BOOK BLOG: Kirsty Applebaum

Troofriend: a little bit creepy, a little bit scary, but SUCH a good story!

img_2168proof copy sent from the publishers

“Imagine having the perfect friend, one who never steals, lies or bullies. Now you can, with the TrooFriend 560, the latest in artificial intelligence! What can go wrong with a robot buddy? Especially one that’s developing human characteristics and feelings, and who has just run away with her human?”

I AM A TROOFRIEND.
I DO NOT BULLY. I DO NOT HARM. I DO NOT LIE. I DO NOT COVET OR STEAL OR ENVY.
I AM YOUR PERFECT FRIEND. YOUR ONE TROOFRIEND.

Troofriend is the second book from the brilliant Kirsty Applebaum, author of The Middler, which was one hell of a book. I had high hopes when I saw there was a new book and I really enjoyed Troofriend. It was the perfect mix of creepy and thought provoking. 

Troofriend tells the story of a world set in the near future where parents can buy a Troofriend for their child. A Troofriend is the “perfect friend” for their children. They don’t bully, harm, lie, covet, steal or envy. What could go wrong? Sarah is a young girl whose parents do just that: they buy her a Troofriend because they’re very busy and she wants a puppy. When things start going wrong with other Troofriend Mark IVs like Ivy (Sarah’s Troofriend), we see an exploration of what it means to be human, what it means to be friends and some interesting talking points about robots! 

I really enjoyed this book. The story is told from Ivy’s point of view and I found that really endearing. You got to see into the world of the robot. You got to watch as Ivy changed and became something different to what you’re originally led to believe. Sarah isn’t convinced about Ivy to start with – she has Ivy turned off a lot of the time at the beginning, but as she starts to warm to Ivy, things start to change. Sarah wants to use Ivy to show off to her friends at ‘Bring Your Tech To School Day’.

I loved the ending. I thought it was very touching!

I read this book with a very ominous, tense feeling throughout. It was sold to me as Black Mirror for children and I can totally see it! There was always a feeling that something was going to go HORRIBLE wrong with the robots. This is the kind of book that I can see kids absolutely loving. I can’t wait to put it in the hands of some of my Year 5s and 6s.

It is going to create some real good talking points. This book lends itself to some brilliant converstaion starters/PSHE lessons about friendship, is it ever OK to lie and the future of the world with robots and AI becoming more and more prevalent. 

 My Goodreads review:

I really enjoyed this! Lots of brilliant talking points and I really loved the characters! I was tense a lot of the time. A lot of gripping reading!

Are you excited for Troofriend?
Would you want a Troofriend?
Can you recommend me any books like this?

Talk to me! I’d love to know your thoughts!

Massive thank you to the publishers, Nosy Crow, for sending me a proof copy of Troofriend for review! It;s sat in my classroom waiting to find a new friend after half term! 

S x