Rabbit & Robot
Cager has been transported to the Tennessee, a giant lunar-cruise ship orbiting the moon that his dad owns, by Billy and Rowan to help him shake his Woz addiction. Meanwhile, Earth, in the midst of thirty simultaneous wars, burns to ash beneath them. And as the robots on board become increasingly insane and cannibalistic, and the Earth becomes a toxic wasteland, the boys have to wonder if they’ll be stranded alone in space forever.

Rabbit & Robot Details

TitleRabbit & Robot
Author
ReleaseSep 25th, 2018
PublisherSimon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Young Adult, Humor, Fiction

Rabbit & Robot Review

  • Shaun Hutchinson
    January 1, 1970
    There are so many things going on in this book that I I'm going to need some time to think about them before I can write a coherent review. This book is more than inappropriate erections and day-of-the-week underwear and cannibal robots. It is, to me, an indictment of the single-mindedness of our social media culture, a discussion about the future, and a peek into who we are and who we might become. I'm not sure I agree with R&R's worldview, but I absolutely see it's point of view, and think There are so many things going on in this book that I I'm going to need some time to think about them before I can write a coherent review. This book is more than inappropriate erections and day-of-the-week underwear and cannibal robots. It is, to me, an indictment of the single-mindedness of our social media culture, a discussion about the future, and a peek into who we are and who we might become. I'm not sure I agree with R&R's worldview, but I absolutely see it's point of view, and think there's some really great and thoughtful insight here, as well as a fun story. It's Andrew Smith at his Andrew Smithiest, and I'm always here for it.
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  • MissBecka
    January 1, 1970
    This book was absolutely ridiculous.It was like breeding the space opera genre with Beavis and Butt-Head to make some weird and funny book baby. Somehow that strange mashup worked extremely well.P.S."Tigers are dicks."Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for this DRC!
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  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    "... I knew we'd never see each other again, and never is a very long time to someone who isn't a machine and can't just squander ten thousand years here or there." 4 very solid stars for Rabbit and Robot, a hilarious and absurd look at what life would be like if you were to find yourself stranded with only a couple of other humans, and dozens of very human-like, yet entirely one-dimensional robots on an ultra-luxurious lunar cruise ship.It took me a bit to get into this book because the narrat "... I knew we'd never see each other again, and never is a very long time to someone who isn't a machine and can't just squander ten thousand years here or there." 4 very solid stars for Rabbit and Robot, a hilarious and absurd look at what life would be like if you were to find yourself stranded with only a couple of other humans, and dozens of very human-like, yet entirely one-dimensional robots on an ultra-luxurious lunar cruise ship.It took me a bit to get into this book because the narrative was a bit confusing and the situations were just so freaking outrageous. That said, at about the 25% mark, I got fully hooked, and I was completely immersed in this ridiculously crazy world. Although the surface plot is terribly silly, there are some deeper insights to be found (if you care to draw some parallels) in this examination of a population hooked not only on drugs but also on entitlement and violence. There is also some well-written YA angst just to round things out.If you like to have your stories about humanity and morality served up with a heaping dose of potty humour, then this is an excellent choice for you. Stick with it through the first bit -- the pay off is worth it! Strongly recommend for fans of Scott Meyer (especially those who have read beyond the "Off to Be a Wizard" series). Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a DRC of this book.
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  • Mel (Epic Reading)
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 10%Yes I broke my own rule. I’m dropping a book super, super early. Here’s the thing, three times in a week I’ve picked this up to start from the beginning or a couple chapters in to see if I could get into it. I just can’t seem to absorb any of the first four chapters or keep my attention span on it for longer than four chapters. Meanwhile I read 2 other books and had one other DNF. So it’s not a book slump... it’s the book. The writing is the problem... here’s an example: ”Billy Hinman’s DNF @ 10%Yes I broke my own rule. I’m dropping a book super, super early. Here’s the thing, three times in a week I’ve picked this up to start from the beginning or a couple chapters in to see if I could get into it. I just can’t seem to absorb any of the first four chapters or keep my attention span on it for longer than four chapters. Meanwhile I read 2 other books and had one other DNF. So it’s not a book slump... it’s the book. The writing is the problem... here’s an example: ”Billy Hinman’s caretaker was an actual v.4 cog named Hilda. She was one of the early releases, like most of the cogs who worked on the Tennessee, so she had wild and unpredictable mood swings. Most people—humans, that is—didn’t like the v.4s. I thought they were hilarious, though. And they also made Albert Hinman—Billy’s dad—the richest man in the world.”The whole book is written like this. As though you are being told a story where someone interrupts, constantly. Additionally the overall flow is very stilted. I realize this is a science fiction, future setting and narrated by a teenager in said timeline. I think the intent is to make it feel like future slang and put you in their world. Unfortunately for me it just feels like work to read it and I can’t get past it. Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
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  • Lara
    January 1, 1970
