The Obsoletes

By: Simeon Mills
Location: FIC MIL
Genre: Sci Fi, Coming of age, Basketball  

“Curious, sweet, heartbreaking, and redemptive” (Delilah S. Dawson, New York Times bestselling author), this is a funny, poignant look at brotherhood, xenophobia, and the limits of one’s programming.

In this “inventive, moving, and funny” (Jess Walter, #1 New York Times bestselling author) coming-of-age novel, two human-like teen robots navigate high school, basketball, and potentially life-threatening consequences if their true origins are discovered by the inhabitants of their intolerant 1980s Michigan hometown.

Fraternal twin brothers Darryl and Kanga are just like any other teenagers trying to make it through high school. They have to deal with peer pressure, awkwardness, and family drama. But there’s one closely guarded secret that sets them apart: they’re robots. So long as they keep their heads down, their robophobic neighbors won’t discover the truth about them and they just might make it through to graduation.

"But when Kanga becomes the star of the basketball team, his worrywart brother Darryl now has to work a million times harder to keep them both out of the spotlight. Though they look, sound, and act perfectly human, if anyone in their small, depressed Michigan town were to find out what they truly are, they’d likely be disassembled by an angry mob in the middle of their school gym.
Well-done coming of age story for two young brothers who have a secret to keep - they are robots in an age still deeply angered by their very existence. Set in an alternate time line where robots who could pass for human were invented in the 1970s, but most everything else is the same. The economic turmoil and xenophobia of our times has a different focus - the robots. One brother is more cautious than the other, but still a pre-teen and later a teenager at heart. All the stresses of growing up are compounded by their need to hide in plain sight. There's a girl involved, the company who made them, their basketball coach and teammates and a few more characters who make the plot turn. Touching, funny, charming and thought-provoking in turn. Good stuff!"

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