Monday, July 13, 2015

REVIEW: A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install

Title: A Robot in the Garden
Author: Deborah Install
Genre: Sci-Fi/Adult Fiction
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: June 30/2015
Acquired: Print copy sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain.

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

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Dear GOD it was like Wall-E all over again, with the tears, and the heart-squeezing, and the whole 'this is the reason why we exist' thoughts. A Robot in the Garden was the kind of book that made you wonder why you're spending your days behind a desk, and not out seeking answers for the questions that deserve them. I wasn't expecting the title to, very literally, describe the content within this novel, but it did. There was a robot, sitting in a garden, and that's how this tale begins..

Ben Chambers was the type of character that one finds themselves effortlessly relating too: a lost soul, looking for a reason to not feel so lost anymore. A Robot in the Garden was set a little ways into the future, during a reality where humans own "Androids" (advanced robots), just as they would own a pet. On a regular morning, Ben stumbles upon a rather odd sight in his garden. Tang is not one of those flashy Androids, and to Ben's confusion and awe, unlike any other robot he has ever seen: boxy, and rusting, and running low on the strange liquid in his middle that is potentially keeping him 'alive'. To many a protest, and completely unrelated frustration from this wife, Ben sets off with Tang in tow, on a journey to discover Tangs origins, and rediscover life's purposes.

I adored this narrative. Deborah Install was specifically successful in conveying the idea and feeling of hope, and determination, and the joys of friendships, however odd. It was these very things that kept me engaged, but what really turned the pages was the way she connected her loose pieces, and interlocked moments. It was the way she made my entire heart envelope Tang, and feel extremely human-like emotions for this little metal being. I wanted him to live the kind of life we are all searching for: one of peace, and belonging. This is a story of new beginnings, and new truths, and of discovering new versions of yourself in the places you least expected to. 

I hope this book finds you, wherever you are. I hope YOU find this book.

Recommended for Fans of: Paddington Bear, Wall-E, Science-Fiction.




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Deborah Install has been writing fiction since childhood, submitting her first book to a publisher at the age of 8. Her love of writing persisted, leading to a number of jobs, including web journalism and her most recent role as copywriter at a design and marketing agency. She lives in Birmingham, UK, with her husband, toddler and affectionate but imperious cat. Her debut novel, A ROBOT IN THE GARDEN, is inspired by her own young son, and is backed up by copious technological research.


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A huge thank-you to Penguin Random House for providing a print copy of this book for Review.

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