Lifel1k3 (Jay Kristoff, A&U)
Set in a savage post-apocalyptic California (or Kalifornya as it’s remembered now), Lifel1k3 (Lifelike) follows 15-year-old Eve, who makes a living building robots out of scraps and using them to battle bots condemned for breaking the Three Laws of Robotics. Eve’s life changes drastically when she, her best friend Lemon and her little robot guardian Cricket salvage a ‘Lifelike’, a perfect-looking boy who is actually an illegal intelligent robot designed to be stronger, faster, smarter and better than humans. This book is billed as Romeo and Juliet meets Mad Max meets X-Men, and I already felt a little exhausted before I even opened the cover, but Jay Kristoff really makes it work. Lifelike is all of these things—and a lot of Asimov and a little Pinocchio—seamlessly blended into one epic, thoughtful and unashamedly crazy-fun story. I am also a sucker for a sassy sidekick and doubly so when the sidekick is a little robot seemingly obsessed with all things pants! With all of this in mind, I would happily recommend Lifelike to readers aged 14 and up, and I think it will go down especially well with reluctant readers.
Dani Solomon is a bookseller at Readings Kids