    Last weekend we were in New Orleans to celebrate my husband’s dad’s birthday. Coincidentally, ALA was also going on at the same time and I kept thinking maybe I’d run into some of my library people while about town, but I never did. THANKFULLY, however, my husband did happen to run into Andrew Smith in the airport as we were waiting to fly home, and, being approximately a billion times less socially awkward than I am, he apparently actually managed to say coherent words in Smith’s presence and a Last weekend we were in New Orleans to celebrate my husband’s dad’s birthday. Coincidentally, ALA was also going on at the same time and I kept thinking maybe I’d run into some of my library people while about town, but I never did. THANKFULLY, however, my husband did happen to run into Andrew Smith in the airport as we were waiting to fly home, and, being approximately a billion times less socially awkward than I am, he apparently actually managed to say coherent words in Smith’s presence and also received the last arc of this book that Smith had brought with him. Then he came back to where I was sitting and said, "you’re gonna be mad, but...as I was coming out of the bathroom I ran into Andrew Smith..." and I was like, "WHAT." Anyway, I very much was mad. And jealous. And was like, "but...you’re gonna let me read this first, right???" And then Andrew Smith walked by where we were sitting and came over to say hi since my husband had told him I’d be mad. And he asked my name and said, "nice to meet you," and I almost started to remind him that I’ve met him before and that I’m that weirdo whose friends had him take a photo with a dorky picture of me on their phone that one time (haha, Ramarie and Ashley, you’re still the best!), and then the next year at Texas Teen Book Festival I made him take a picture with me holding up my phone with that photo of him with the picture of me on the screen (he was like, "Um. This is a new one..."), but I stopped myself and just did the regular socially awkward thing instead and basically just blacked out.Blah blah blah, I’ve just been basking in the glow of our very fortunate timing (our flight got cancelled like five minutes later) and my husband’s superior talking-to-people abilities and how amazingly nice Andrew Smith is all week. While I read this book first. And...and...and...um...okay, so, I’m definitely still processing it. Like in all of Smith’s books, the characters are wonderful—sad and funny and flawed and beautiful—and a lot is being said without ever exactly being spelled out. And it’s weird and wacky and dark and...so very human. And the story behind Billy Hinman! Ha!I really do love Shaun David Hutchinson’s statement that it’s “Andrew Smith at his Andrew Smithiest.” If you’re familiar with Grasshopper Jungle and The Marbury Lens and The Alex Crow, you maybe know a little what to expect.I’m planning to listen to the audio as soon as that’s available (arghhhhh, months from now!!!), and in the meantime will probably reread this copy again because it’s been too long between Andrew Smith books and the withdrawal has been hard. Very, very hard!I guess I’d better let my husband read it before I do that though, since it’s his book and all! Sighhhhhh...—————————-Finally finished reading this for the second time and just realized that my dog Sassy is basically Lourdes in canine form. The farting and everything! It’s kind of amazing.
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  • Maria (Big City Bookworm)
    January 1, 1970
    This was truly one of the weirdest books I've ever read...and I loved it.Cheepa yeep!Stay tuned for a full review coming soon!
  • Josiah
    January 1, 1970
    Have you read Andrew Smith? If so, you don't need an in-depth description from me of his writing style. Weird, disjointed, and disturbing, his YA novels deliberately avoid similarity to anyone else's, and that keeps me coming back for more even though I can't be considered a fan. Rabbit & Robot relays the story of sixteen-year-olds Cager Messer and Billy Hinman. Living on a future Earth dominated by war, Billy tricks Cager into boarding the spaceship Tennessee to get him away from human civi Have you read Andrew Smith? If so, you don't need an in-depth description from me of his writing style. Weird, disjointed, and disturbing, his YA novels deliberately avoid similarity to anyone else's, and that keeps me coming back for more even though I can't be considered a fan. Rabbit & Robot relays the story of sixteen-year-olds Cager Messer and Billy Hinman. Living on a future Earth dominated by war, Billy tricks Cager into boarding the spaceship Tennessee to get him away from human civilization, where Cager's addiction to a drug called Woz was on the verge of killing him. The Messers are supremely wealthy due to the success of Rabbit & Robot, a television program created by Cager's father, so a sabbatical on the Tennessee to defeat Cager's addiction is something they can afford. Besides Rowan, Cager's caretaker for as long as he can remember, no other humans are on the ship; at least, not as far as Cager and Billy are aware. The massive cruise spaceship is manned by cogs, realistic androids with specialized programming so they can manage the Tennessee indefinitely before returning to Earth. Cager is irritated that Billy tricked him into boarding, and he's in physical withdrawal from lack of Woz, but vacation on a luxury spaceship isn't so bad. Some cogs exhibit patently inappropriate social behavior, but they can't help themselves; that's how their programming is written. However, the risqué behavior gets out of hand when a worm infects the ship's cogs, causing them to attack and devour one another. Cager and Billy would be content to wait until they return to Earth to sort out the problem...except that's never going to happen. Reports indicate that society has finally collapsed under the weight of Earth's many wars. Presumably, nothing is left but the ruins of a civilization that couldn't overcome the barbarism of its own nature. How do Cager and Billy feel about floating in a spaceship for the rest of their lives, as one of only three humans still left? When they investigate what caused the cogs to go cannibal, they find surprising answers. Does mankind have an enemy other than itself? And are Cager and Billy less alone on the Tennessee than they knew?Rabbit & Robot (the book, not Mr. Messer's television show) isn't my style. The ubiquitous bad language, obscenity, and cynical view of existence do nothing to nourish or fortify me, which is why I read. Much as in the author's Grasshopper Jungle, the characters are slaves to their own whims and biological urges. If you like fundamentally chaotic stories, Rabbit & Robot might be for you, but I struggle to see the point. I'll probably read Andrew Smith again, though. A creative mind like his is worth taking a glimpse at now and then.
