Review: ‘A Robot in the Garden’ by Deborah Install

When I first heard about A Robot in the Garden I was sure I was going to like it, but then someone I trust said they didn’t really enjoy it at all. I was disappointed, because we seemed to like and dislike the same things, so I was sure I wasn’t going to like it either… boy, was I wrong!

After hearing some ecstatic reviews from other booksellers I wondered if maybe I had written it off too soon. I borrowed my manager’s copy to read over the weekend, and am so glad I gave it a chance.

Synopsis: Ben has been struggling with the loss of his parents and can’t seem to get his feet back under him. So when a robot shows up in the garden, his wife thinks this is just going to be another distraction that will keep him from figuring out his life. Tang is dirty, odd, and seems to be broken, which only intrigues Ben more. Unsure how to fix the little robot, Ben and Tang begin an adventure to find the robot’s maker, which is harder than either of them ever imagined.

Most of the people in Ben’s family seem to be pretty awful. None of them are able to understand him, so it’s no wonder he ends up relating better to a little broken robot. The growth and intelligence shown by Tang is a delight to read, and even though I’m sure most people would have left him behind on more than one occasion, it’s to Ben’s credit that he sticks it out. The author does a great job of slowly building Ben and Tang’s characters as they learn from their experiences together.

LC rating: four-stars (great book)

3 thoughts on “Review: ‘A Robot in the Garden’ by Deborah Install

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  1. I feel like there is so much room for robot stories, which is why I was so disappointed when reviewers all said the movie CHAPPiE was just taking pieces of other robot stories and slapping them together. Of course robot stories are going to share certain elements. Sheesh. I’m glad you liked it! What was the writing like? Easy peasy lemon squeezie, or more difficult?

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