spots to flare up interest and exploration, but fails to deliver beyond their immediate relation to the love square. I wanted to like this book, but it just wasn’t meant to be. If you’re into unrequited love in a time where memory is fleeting, you might find something special here, but there are plenty of other books out there for me to explore. Rating: Reset - 5.0/10 -Alex

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight The whole concept behind Reset is so thought provoking and unique! In the book, the powers that be wipe the minds of the citizens every four years, and they quite literally have to start over. Can you imagine? I had such a hard time wrapping my head around the actual horror of knowing that your life would end every four years. That everything you do during those four years is meaningless You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight The whole concept behind Reset is so thought provoking and unique! In the book, the powers that be wipe the minds of the citizens every four years, and they quite literally have to start over. Can you imagine? I had such a hard time wrapping my head around the actual horror of knowing that your life would end every four years. That everything you do during those four years is meaningless. Because not only do you lose your memories, everyone else loses their memories of you. So in a way, it's a worse fate than death, since absolutely nothing you do will live beyond those years. And it was, as such, the kind of book where you simply cannot help but wonder how you'd react. I decided that I would absolutely alternate between sobbing in the corner and drinking myself silly for four years straight. Luckily, this is not what our main characters choose to do. Aris believes strongly in the work that tabula rasa does, until she meets some people who want more.  Her friend Benja is the first to really open her eyes to the possibly of more, but it's Metis, her lover from a past life, who seals the deal for her. And now that these folks have had their eyes opened to what life could be, it's quite impossible to go back to going along with the mind wiping. In their search for answers, they begin to uncover so many secrets, and glaring downsides, to the entire project. As they soldier on for more information, the book shifts from thought provoking and relationship focused to an exciting mystery and survival tale, while still keeping it's emotive character focus. Bottom Line: Fascinating and full of moral questions, I was quite engrossed in Reset!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marc Hilton

    A pleasant twist to the utopian dream. And a nice rainy day read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Glorious.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mae

    Reset by Sarina Dahlan is the best book I've read this year. It's beautifully written and has some interesting insight. It started off slow for me, but when it got around 30% I couldn't put it down. The characters were complex. I especially loved Benja. The parts about music were interesting and thought provoking. The whole concept of Reset made me wonder if I don't value my time. If I had only 4 years, would I make the same choices? Would I find the same people? A part of me loved the ending, bu Reset by Sarina Dahlan is the best book I've read this year. It's beautifully written and has some interesting insight. It started off slow for me, but when it got around 30% I couldn't put it down. The characters were complex. I especially loved Benja. The parts about music were interesting and thought provoking. The whole concept of Reset made me wonder if I don't value my time. If I had only 4 years, would I make the same choices? Would I find the same people? A part of me loved the ending, but I wish there was more of it. I want to know what happens after. Yet, sequels could end up wrecking the book's ending. I can't wait to see what other stories the author has to tell.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nathalie

    An ARC of this book was given to me through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. What if society was reset every four years? That is the question Reset asks itself. Every fourth year, humans undergo “Tabula Rasa” in which their memories are wiped and they start a new cycle with a new name, job, home, friends. This helps in keeping the peace. But what happens when people become interested in recovering their memories? Story I think the story is pretty interesting! I never really need a lot of An ARC of this book was given to me through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. What if society was reset every four years? That is the question Reset asks itself. Every fourth year, humans undergo “Tabula Rasa” in which their memories are wiped and they start a new cycle with a new name, job, home, friends. This helps in keeping the peace. But what happens when people become interested in recovering their memories? Story I think the story is pretty interesting! I never really need a lot of detail on technicalities or specifics when it comes to sci-fi stuff, so I can’t really judge on that, but I found it pretty complete! We get the origins of it, the consequences of it, and possibly the future of it. The story flows very well. Not a lot of dull moments or chapters you really have to push through to get to "the good stuff". There are no wasted scenes here. Writing style The first thing I noticed when I started is that it’s in present tense! People sometimes feel iffy about that, but I felt it was a very deliberate choice, as the entire story is about making the most out of the present. It reads very easy overall. It’s very dialogue heavy, but not in a way that you get confused over who’s talking. Exposition and info are given to you in a subtle manner. Characters There’s quite a few characters, but they all feel very distinct from one another. Aris, Metis, Benja, Thane… They have their own quirks and personalities and their own voice. I can’t say I got really attached to anyone in particular. That is something that is very hard to achieve though when it comes to action-packed stories. Romance So…. I’m not a very big fan of romance generally, and unfortunately this was no exception. I kept thinking about how I would feel about Aris and I would honestly just check out if there was ever so much pressure put on me by a man I’d only met about a week prior. The book deals with that a bit, but it’s also quickly forgotten because there are more urgent things going on. I just felt it was a bit too fast. It felt more like infatuation instead of loving eachother for the person they were. Other I haven’t mentioned it yet but THAT COVER. It’s incredible. This was a fun read! It’s a bit out of my comfort zone. Would definitely recommend it if you like a light dystopian sci-fi with a bit of romance on the side.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lena

