RABBIT & ROBOT by Andrew Smith


Age Range: 14 - 17
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Two overly privileged teens unwittingly escape Earth’s last days on a luxury spacecraft.

Cager Messer’s father has made a fortune from the eponymous Rabbit & Robot, a television show devoured by the masses yet one Cager and his best friend, Billy (beautiful, bisexual, and equally wealthy), are forbidden to watch. The secondary Messer fortune was made from lunar cruise ships, one of which Billy, along with Cager’s caretaker, Rowan, hijacks to get Cager off drugs. Like all best-laid plans, everything goes awry: Two human girls stow away disguised as robots, a loss of gravity leads to chaos, and Earth might very well have imploded in their absence. Reading as a nonlinear diary, Cager grapples with his secrets, his should-have-dones, and what it means to be human, all while simultaneously begrudging and wielding his own social standing. Intermittent third-person omniscient chapters reveal the tandem story of the two stowaways as they slowly form bonds with Cager and Billy (spoiler alert: romance). Just like any journal, some thoughts are deeper than others, with the content meaning more to the writer than the reader. Cager is a drug-addicted, privileged kid on a stolen playground without any supervision, and the book reads with as much depth as his situation portends. The cast is presumed white save for a royal family of liquid blue life-forms.

A scattered sci-fi romp with occasional fun parts but a passable whole. (Science fiction. 14-17)

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5344-2220-9
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2018

Kirkus Interview
Andrew Smith
December 2, 2014

Andrew Smith’s young adult novel Grasshopper Jungle is set in the small town of Ealing, Iowa, where Austin and his best friend, Robby, have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things. This is not your everyday novel of the apocalypse, though it has the essential elements: a (dead) mad scientist, a fabulous underground bunker and gobs of messy violence. In fact, Grasshopper Jungle is so evocative, it ended up on our list of the Best Teen Books of 2014. We talk to Smith in this week’s Kirkus TV interview about the end of the world and other fun topics! View video >


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