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  • Catie
    January 1, 1970
    I kept waiting for some deeper meaning to appear underneath the drug haze, gallons of robot mucus, erections, and mood swings, and I was ultimately disappointed. Certainly there are messages here about consumerism and the sort of "us vs. them" closed-minded ignorance that humans seem to specialize in, but it wasn't enough for me. I wanted the ending to reveal its cards with a punch to the gut, but instead I was left confused and muttering..."Well, DUH." Where Grasshopper Jungle felt weird in an I kept waiting for some deeper meaning to appear underneath the drug haze, gallons of robot mucus, erections, and mood swings, and I was ultimately disappointed. Certainly there are messages here about consumerism and the sort of "us vs. them" closed-minded ignorance that humans seem to specialize in, but it wasn't enough for me. I wanted the ending to reveal its cards with a punch to the gut, but instead I was left confused and muttering..."Well, DUH." Where Grasshopper Jungle felt weird in an interesting and unique way, this felt repetitive and kind of silly. It's absolutely possible that I missed something here.A more meaningful (even fifteen years later) read-alike is Feed by M.T. Anderson.
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  • Ivy
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing and disgusting and one of my favorite books of all time.Full Review: https://bookpeopleteens.wordpress.com...Author Interview: https://bookpeopleteens.wordpress.com...
  • Monica Edinger
    January 1, 1970
    A wild ride!
  • Lydia N
    January 1, 1970
    “So here we were, sitting down with god, basically, at the final New Year’s Eve for all eternity, in a restaurant called Le Lapin et l’Homme Mécanique, on a ship called the Tennessee that was orbiting the moon.Who knew?”Absolute absurdity. Cheepa yeep!
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  • Andy
    January 1, 1970
    I was fortunate enough to get an ARC of Rabbit & Robot and I will just say... WOW. I was just blown away by the story, the characters, the humor, the messaging, the philosophy, etc. The whole concept is pretty genius and the way that Smith creates a plot, conflict, and tension, well, the dude's a masterful writer, a genius of YA lit and lit just in general. I know that Smith has been compared to Vonnegut previously and I am always looking for those connections in his writing and being a huge I was fortunate enough to get an ARC of Rabbit & Robot and I will just say... WOW. I was just blown away by the story, the characters, the humor, the messaging, the philosophy, etc. The whole concept is pretty genius and the way that Smith creates a plot, conflict, and tension, well, the dude's a masterful writer, a genius of YA lit and lit just in general. I know that Smith has been compared to Vonnegut previously and I am always looking for those connections in his writing and being a huge Vonnegut fan I can say that this book is probably his most Vonnegut-y so far. Moreso than Grasshopper Jungle and The Alex Crow and those were pretty Vonnegut-y. The big questions of who we are, what are we doing here, and why, and trying to figure all those things out, well, I don't think that Cager and Billy are every going to figure those things out when they're 16, but they have a pretty solid hold on it by the end of Rabbit & Robot. I love the way that they end up on The Tennessee and I love the conflict that they continue to face being rich kids who don't know anything about being social, and I love that they try and figure out how to make sense of it all. I would certainly teach this book to my 8th graders but there is a ton of potentially offensive language within these pages. But, I've always been a fan and protector of the NCTE right to read, so if there was a problem, I would trust the kid and their parents to make the right decision. The language pales in comparison to the potential conversations one can have with a classroom of engaged students (and make no mistake, students will be engaged). The difference between coders and bonks, humans and robots, and of course, what does it all mean and why the hell are we all here, are all pieces of the puzzles and Smith gives us a treasure trove of potential talking and writing points. "Love and hope are what make us what we are." A perfect ideology for all humanity. Sadly, and I wonder if this is what Smith was getting at, we're pretty far away from love and hope is really all we have left (for now at least). Needless to say, I loved this book and plan on purchasing a copy of it when it comes out (and hopefully getting it signed by the man himself).Such good stuff!
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    Edelweiss provided me a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review.Andrew Smith's realistic fiction books are among some of my favorites...Winger and Stand-Off, 100 Sideways Miles, Stick. I haven't read much of his science-fiction--other than Grasshopper Jungle, which was raunchy and hilarious and brilliant...reminiscent of Vonnegut, but with more horny teenagers--but I know it's usually out-there and not for everyone.Rabbit & Robot is definitely out-there and not for everyone...but i Edelweiss provided me a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review.Andrew Smith's realistic fiction books are among some of my favorites...Winger and Stand-Off, 100 Sideways Miles, Stick. I haven't read much of his science-fiction--other than Grasshopper Jungle, which was raunchy and hilarious and brilliant...reminiscent of Vonnegut, but with more horny teenagers--but I know it's usually out-there and not for everyone.Rabbit & Robot is definitely out-there and not for everyone...but it's also raunchy and hilarious and brilliant. In a world where machines are as lifelike as humans and the Earth is burning in the midst of multiple wars, two spoiled rich boys and their caretaker end up trapped on a spaceship filled with machines-gone-wild. There's a French giraffe, a horny valet, two girls who may or may not be robots, blue aliens...and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Cager (like all of Smith's narrators) is funny and honest and a little bit broken. He's addicted to drugs, loves his best friend Billy, and desperately wants to be normal. His story--even when surrounded by the craziness of cannibal robots and talking zoo animals--is emotional and engaging and full of heart.