    Reset is a really enjoyable book. The premise really interested me, a future where people get their memory wiped every 4 years in the name of peace, but somehow some people remember through dreams parts of their past that they shouldn't. Seeing Aris go from an extreme live for the day mentality, not even bothering building any relationships because they won't last, to embracing the dreams she has as memories is a great experience. I loved her connection to Benja, it felt really genuine and valua Reset is a really enjoyable book. The premise really interested me, a future where people get their memory wiped every 4 years in the name of peace, but somehow some people remember through dreams parts of their past that they shouldn't. Seeing Aris go from an extreme live for the day mentality, not even bothering building any relationships because they won't last, to embracing the dreams she has as memories is a great experience. I loved her connection to Benja, it felt really genuine and valuable. Metis is also a very intriguing character that I wish would have taken more of a spotlight, he seems to know things he doesn't get to reveal completely. My only complaint is about the characters that play the role of "puppet masters". I would love to know more about them, we do get the basic information on their background and motivations, but we don't really get to know who they are and it makes it hard to connect to them. Overall, this is a really good read, the characters are compelling, the story is captivating and it leaves you thinking what approach you would take if you lived in a system like this and just how much of an influence your past can have in your present and your future.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kara Dennison

    Reset feels, in many ways, like one of the Cycles it describes: hitting the ground running with no explanation, blossoming into understanding, and ending (appropriately) somewhat abruptly. It’s a beautiful tragic romance built on the back of other tragic romances, leaving a handful of tantalizing threads hanging in the air and hinting at an even greater story. The ending is, in its own way, a hopeful one, even if it may take a breather after finishing to come to that conclusion. (Received an A ra Reset feels, in many ways, like one of the Cycles it describes: hitting the ground running with no explanation, blossoming into understanding, and ending (appropriately) somewhat abruptly. It’s a beautiful tragic romance built on the back of other tragic romances, leaving a handful of tantalizing threads hanging in the air and hinting at an even greater story. The ending is, in its own way, a hopeful one, even if it may take a breather after finishing to come to that conclusion. (Received an A rating in Sci-Fi Magazine Summer 2021 issue)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    This has an interesting premise and is executed pretty well. I liked the idea of a story based on Buddhist philosophy. It's imaginatively told and includes some engaging characters. A lot of scifi fans will probably connect with this. I really appreciate the ARC for review!! This has an interesting premise and is executed pretty well. I liked the idea of a story based on Buddhist philosophy. It's imaginatively told and includes some engaging characters. A lot of scifi fans will probably connect with this. I really appreciate the ARC for review!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    A well told story with an intriguing premise. It leaves you wondering what decisions you would make given the same choices as the main characters. No easy answers here, but plenty of food for thought. Loved the world building and story arch. This book would make a great choice for book clubs- thoughtful and emotional.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Bell

    "Reset" is a novel I nearly missed. Much like the ancestors of the characters, my personal bias nearly cost me. I generally avoid the sci-fi/fantasy genre but I was intrigued by the premise of wiping people's memories to avoid self destructive prejudices. What I found was not a sci-fi story, but a story of love set in a world after an extinction level war. The technology exists only to support the lives of the survivors and is relatable even to the technology of today. What the book is is as pur "Reset" is a novel I nearly missed. Much like the ancestors of the characters, my personal bias nearly cost me. I generally avoid the sci-fi/fantasy genre but I was intrigued by the premise of wiping people's memories to avoid self destructive prejudices. What I found was not a sci-fi story, but a story of love set in a world after an extinction level war. The technology exists only to support the lives of the survivors and is relatable even to the technology of today. What the book is is as pure a lost love story as I've ever read. We can all relate to the regret one feels for losing a love once in their grasp. But what Dahlan has done is take that pain and remove it from the individual's control. Where most books of the dystopian genre remove choice from humanity, Dahlan has done something wholly unique. She has removed memory and with it the meritocracy dependent on perpetual knowledge. What we discover is that some things are so important to the human condition that they find a way to shine through all efforts to contain them. This is a love story that happens to be set in a future idyllic society. The indomitability of love is at the center of our very being and being the most natural of forces, is always at odds with man's desire to control himself. The characters undergo the torture and euphoria of true love--some lost, some found, but all willing to give their lives to it. Dahlan has found a fresh take on a timeless theme...what is the absolute power of love? and made it stretch so far across genres that it simply cannot occupy any one shelf in a shop. Readers of all interests, just by virtue of being human, will relate to this story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andee

