Friday, April 4, 2014

Expiration Day by William Campbell Powell

Genre:  YA Science Fiction (sort of I guess)
Expected publication date:  April 22, 2014

Description (taken from Goodreads):
What happens when you turn eighteen and there are no more tomorrows?

It is the year 2049, and humanity is on the brink of extinction….

Tania Deeley has always been told that she’s a rarity: a human child in a world where most children are sophisticated androids manufactured by Oxted Corporation. When a decline in global fertility ensued, it was the creation of these near-perfect human copies called teknoids that helped to prevent the utter collapse of society.

Though she has always been aware of the existence of teknoids, it is not until her first day at The Lady Maud High School for Girls that Tania realizes that her best friend, Siân, may be one. Returning home from the summer holiday, she is shocked by how much Siân has changed. Is it possible that these changes were engineered by Oxted? And if Siân could be a teknoid, how many others in Tania’s life are not real?

Driven by the need to understand what sets teknoids apart from their human counterparts, Tania begins to seek answers. But time is running out. For everyone knows that on their eighteenth “birthdays,” teknoids must be returned to Oxted—never to be heard from again.

This book is like a diary chronicling the life of Tania Deeley.  We watch her grow up and try to understand a world filled with robots and how humans try to cope with the downfall of civilization.  At school, kids that get outed as robots face scrutiny from fellow classmates as well as from their teachers.  But one thing Tania quickly learns is not everyone is as human as they want to be.  It seems the world is more affected by teknoids than the government leads you to believe.

At the glorious age of 12, Tania begins to watch puberty settle in on her fellow classmates.  Her best friend Sian looks like she came back with a beautiful upgrade.  But once everything begins to ebb and flow, Tania meets allies in unexpected places.  She meets a boy named John who only wants to know a 'real' girl.  And when she finds out they have similar tastes in music, they form a band.  But it seems like this future world does not willingly share information.  And the more Tania digs, the more she is flagged by people in high places.  And soon she finds she is fighting for her own survival.

From the description, I thought this book had awesome potential.  But as soon as I realized it was set in a diary-style fashion at the age of 12 (chronicling to her 17th year), I wasn't so sure anymore.  This book pretty much describes the ups and downs of her life as she lives it.  And I think the point it's trying to get across is the robots in this world are just as human as the humans, but not everyone will accept that.  And it seems like there's some invisible force preventing people from knowing stuff to keep them complacent and peaceful.  But I never figured out what was going on.  And Tania was writing to a guy named Mr Zog.  Who the heck's he?  I finished the book, and I'm still confused.  All I can say is I didn't grasp the deeper meaning of this book.

Once again, I am doomed with the robot books.  I recommend you check out some other reviews.  But if the diary-style makes you hesitant, just be glad I mentioned it.  If some one had told me that first, I probably wouldn't have picked this book up.

Thanks goes to Around the World ARC Tours for providing me a review copy.

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