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  • Billie
    January 1, 1970
    It's been three years or thereabouts since The Alex Crow and it feels longer because I am not patient when it comes to books. So, as soon as I knew ARCs were available for this one, I let the begging commence. Okay, i sent one e-mail to my sales rep, but it was really, really pathetically beg-y.Was it worth the wait? Very much yes.It's...ridiculous, but please don't imagine that I mean that as a dig. It is, after all, a book about cannibalistic robots and talking giraffes and blue aliens and sex It's been three years or thereabouts since The Alex Crow and it feels longer because I am not patient when it comes to books. So, as soon as I knew ARCs were available for this one, I let the begging commence. Okay, i sent one e-mail to my sales rep, but it was really, really pathetically beg-y.Was it worth the wait? Very much yes.It's...ridiculous, but please don't imagine that I mean that as a dig. It is, after all, a book about cannibalistic robots and talking giraffes and blue aliens and sex and drugs and the kind of kids TV that only makes sens when the viewer is high. It's over-the-top and out-of-control. It has elements that could have been drawn from everything from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to the new(er) Battlestar Galactica to late-night oddity Lexx. It is smart and snarky and...sneaky.Yes, sneaky. Because behind all of the madcap, cannibalistic insanity are serious questions about privilege and what it means to be human and even the nature and origin of humanity itself. It takes our current level of technology and the current state of world affairs and ramps them up to the nth degree to encourage the reader to ask "Just because we can, does that mean we should?"But, mostly, it's cannibalistic robots run amok on a luxury spaceship orbiting the moon and four human teens trying to survive and get back home. Plus aliens and tacos.
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  • B220
    January 1, 1970
    This book is ridiculously hilarious on so many levels. The premise, Cager and Billy get on the spaceship the Tennessee as 30+ concurrent wars are occurring involving the United States. Along with the caretaker Rowan, they believe they are the only humans on the ship until Cager's extra-sensitive nose detects other humans-females!The ship is manned by Cogs, humanoid machines that each have one dominating emotion (extreme elation, outrage, horniness, depression, etc). Cager's personal attendant is This book is ridiculously hilarious on so many levels. The premise, Cager and Billy get on the spaceship the Tennessee as 30+ concurrent wars are occurring involving the United States. Along with the caretaker Rowan, they believe they are the only humans on the ship until Cager's extra-sensitive nose detects other humans-females!The ship is manned by Cogs, humanoid machines that each have one dominating emotion (extreme elation, outrage, horniness, depression, etc). Cager's personal attendant is Parker, a cog who is excessively horny. Though the planet Earth may or may not exist anymore, Billy and Cager are left with a decision: do they try to stay on the ship as the cogs start to act very oddly, or do they attempt to return to Earth...and how will the two girls on the ship play into their choice?This book is funny. If you have never read any Andrew Smith books, you are missing out and you need to pick this book up! I can just picture Mr. Smith laughing out loud as he composed most of these sentences! I know I laughed so loud a couple times my wife asked me what the heck I was reading! Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC!
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  • KristynRene The Hype Queen of Books
    January 1, 1970
    Edelweiss granted me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. And honest is what I shall offer you.Count em up, 19 “fucks” in the first 2 Chapters. Are you trying to be Andy Weir? Because if you are, you are coming off as FUCKING ANNOYING. Use profanity when it is necessary. Not because you want to sound ironic, cynical, and relatable. Ew. Absolute failure. I never read Winger because it didn’t interest me in the slightest. Now I will officially avoid any work of Mr. Smith’s. “Forever and ever Edelweiss granted me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. And honest is what I shall offer you.Count em up, 19 “fucks” in the first 2 Chapters. Are you trying to be Andy Weir? Because if you are, you are coming off as FUCKING ANNOYING. Use profanity when it is necessary. Not because you want to sound ironic, cynical, and relatable. Ew. Absolute failure. I never read Winger because it didn’t interest me in the slightest. Now I will officially avoid any work of Mr. Smith’s. “Forever and ever.” This book belongs on the carcass covered moon where it will never be read because the only people on that moon will be dead. Never been so triggered at a book before. I am so not trash for this TRASH. The whole beginning is a mess. This book is a mess and once other critical readers get ahold of it, the world will see this book for what it is:TRASH.
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  • The Bookish Austin
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, a friend won this as a Goodreads Giveaway. I'm providing an honest review of it. Secondly, that's some pretty BA cover art. Third, I'm going to say that this book is just Andrew Smith. It's wacky, it's full of teenagers being teenagers, has a talking giraffe, and even has some deep ideas about what makes humans human. :) Check out a more in-depth review here: https://thebookishaustin.tumblr.com/p...