    BLOG|INSTAGRAM|TWITTER|YOUTUBE Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. You go into this book expecting it to be the love story of Aris and Metis- but it is truly this overarching love story that has spanned the entirety of tabula rasa. For a standalone book, Dahlan does an incredible job of giving us the answers to most of our questions, even down to explaining what brought about Tabula Rasa in the first place and who the creato BLOG|INSTAGRAM|TWITTER|YOUTUBE Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. You go into this book expecting it to be the love story of Aris and Metis- but it is truly this overarching love story that has spanned the entirety of tabula rasa. For a standalone book, Dahlan does an incredible job of giving us the answers to most of our questions, even down to explaining what brought about Tabula Rasa in the first place and who the creator really was, and his motivations. Their story was really mind-blowing and I think that if Dahlan wanted to write anything else in this universe, writing about them would be a fantastic choice. I think this book would be a good read for people who enjoyed Eternal Sunshine of A Spotless Mind. It has the same concept of true love bringing people back to their memories, without the toxicity of manic pixie dream girls and their male counterparts. I gave this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars. The only reason that it lost a star is that some of the logic was lost with regards to the memories and how they are pulled from people- as well as the dreams. I felt a little confused over reality and how it fit into this story at times, and that is the only thing keeping it from being 5 stars for me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jacie Atteng

    I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.... I’ll be honest, because that’s what reviews are for... I thought this would be a 3 star book through 2/3 of my reading. I liked it but I didn’t love it, until the end. I love that this was not typical dystopian novel... like main character isn’t really a rebel again the system. She doesn’t want to fight or start a riot like in most of this genre. She is logical and accepts the system how it works. The author mentions the John Le I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.... I’ll be honest, because that’s what reviews are for... I thought this would be a 3 star book through 2/3 of my reading. I liked it but I didn’t love it, until the end. I love that this was not typical dystopian novel... like main character isn’t really a rebel again the system. She doesn’t want to fight or start a riot like in most of this genre. She is logical and accepts the system how it works. The author mentions the John Lennon song that inspired the concept a few times, and I think the world that she created does fit with the general essence of the song. However, I will say that that does leave some major plot holes. The one that bothers me the most is that kids get their memory wiped at 18 and therefore have none/minimal childhood memories. If that happened, no one would have a personality or likes and dislikes. What’s more, no one would have a conscience either?? It’s a huge loop hole that really threw me off and I would say is the main reason for the loss of a star. The other reason is the dialogue, especially in the beginning, feels somewhat forced and awkward. As I said, the ending excellent. It’s satisfying without being cliche or super predictable. This is a book meant to get you thinking about deeper concepts, such as free will, morality, and humanity. It would be a good read for everyone to then mull over the implications the author is making about humans.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Heimer

    This is such a great book! I loved the futuristic setting and main character Aris. I couldn’t put it down. I had to find out more about Aris, her job, her life and her unfolding memories. I can’t wait for the official book release so we can read it in our next book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anais (atrailofpages)

    This was an interesting read for me. Not a book I would normally read, however I did enjoy it. In Reset’s world, every four years, Tabula Rasa occurs that wipes everyone’s memories of their past four years. And that means everything, such as their job, what they liked/disliked, their love interests, etc. And because if this “reset”, this has kept peace amongst the people in the world ever since the last war. We meet Aris who does not believe in love or lifetime commitment, and who also looks for This was an interesting read for me. Not a book I would normally read, however I did enjoy it. In Reset’s world, every four years, Tabula Rasa occurs that wipes everyone’s memories of their past four years. And that means everything, such as their job, what they liked/disliked, their love interests, etc. And because if this “reset”, this has kept peace amongst the people in the world ever since the last war. We meet Aris who does not believe in love or lifetime commitment, and who also looks forward to being reset and cares not for her past lives. She Mets Benja, a handsome man who wants to know about his past and past memories. This leads him to meeting the Dreamers who take a drug to remember their pasts. Aris wants nothing to do with these Dreamers and tries to convince Benja to stop. Aris then meets Metis, and begins to question many things, especially about her past memories. I thought the concept was interesting, and the story made me think of Time Traveler’s Wife, mainly the romance part of it, in that girl meets boy and boy knows girl, but girl doesn’t know him, and learns about boy and they slowly fall in love. I will say none of the characters were truly interesting, I never connected with any of them. It also felt rather stilted with the characters and the dialogue, especially the dialogue! Whenever I read any dialogue(and I love dialogue in books) it just had no warmth and I would get bored, and there was a lot of dialogue too. All in all, it was an interesting story, and was actually a very quick read for me. I may have given it a higher rating if there was more substance to the characters and dialogues, but in the end I give this 3.5 ⭐️.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Toni Wyatt

