Suzanne van Rooyen: I Heart Robot

I Heart Robot - Suzanne van Rooyen

I was lucky to befriend Suzanne last year, when she came to our library to give a talk of Diversity in YA. I read her previous books and was impressed - especially with The Other Me. So when a chance came for me to read her new book, I Heart Robot, as an ARC, I snatched it and started to read it as soon as possible. Unfortunately I couldn't finish it at one sitting, as I had to go to work, but this is that kind of a book!


What this isn't: a run-of-the-mill YA dystopian romance with a pretty girl who has to choose between her two handsome suitors. Yeah, there is some romance in the air, but they are sixteen so what do you expect? So this suits both - if you like romance and if you don't! But that is not the point of this book. This is a book that challenges you to think what makes us human. What it is to be an outsider. And what would you do, if you were oppressed and threatened: Would you turn to violence or try more peaceful approach?


Suzanne writes characters really well. Her two narrators, Tyri and Quinn, both felt real. They were teenagers in a tough situation. Not only is their lives changing, but the whole world as they know it is changing. The relations between robots and humans are getting tense in the futuristic Scandinavian setting, somewhere Sweden used to be. Tyri and Quinn are both musicians, they love music and it makes them feel alive, so they both want to make a career out of it. Even when we know that Quinn is an android, he really wants to be as human as possible, reminding me of dear Data of Star Trek : TNG. Understanding humans, understanding ourselves - this is what this book left me wondering. How can we do this and still be happy? And if we are happy with who we are, is the society around us going to accept that? Can we live in peace and accept differences?

There is also a cool book trailer in Youtube.