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Having read previous Andrew Smith books, I knew that sometimes it takes a while to get into the world (eg, Grasshopper Jungle) but this? Trying to fgure out when and where things were, who Rabbit and Robot and Billy were, why there were so many wars on Earth and what Woz was took far too long for me and at 25%, I just gave up.eARC provided by publisher.
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  • Laurie Thurston
    January 1, 1970
    Andrew Smith is pretty much one of my favorite people and I appreciate when he goes "out there". And, this was, um, OUT THERE. But, 'Whatever', as Cager would say. I stuck with it and enjoyed the ride. Super glad I heard him speak when he came to Portland and talked about the writing of this; it added a deeper layer to the experience.
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  • Sya
    January 1, 1970
    Insane, exhilarating, and moving, Smith's latest jar upon a hill maintains the standard set by his previous titles and is a must read for anyone looking for a truly unique take on what makes us human and whether it matters.
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a weird book. That's not a bad thing, in this case. Throughout all of the random weirdness it never loses sight of the story the author is trying to tell, or the themes being expressed. Also, I like weird. Especially the kind of weird that makes you laugh in shock and mutter 'wtf is happening???' while reading. This book is not just a good read--this book is an experience.First, another bit of recap because the summary really doesn't go into much. Rabbit & Robot takes place in This was such a weird book. That's not a bad thing, in this case. Throughout all of the random weirdness it never loses sight of the story the author is trying to tell, or the themes being expressed. Also, I like weird. Especially the kind of weird that makes you laugh in shock and mutter 'wtf is happening???' while reading. This book is not just a good read--this book is an experience.First, another bit of recap because the summary really doesn't go into much. Rabbit & Robot takes place in the somewhat near future. Earth is a giant mess and robots have pretty much taken over all the jobs on Earth with the exception of a few. Humans are left with two choices, either to be coders or bonks. Bonks are soldiers. This is an important job because there are pretty much always wars going on, and a lot of them all at once, and over really stupid things. Most kids grow up going to school where they're given strict doses of a drug called woz for some reason. Woz can be highly addictive, however, and our main protagonist, Cager Messer, has developed an addiction despite not going to school. Cager, and his friend Billy, are not like other kids. They're the elite of the elite--their fathers are uber-rich and own pretty much everything. Billy's dad owns the company responsible for making all of the robots (aka cogs) and Cager's dad owns all kinds of stuff but is famous for producing the hit show Rabbit & Robot, a show about a bonk and a cog named Mooney.Billy, tired of seeing his friend slowly killing himself on woz, decides it's time for an intervention. Along with Rowan, Cager's stoic caretaker, they whisk Cager off to his dad's space cruise ship, the Tennessee, orbiting the moon. The plan is to get Cager away from the woz for a while so that he can clean himself up. Since there's no one on board the Tennessee, except for a ton of cogs that run the ship in every position from Captain down to valet and even zoo animals, the ship may seem like an ideal place to get away. But not long after arriving, it becomes apparent that things seem to have gone horribly wrong back on Earth--it looks like the entire planet has become a bit...crispy.This future is weird, for sure, and stuff just keeps getting more and more weird. We're introduced to a couple of other characters, Meg and Jeffrie, two girls who are also trying to get off the planet. Jeffrie is a burner--basically a pyromaniac. Why are some people burners in the future? Who knows. Maybe some people just like to watch the world burn. Literally. The girls sneak on board the Tennessee, disguised as cogs, unbeknownst to Cager and Billy who are thinking their little group of three are the last humans left alive.So, yes, this book is really weird and not just because of all the weird stuff that happens in it. The style in which it's written is very distinct. The chapters are short and cover very specific events. There's a ton of stuff about sex, sexual feelings and thoughts, sexuality in general, etc. I was not prepared for the amount of times I'd read the word 'erection' in this book. That being said, I thought it was all written in such a casual way, and why shouldn't it be? These things are a part of life, after all. If I was a little surprised to find so much of this covered in a YA book, I quickly got over that. I think it's an interesting choice not to shy away from topics like sex and drug addiction when writing for teens. Why sugar coat the world?As far as setting, this book was probably the furthest thing from reality that's set in our future that I've ever read. It feels like life is highly regimented (school, everyone having their place in society) but also full of chaos (wars constantly breaking out, the randomness of the R&R show). I guess in some ways that's like our world, but here it's taken to an extreme. On the Tennessee it's one of those 'no expense spared' type places, and it feels super indulgent. I mean, there's a lake. Inside a space ship.The cogs are especially interesting. Cogs, just looking at them, are pretty much indistinguishable from humans. But cogs don't really act like humans. The latest, the v.4 cogs, can express emotions but are generally only given one emotion to focus on. So we end up with cogs that are always outraged, or depressed, or joyful, or horny. We get to know a few of them on board the Tennessee. Lourdes, the cruise directer, is always super positive and excited about everything. Parker, Cager's personal valet who is a 'horny type' cog is constantly coming on to Cager and informing him of his erections. There are others as well. I think the boys' reactions to the cogs are interesting. Billy, whose father is responsible for the cogs, hates them with a passion. He wouldn't care if they were all destroyed. Cager is more indifferent, but that changes over the course of the book.There's a lot explored in this book but I think some of the themes remain true for YA, while others are universal. Figuring out who you are and what you want to do with your life--this is Cager's biggest issue. He is a bit clueless and he's floundering. Billy, on the other hand, always seems confident, but maybe he's got some things to learn as well.One of the other things that comes up in the book is what it means to be human. We have humans living among all these robots and sometimes it feels like the robots are very human, despite them only being able to express one emotion, and they're pretty extreme at that. Cager keeps reminding himself that they're only machines, toaster ovens or can openers, but he finds himself soon feeling empathy for some of them. It's through his interactions with all the characters, the robots and the humans, that he's finally able to start getting a grip on his own life.Overall, I really loved Rabbit & Robot. I was drawn in by the weirdness, stayed for even more weirdness, and by the end I fell in love with the heart of it all. I don't think it's a book that would appeal to all readers, but if you enjoy weirdness, randomness, and self-exploration you may want to give this one a try. 4.5/5 stars.Thanks to the folks at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy for review purposes. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review.