    I loved the premise of this book. What would it be like to get your memory wiped every four years for the prevention of hatred and prejudice and the preservation of mankind? I give the idea for this book 5 stars. Easy. It's such a fantastic, imaginative plot. The reason I gave this one 3 stars is just the repetitiveness of it. There were so many interesting theories and ways this book could have gone, but in the end, it just kind of petered out. Also, if we were told something once, we were told I loved the premise of this book. What would it be like to get your memory wiped every four years for the prevention of hatred and prejudice and the preservation of mankind? I give the idea for this book 5 stars. Easy. It's such a fantastic, imaginative plot. The reason I gave this one 3 stars is just the repetitiveness of it. There were so many interesting theories and ways this book could have gone, but in the end, it just kind of petered out. Also, if we were told something once, we were told it at least 10 more times. Over and over again. There really was no reason to keep iterating what Tabula Rasa was. I wish the friendship between Aris and Benja had been more convincing. I didn't understand her sleeping with him because she felt sorry for him. That turned me off. It would have been better had their friendship been built over time in a way that made them bond. As it was, Aris continually had bad thoughts about him at every turn. So, there wasn't the emotional payoff that the reader should have felt. All in all, this read was okay for me. If you love science fiction, it's worth the journey.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarina

    I told myself that if RESET was ever published I’d travel back to New York—to the Imagine mosaic where it all began. So I did. While I was taking photos of RESET with it, a musician approached me asking if I had written the book. I said yes and told him that the song had inspired the world of my novel. He then told me that he could play it for me. He did, strumming on his guitar and singing his version of my favorite song. There are few moments in life when it hits you that you are enveloped in I told myself that if RESET was ever published I’d travel back to New York—to the Imagine mosaic where it all began. So I did. While I was taking photos of RESET with it, a musician approached me asking if I had written the book. I said yes and told him that the song had inspired the world of my novel. He then told me that he could play it for me. He did, strumming on his guitar and singing his version of my favorite song. There are few moments in life when it hits you that you are enveloped in pure magic. When it happens you don’t even know what to do but cry and be in awe of its beauty. This was when my journey with RESET came full circle. Like a closing of a loop. A period after a complete sentence. A life well-lived. I am so proud of myself for never giving up. I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities I’ve received and the wonderful people who had made this dream come true. I’m beyond appreciative of everyone who bought, read, and recommended RESET. Thank you. To magic ✨

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    3.5 stars, especially for the lyrical prose! Based on the description, I was expecting a story heavier on science fiction and philosophy. What, really, would be the ramifications for society if adult memories were wiped out every four years? Would that really bring about world peace? I would have liked for this to be explored more deeply. I kept thinking we might find some people who were living outside the confines of the Four Cities to contrast experiences with. I thought maybe there were human 3.5 stars, especially for the lyrical prose! Based on the description, I was expecting a story heavier on science fiction and philosophy. What, really, would be the ramifications for society if adult memories were wiped out every four years? Would that really bring about world peace? I would have liked for this to be explored more deeply. I kept thinking we might find some people who were living outside the confines of the Four Cities to contrast experiences with. I thought maybe there were humans in decision-making positions who weren't subject to Tabula Rasa, who could explain the sinister side of it. The author uses the story to touch on issues of great individual and societal import (we'd rely ONLY on found family in this scenario. I am still thinking about this), but at its heart, this is a love story - the most pressing questions for the reader are, will they or won't they find each other? Will they or won't they recognize what they have in each other (and will they be allowed to keep it)? The writing is beautiful and the characters are beautiful, but the story glances off the surface of its potential. The answers provided for how everything works feel insufficiently realized. I am grateful for the opportunity to read/review RESET, and would happily read another novel from this author, in the hope that she delves more confidently into her subject matter next time.

