Autonomous

Andy Marino. Freeform, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4847-7390-1
Recent high school graduate William Mackler has one goal: to win Autonomous (a self-driving, fully-automated luxury vehicle worth millions) and take his three best friends on the road trip of a lifetime to Moonshadow, a Burning Man–like festival in Arizona. He wins the contest, but William and his friends Melissa, Christina, and Daniel are all hiding things, secrets that reveal themselves as the car, dubbed Otto, becomes more and more independent. In a fast-paced, tech-saturated, and thoroughly hashtagged road trip story, Marino (Uncrashable Dakota) looks at the potentially insidious side of artificial intelligence and highlights how friendships change as people grow up. He does an excellent job of focusing on what makes William and his friends human—they are imperfect, and no single rule is ever set in stone (“We taught [Otto] how to be a dick just by being ourselves,” William realizes as the trip goes haywire). Otto can’t quite wrap its processing unit around these facts—the nuances of what makes humans human aren’t imitable, even if Otto learns to tell a good joke or two. Ages 14–up. Agent: Elana Roth Parker, Laura Dail Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/2018
Release date: 11/14/2017
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-4847-7563-9
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