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  • Rachel Louise Atkin
    January 1, 1970
    Smith’s latest work is, for me, one of his weaker novels. Although it contained many of the Andrew Smithian themes and elements that I love in his other work, there was a lot about this novel I felt didn't work and therefore didn't enjoy.Rabbit & Robot follows two friends named Cager and Billy whose parents have invented two of the most groundbreaking pieces of technology in their lifetimes - the cogs, and the lunar cruise ships. The cogs are robot servants who, despite now being on v.4 of t Smith’s latest work is, for me, one of his weaker novels. Although it contained many of the Andrew Smithian themes and elements that I love in his other work, there was a lot about this novel I felt didn't work and therefore didn't enjoy.Rabbit & Robot follows two friends named Cager and Billy whose parents have invented two of the most groundbreaking pieces of technology in their lifetimes - the cogs, and the lunar cruise ships. The cogs are robot servants who, despite now being on v.4 of their development, are emotionally handicapped in that their programming freezes them in one constant emotional state. Cager, Billy, and their guardian Rowan (because the boys have been basically abandoned by their parents) steal a lunar cruise ship called the Tennessee which is home to thousands of malfunctioning cogs.The premise of this novel is as exciting as his previous ones, and I can never ever fault Smith for his originality. What I also loved about his works is that despite their sheer surrealism, they always have something to say about the world we reside in now. Rabbit & Robot was essentially a novel that explored 'us v them', as well as the question of what it really means to be human. Are our emotions just a natural genetic programming? Do our genes make us nothing but cogs that are actually made out of flesh? Some of the imagery here like the cogs oozing strange coloured liquid and Cager being completely unfazed by inflicting violence on them was quite shocking in what this says between the lines. One of my favourite parts was Cager realising that the cogs were actually creating new cogs in a makeshift laboratory, causing him to ask himself what actually makes him different to the robots?There are other small things about this novel that I enjoyed, but most of them were just concepts and weren't fully explored. The idea that never-ending wars were being waged on the Earth below them. The drug, Woz, that Cager is addicted to being a substance used in schools to neurologically train children and teenagers into obedience. The fact that Smith is never afraid to openly show homosexuality and homo-eroticism as ordinary behaviour, and to actively include trans and bisexual representation. And finally, the idea of the Tennessee as a 'jar' - as the entire ordeal of the book resembling some sort of scientific experiment, and the revelations of Cager becoming completely irrelevant and ironic in relation to the Tennessee as nothing but a picture of dehumanisation.What let this book down was a number of the loose ends and things that just took away from the novel. In the middle of it they are visited by aliens who claimed to have been the ones to install the fault in the cogs because they believe humans are an inferior species. Whilst this was an interesting concept in that it created quite a terrifying image of a chain of 'us v them' through-out the universe, Smith is very good at showing how the human use of science and technology is ultimately what brings about it's own downfall. Grasshopper Jungle, for example, is an apocalyptic novel that occurs because of humanity's neglect of nature and toxic use of science. The same really worked for this novel until the arrival of some aliens for about 30 pages which I don't think really fit well into the story.Some of the writing was off at parts, and I felt like the middle was absolutely full of filler. Smith also really needs to work on his female characters, because they absolutely suck and barely exist outside of the male gaze.So very mixed things to say about Rabbit & Robot, but as with all of Smith's works it can take a lot of time for the messages to really jump out at you. Whilst they are definitely there in the undercurrent, the surface story wasn't completely my cup of tea. Andrew Smith is at his best when he doesn't try so hard to shock, but scare, and does it by showing us just a taste of our own world in destruction rather than too removed sci-fi we can't recognise.
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  • O.R.
    January 1, 1970
    I like Andrew's crazy so count me in. And that's a badass cover.
  • Polaris Hall
    January 1, 1970
    I don't think I've ever read a book quite like this before. A casual writing style, semi-unreliable narrator, and ambiguous ending don't normally seem to mesh well, but Smith did a great job. I really felt compelled by the central question of what exactly it means to be human.
