Book Review and Blog Tour: Made for You by Jenna Satterthwaite

Author: Jenna Satterthwaite
Publication Date: July 2, 2024
Publisher: MIRA Books

Buy links:
Barnes & Noble
Apple Books

Book Summary:

Hi. My name is Julia. I’m a Synth. And I’m here to find love…

Synthetic woman Julia Walden was designed for one reason: to compete on The Proposal and claim the heart of bachelor Josh LaSala. Her casting is controversial, but Julia seems to get her fairy-tale ending when Josh gets down on one knee.

Fast-forward fifteen months, and Julia and Josh are married and raising their baby in small-town Indiana. But with haters around every corner, Julia’s life is a far cry from the domestic bliss she imagined. Then her splintering world shatters: Josh goes missing, and she becomes the prime suspect in his murder.

With no one left she can trust, Julia takes the investigation into her own hands. But the explosive truths she uncovers will drive her to her breaking point—and isn’t that where a person’s true nature is revealed? That is…if Julia truly is a person.

Told via dual timelines, Jenna Satterthwaite’s twist-filled debut deftly explores the exhilarating point where artificial intelligence, reality TV, and bone-chilling murder mystery meet.

Starting off, this sounds like a romance with an AI twist. Julia Walden is Josh LaSala’s perfect woman. Why? She was created that way. She’s a Synth, one of three in the world. Her designer, Andy, made her specifically to win Josh’s heart on The Proposal, a reality TV show where women compete for a man’s affection. What Julia isn’t expecting is how hard she’ll fall for Josh. So when he proposes to her, she’s overjoyed.

But it doesn’t take long before the bloom is off the rose, and the story takes a turn. They’ve moved to Josh’s small hometown in Indiana, and the reception Julia receives as a Synth is…well, not always neighborly. They now have an infant daughter (Julia is the first Synth with the ability to have children), and some cracks are starting to show in the marriage. Then Josh disappears, and Julia’s world is turned upside down. Things get even worse when she becomes the number one suspect in his murder. She doesn’t know who she can trust. Andy, her designer? Eve, the wonderful babysitter who lives nearby? Her creepy neighbor Bob? When the small-minded sheriff turns his focus on her, Julia goes on the run.

This book starts out as the reality TV romance and then turns into a murder mystery, and it’s a lot of fun! Julia is a fascinating character. Sure, she was knit together in a lab rather than her mother’s womb. But she has so many distinctly human characteristics. She may have been designed as Josh’s perfect woman, but like many of us, she has a lot of days where she feels less than perfect. Like so many women, she finds herself apologizing to Josh for things that aren’t her fault. She doubts herself. She questions what her purpose in life will be if she’s no longer married. She loves her daughter with every fiber of her being.

And so many characters in this story are not what they seem to be. Everyone has secrets – Andy, Eve, the lady in town who really, really does NOT like Synths, even creepy neighbor Bob. As the story unfolds, alternating between events on the TV show and events in the present day, each new revelation brought a shift in perspective and made Julia rethink things she thought she knew.

The final reveal of the killer’s identity wasn’t a big surprise, but how everything played out was fascinating and made for really compelling reading. The book has a little bit of everything – sci-fi, romance, mystery, thriller, all in one big, happy mash-up. And it hits on some pretty heavy topics – what makes a person a person, domestic violence, trust, discrimination. Makes you think.

If you’re looking for something that’s a cut above your average summer read, pick up Made for You.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for an advance copy of the book. I was not required to leave a review. All opinions here are mine, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t actually like.

About the author:

Born in the Midwest, Jenna Satterthwaite grew up in Spain, lived briefly in France, and is now happily settled in Chicago with her husband and three kids. Jenna studied classical guitar, English Lit and French, and once upon a time was a singer-songwriter in folk band Thornfield. She loves sushi, reading in her natural habitat (aka her bed), and women taking back their power. Made For You is her debut novel.

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