Book Review: Autonomous

Title: Autonomous
Author: Andy Marino
Publisher: Freeform - Disney Book Group
Publication Date: November 14, 2017

Rating: ★★.5

William Mackler is about to go on a road trip of a lifetime. After winning a contest—and nearly dying in the process—he becomes the proud owner of Autonomous, a driverless car that knows where you want to go before you do. #Worthit! To sweeten the deal he gets to pick three friends to go with him on a cross-country trip to see their favorite band. For William, a reckless adrenaline junkie, this is the perfect last hurrah before he and his friends go their separate ways after graduation. But Autonomous is more than just a car without a steering wheel. It's capable of downloading all of the passengers’ digital history—from the good, to the bad, to the humiliating. The information is customized into an itinerary that will expose a few well-kept secrets, but it will also force William to face some inner demons of his own. Think you know Autonomous? The real question is, how much does Autonomous know about you?

Hi, everyone! Today I have my second review of an ARC! (Advanced Reader’s Copy) Look how awesome that cover is!

Right from the start, I thought the synopsis of this book was very intriguing. Technology in the future is often represented in movies and books, and the path the story will take depends on the creator’s interpretation of whether it will be beneficial or not. Most of the times, AIs (Artificial Intelligence) take a dark turn in such adaptations, and it was no different in the book Autonomous by Andy Marino. 

The story follows four teenagers after one of them, William, wins a driverless car in a contest. They go on a road trip, but what they don’t know is that the car knows more about them than they’d like, and the way it will use that information will take a surprising turn. 
Well, this was definitely an interesting read. Seeing how Otto (aka the Autonomous car) evolved by being around the four characters was almost scary. And the way it thought it was using the secrets of the characters to help them was insane. I like how they were on a road trip, so their surroundings affected the story and made it more entertaining. The beginning of the book was a bit slow, but it picked up the pace as soon as the teens left in the Driverless car. 

Although the idea for the story sounded really cool, it was not developed to its full potential. There were quite a few scenes that made little sense and were irrelevant to the story, like the part where they play the game with those other people. It was also really hard to picture certain things, especially the car. The descriptions could have definitely been better to help the reader visualize things. I also didn’t understand how Otto made the characters see things, particularly Christina. 

I also wish the characters were different. They were all unlikeable and not really interesting; except William, who was the nicest one, but appeared to have the least “screen time” than any of the other characters, even though the synopsis made it sound like he was the protagonist. They were all really messed up too. Their issues were weirdly developed and were kind of too dark for the 14+ recommended age. I wish their secrets were a little more different because there were so many possibilities for Otto to use them against them. However, the author did do a good job at times where he would give redeeming qualities to the characters and you would almost begin to like them, but then you would realize that their negative traits overpowered the good ones.

So sadly, I wouldn’t recommend this book unless the description really makes you want to read it. This novel will be published on November 14, 2017. Thank you Freeform (Disney Book Group) for sending me this book for review. 

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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