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  • Ricky
    January 1, 1970
    It's been a bit since I read an Andrew Smith novel, and after picking up this ARC at work (luckily a second one came; someone else took the first one before I could), I'm pretty glad I took another chance on his latest.The story here is more cohesive than The Alex Crow and the Marbury Lens duology, and it feels more meta-humorous than Grasshopper Jungle. That same meta-humor might get the book in trouble with certain online types because Smith has stated that a lot of the cannibalistic chaos of It's been a bit since I read an Andrew Smith novel, and after picking up this ARC at work (luckily a second one came; someone else took the first one before I could), I'm pretty glad I took another chance on his latest.The story here is more cohesive than The Alex Crow and the Marbury Lens duology, and it feels more meta-humorous than Grasshopper Jungle. That same meta-humor might get the book in trouble with certain online types because Smith has stated that a lot of the cannibalistic chaos of the robots on this doomed space cruiser was inspired, somewhat, by people who came down on him for problematic behavior at times in the last couple of years. Hell, in the very first chapter, "spirit animal" gets appropriated in dialogue, which is sure to rile up a lot of people - even if Billy, the appropriator in question, goes and takes it back upon seeing that the animal he liked so much is an incongruously carnivorous giraffe. Then there's Smith's usual incorporation of queer male sexuality, which, as always, comes off as more than a bit weird. As well as you can expect given that Smith is literally the original "Keep YA Weird" guy, though over the years, as Smith's books have actually helped me accept my own bisexuality, I've felt that he's not had as great a handle on the subject as he thinks he does. I still think Passenger's m/m ship was awkwardly done and would have worked much better platonically; Winger, of course, pulled a Bury Your Gays; Grasshopper Jungle was perhaps the closest Smith came to creating a character who reflected my sexuality with Austin Szerba, but even then he kinda relied too much on the Cheating Bisexual trope. (Incidentally, I've put one of my #ownvoices bi manuscripts on hold precisely because I fell into the same tropey hole.) I'm at least glad that Smith makes it clear that we're in a future where sexuality is pretty much fluid by default, though I do still think it'd have been nice to have Billy not feel afraid to say he himself was bi (which is how I headcanon him, tbh.) But then again, after the opening chapter's incident with Maurice the bisexual carnivorous French giraffe, I'm not surprised he doesn't want to have a label in common with that creepy-ass cog.Like a lot of Andrew Smith's past works, Rabbit & Robot is weird and immature and downright disgusting. Sperm and piss and fart jokes abound, and now we get recreational drugs for good measure. And tons of F-bombs. And Parker. I'm so over the current trend of casting Timothée Chalamet in everything, and especially of typecasting him as a horny-ass teenager, but Parker is the perfect role for him. Though I bet Chalamet would probably only be able to endure maybe a hundred repetitions of "I have an erection" before he can no longer say it without laughing. Or, worse, making the entire rest of the cast corpse.That repetition is one of many that shows up throughout the book, largely because, again, most of the cast are robots. They keep repeating their programmed lines - or are they programmed? Perhaps by the Worm that infects them all. In any case, these repetitions make the book a little dull at times, though at times I admit I laughed a little more than I should have. Especially since a lot of those repetitions parrot not only fundamentalist Christians (who, because they're characters in an Andrew Smith novel, have mouths as foul as everyone else's), but also the sort of endlessly self-victimizing discourse endemic to social-justice Tumblr.As always, Smith gives us a book that takes me, in particular, to a certain dark side of mine. In this case, as I'm telling one of my best bros (to whom I'm sending this book later this week), the side that sees everyone else submitting to vice like it's a game, and totally wants to join in anyway. Because, gorrammit, that's way too much me and I need to be a better human than that. Which character am I most like? Parker? Milo? Lourdes? Billy? Juan? Rowan? Meg? Jeffrie? Cager Messer?Maybe they're all me.And I bet my buddy will feel the same whenever he reads the book himself. (Though obviously he's Billy.)
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    There needs to be an Andrew Smith shelf because he is inimitable.
