Book Review : Kismet – Luke Tredget

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Kismet is a modern-day romance novel that focuses on the paradox of choice which millennial face each and everyday. Whereas our parents’ generation is always quick to tell you that they unlike us were willing to stick things out and work on a relationship that was going through a rough spot rather than call it quits and move swiftly on to the next. But can you blame us, really? I remember when I first downloaded Tinder and thought WOW so many men! Well, 5 years down the line, I’ve learned it really is about quality (not quantity), which is something that the dating pool really lacks.

Anyways back to the story, Kismet is the story of Anna, a 29 going on 30-year old who, on the cusp of her third decade, starts to question the meaning of her life and really starts to dwell on the whether she is actually happy. To be fair, she has no reason to do this. She is a steady relationship with a solid stable who is on the brink of proposing, they are on the property ladder in London (!), she has an active social life and functioning friendships and sure, there are some politics at work but she seems to be going places career-wise. Yet she is not satisfied.

As part of her quarter/mid-life crisis she downloads Kismet, which is basically next level Tinder. How it works, when you join the app it takes everything the internet knows about you (websites you’ve visited, searches, even your Spotify playlists) and basically uses this information to help you find matches. A bit creepy, hey? Not just that it’ll only give you your match percentage when you are in close proximity to that person and its expects you to then take a chance a pounce (in person!). Weird. But bear in mind while the app can give you a match percentage it won’t disclose why. And sure, you could be 90/100 match with someone but that doesn’t stop them being a sociopath, drug dealer or married (or thereabouts, as is the case with our protagonist herself).

Anna and her long-term man are a solid 70/100 according but she is feeling strangely unsatisfied. So can you blame her for having wandering eyes (and the rest) when she encounters an 81/100? You can kinda guess that things get horribly complicated, people get hurt, etc, etc….drama drama. Naturally, there is are a few twists and turns that keep things interesting. You’ll have to read it yourself to find out more.

Overall, I didn’t think the book was mind-blowing and I think the whole futuristic dating app could have possibly been a bit let basic. However, I do think the storyline did raise some legit questions about modern-day dating. Are we all just too fussy these days? And happy to give up something that is OK for just the potential of slightly better? Does history not count for as much nowadays?  Do we expect an app to do all the hard work for us? And can an algorithm based primarily on our internet activities really help us find our Prince Charming? Sure, the whole Kismet scenario is a little far fetched (expecting people to make moves in public places and with no mention of data protection laws, etc) but as dating apps continuously evolve, it’s quite likely that some elements raised in this story may become reality. Scary.

Rinsers, Have you read Kismet? What did you think? Do you think dating apps are making people more fickle? Are we ever going to settle for 75% match when there is an 80% match out there? And can algorithms every really account for the intangible elements of human interactions – chemistry, butterflies, fireworks, etc? Talk to me in the comments below.download

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