  23. 5 out of 5

    cheryl

    3.5 but rounded up for being incredibly unique. It's not what I usually read but I enjoyed it. It focuses on its world but still didn't feel as dystopian in some way than others ... like is thought experiment and focused on questioning a specific concept bc parts of the world are quite nice. If you care, there are sex scenes. I actually thought that they were very well done. Erotic but not erotica, if that makes sense. Like a blurry film that gives you the emotional and physical sensation withou 3.5 but rounded up for being incredibly unique. It's not what I usually read but I enjoyed it. It focuses on its world but still didn't feel as dystopian in some way than others ... like is thought experiment and focused on questioning a specific concept bc parts of the world are quite nice. If you care, there are sex scenes. I actually thought that they were very well done. Erotic but not erotica, if that makes sense. Like a blurry film that gives you the emotional and physical sensation without graphic details (ok, a few lines were more graphic...along the lines of him filling her completely (not an exact quote...or not intentionally)). But generally putting sensations (emotional and physical) above graphic description.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Desi Wolff-Myren

    Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with this free advance copy to review. Reset is a story about a society that “resets” everyone’s memories every four years. This Tabula Rasa has led to the erasure of prejudice and war. Everyone is happy! Right? Except some people remember parts of their past lives and see them in their dreams. The boos raises some very interesting questions demand ideas about the importance and meaning of memory. It deals with ideas of free will and fate. It was slow to get Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with this free advance copy to review. Reset is a story about a society that “resets” everyone’s memories every four years. This Tabula Rasa has led to the erasure of prejudice and war. Everyone is happy! Right? Except some people remember parts of their past lives and see them in their dreams. The boos raises some very interesting questions demand ideas about the importance and meaning of memory. It deals with ideas of free will and fate. It was slow to get into but once I got into the main plot, it moved more quickly. I wish for a different ending. Not sure what I wanted. It I felt let down at the end.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I loved the premise and the storyline of this book. Would gladly read more by Sarina Dahlan. My mid-sized issue is with the writing. Sarina overuses similes. You're thinking, how bad can it be? When there are sometimes four or more similes on a page (her lips were like sugar, eyes like a frozen pond, breath coming out like a steam train - these are not literal examples of her writing, but imagine reading page after page like that). It takes you out of the world the novel is building. A good edit I loved the premise and the storyline of this book. Would gladly read more by Sarina Dahlan. My mid-sized issue is with the writing. Sarina overuses similes. You're thinking, how bad can it be? When there are sometimes four or more similes on a page (her lips were like sugar, eyes like a frozen pond, breath coming out like a steam train - these are not literal examples of her writing, but imagine reading page after page like that). It takes you out of the world the novel is building. A good editor stripping out at least 50% of the similes in future books would help out a bunch.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Darcy

    I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. DNF at ~20% The writing style seemed really beautiful at first, but then the author started banging me over the head with the themes of the book. Every conversation every single character had was about dreams, memory, and the meaning of it all. It felt like where I wanted a careful touch, they were using a hammer. Some of the writing was super cringey too. Not for me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah King

    This story was sent to me to as a beta reader. I loved it. I felt that it really captured what the American society was going through with the change in presidency and the societal rifts that were coming to the forefront. I loved this different take on science fiction with the underlying romance. The descriptions were tasteful and the characters were believable and relatable. I would love to read this book again and will probably do so.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Haynes

    My husband and I both were impressed with this book. (He actually finished it before I did.) It’s a love story written in a beautiful painterly style and layered with intelligent depth and social commentary. I found eerie similarities between our current technology and situations and this future world. The ending both makes sense and leaves you pondering what could happen next. Love conquers, but does it conquer all? Highly recommend.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kristy

    I’ll never think of my dreams the same way again. 🖤🌟 “Can you love someone you don’t remember?” - #RESET Between reading that line on the cover and finishing the first chapter, I became hooked. Haunted..? Yes. Haunted. This book has captured my imagination for the last month. And it refuses to let go. Thought-provoking. Beautiful. And poignant. I HIGHLY recommend adding this captivating debut #Scifi book to your summer must-read list!!

  30. 4 out of 5

    KaLynn Alexander

    I thought this was a very great idea and was well thought out until the end. I’m not sure if I just fell off personally or if the writing just kind of fell off. The ending felt rushed and very awkward. Other than that it was a great book

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