  • James Wilcox
    January 1, 1970
    I was fortunate enough to acquire an advance copy of Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith thanks to Edelweiss and the fine people at Simon & Schuster.A brief, non-spoiler review: The book is funny, crass, inventive, and a little bit insane. Pretty much par for the course for Smith. But the point of this brief opening paragraph is: if you've read Smith's other works (particularly Grasshopper Jungle or The Alex Crow) and weren't absolutely in love with them... you won't find much to change your I was fortunate enough to acquire an advance copy of Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith thanks to Edelweiss and the fine people at Simon & Schuster.A brief, non-spoiler review: The book is funny, crass, inventive, and a little bit insane. Pretty much par for the course for Smith. But the point of this brief opening paragraph is: if you've read Smith's other works (particularly Grasshopper Jungle or The Alex Crow) and weren't absolutely in love with them... you won't find much to change your mind here.If you were a fan of his more down to earth books like Winger and 100 Sideways Miles, you may still like Rabbit & Robot, but it's definitely got a lot of the weird YA elements that Smith is quite fond of, so tread lightly if you've not big into genre YA.But if you're a fan of Grasshopper Jungle (or Smith in general), there's a lot to like in his newest novel. I say check out the excerpt that was featured in Entertainment Weekly. If that's too weird, then the rest of the book is going to be too weird for you as well.Since I've managed to read it several months ahead of time, I'm hiding the entire review to avoid spoilers, but just the same...THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD! IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW PLOT DETAILS FOR THE BOOK PLEASE STOP HERE.So the short plot is: Cager and Billy are two teenaged boys stuck on a giant cruise ship called The Tennessee that's orbiting the moon.While they're on this ship, mechanized people, called cogs, are going mad around them. Of course, it's difficult to tell because the cogs often exhibit emotional echoes of their coders, ergo why we have a VERY French giraffe cog, or why Cager's loyal teenaged footman-cog Parker is consistently talking about wanting to sleep with Cager and drawing attention to his erection.Like I said, classic Smith.What Smith has done very well in the past (and continues to do well in Rabbit & Robot) is to give his characters an authentic and distinct voice. Cager shares some similar traits to Grasshopper Jungle's Austin, but Austin's narration was focused on the miniscule connections between things, as well as making an accurate and honest history of the world of Grasshopper Jungle as he saw it while Cager is a drug addict coming down off of a high of Woz and seems to miss... well, quite a bit.There's a lot going on that Cager notes and observes, but doesn't seem to understand fully. As a reader, it's actually fairly easy to pick up on things and enjoy a bit of the dramatic irony as Cager and Billy remain ignorant (especially the true identity of their caretaker Rowan).What this also means is that there's a lot happening that we just don't get to know about. While Austin was more focused on gaining more knowledge to fill in the blanks of his history, Cager doesn't have the same means of information gathering, so we're left with a lot of unknowns at the end of the story: Is the earth completely destroyed? What is the true goal of the cogs at the end of the story? Will the Queen be back at some point? What happens with Cager and Billy after the novel ends?!?!?There's also hints that the novel connects to other Smith novels, so... what are we to make of that? Is it a throw-away line, or does this occur within the same world? Regardless, we'll probably have to wait until Smith's follow-up to Grasshopper Jungle arrives in the far-too-distant future.I could go on, but I won't. However, I'll swing back in a few weeks and probably poke at this some more after I've had time to re-read the book. Remember to keep YA weird!
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  • Mr. Blevins
    January 1, 1970
    I lived this book! It easily made it to my top ten list. Smith’s writing is wild, creative, and fun. I haven’t laughed out loud at a book like that in a long time. Cater and Billy are exceptionally written and there are so many strange moments that are head-scratching wtf is going on, that I was constantly entertained. Also robot zombies in space that are easily triggered into fits of swearing and over the top threats of violence? Yes, please.
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  • Brandie
    January 1, 1970
    ***Received from a Goodreads Giveaway***And, Billy, if you’re out there, text me.A silly story with not much meat on it. I could see this being turned into a regular show for Adult Swim on The Cartoon Network with all the erections, farting robots, drug use/abuse, and the suspension of belief in a spaceship not having some type of way to communicate with each other aboard ship, no spacesuits, and with all people of earth being either coders or bonks (besides Cager’s family and Billy’s family) wh ***Received from a Goodreads Giveaway***And, Billy, if you’re out there, text me.A silly story with not much meat on it. I could see this being turned into a regular show for Adult Swim on The Cartoon Network with all the erections, farting robots, drug use/abuse, and the suspension of belief in a spaceship not having some type of way to communicate with each other aboard ship, no spacesuits, and with all people of earth being either coders or bonks (besides Cager’s family and Billy’s family) who would even spend time there? Maybe other 1 percenters? If so, then why the schools for bonks and coders? There again, for adult swim the logic would work fine. Sooooo, not my personal cup of tea but I could see the appeal to others. But, I was interested enough to push on and finish it. *sigh* And then a disappointing ending. There needed to be a little more. Or is there a book 2? (view spoiler)[what about the appearance of all the blue worms? The appearance of Mooney and Rabbit? What remains of earth? They are going into the unknown without knowing if there is even breathable air on earth. :/ Like I said, not for me. And that’s fine. :D (hide spoiler)]
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars. There is always so much happening in Smith's books that I never really know where to begin. Cager is kidnapped by his best friend Billy and caretaker Rowan to his father's spaceship in an attempt to get him clean off of a drug called Woz. Just in time, too, as Earth has destroyed itself with its thirtieth world war. The Tennessee is full of robots of both humanoid and animal protoypes, & there's only a human count of five in the solar system. This absurdly uproarious space adventu 4.5 stars. There is always so much happening in Smith's books that I never really know where to begin. Cager is kidnapped by his best friend Billy and caretaker Rowan to his father's spaceship in an attempt to get him clean off of a drug called Woz. Just in time, too, as Earth has destroyed itself with its thirtieth world war. The Tennessee is full of robots of both humanoid and animal protoypes, & there's only a human count of five in the solar system. This absurdly uproarious space adventure will not fail to astound you throughout the trip. Cheepa Yeep!I also feel the need to give thanks to Smith for how he portrayed a character that comes in a bit into the book, Jeffrie. I don't want to give too much away to spoil it though, either. All I will say at this time is we need more characters like her, written like her, and treated like her, both from the author and her fellow space-travelers. Huge gratitude from me for this.
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