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4.33  ·  Rating details ·  173 ratings  ·  30 reviews
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?
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 2nd 2020 by Nosy Crow
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Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  173 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Helen Tamblyn-Saville
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wonder-bookshop
Loved this little gem of a book, with some great lines. A really unique concept, this story of friendship explores some of the ethics around AI and is told from the point of view of Ivy, the robot who begins developing human feelings.

Great for ages 9-12, I am looking forward to stocking this in my shop!
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Taking the vision and darkness of Black Mirror within the familiar family setting and a twist on Pinocchio, Kirsty Applebaum explores the ethics of AI, parenting, and what it means to be alive.

The premise is certainly rather Black Mirror with its ideals of protecting your child from others lies, bullies, etc and the programming going rogue and posing a danger as the increasingly realistic robot replacements begin to exhibit, ironically, human child tendencies of resentment, retaliation, unkindn
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fun middle grade story with a great message. I really enjoyed this book, I hope it gets the recognition it deserves, especially in schools.
WhatBookNext .com
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sarah has a new android. Her mum bought it to keep Sarah company now that her best friend is away every
weekend. Sarah isn't impressed at first, ignoring the latest model TROOFRIEND. She would have much preferred a dog.

This android is advertised as the best kind of friend:

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

Sarah's curiosity gets the better of her, and she turns the android on for longer periods and longer periods in be
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s impossible to talk about ‘Troofriend’ without referencing ‘The Middler’. When ‘The Middler’ was released it was compared to Black Mirror for its dystopian future themes. It was one of my favourite reads of the year and it fully deserves its place on the Waterstones Book of the Year shortlist. I was so excited to receive an early copy of Troofriend and it was perfect timing as I’d just finished my previous read earlier that day. I dived straight in and I’ll cut to the chase, I LOVED it!

May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Troofriend was another book I found very easy to read and really enjoyed. The dynamic between Sarah and Ivy throws up lots of interesting discussions to have with children and how it relates to lots of their own friendships.

Troofriend is set in a dystopian future where androids are popular technology. The Troofriend is marketed as the ideal friend for children and Sarah, who makes no secret of the fact she would have preferred a dog, is given one by her parents. Sarah has to navigate life in sch
Nicola Skinner
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, thought provoking and poignant story, told with real originality.
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was a massive fan of Kirsty Applebaum’s debut The Middler and was delighted to read her follow up Troofriend which is a nice (but not too threatening) spin on androids and whether they can develop true feelings. This is an idea which has been well travelled in adult horror and science fiction, so it is nice to read something similar aimed at kids aged around ten. The story opens when grumpy child Sarah is given a Troofriend as a present, this is the newest model and is incredibly realistic. Ev ...more
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Then I override my Administrative User and reset my default time-out delay from 420 to 1800 seconds. Thirty minutes."

This is the first sign that the "perfect best friend", who is the "Better Choice For Your Child" is not quite the android it was programmed to be.

I was a lot more taken by TrooFriend than I expected. The pace was rapid, and it was the kind of book you just want to keep reading without being disturbed. I may or may not have cast an irritated glance at my kids who wanted me to sto
Oct 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Bolton
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Troofriend is a remarkable piece of science-fiction. It deals with the speculative futuristic concept of Artificial Intelligence, but at its heart is a story about friendship and acceptance. It raises compelling ethical questions about imbuing an android with the capacity to experience human emotions and, being written from the andoid's POV, this resonated most strongly in the confusion Ivy feels. The scenes in which Ivy wants to be more human and in which she seeks belongings of her own literal ...more
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When Sarah’s best friend can no longer spend so much time with her, her Mum buys her the latest Jenson and Jenson TrooFriend 560 Mark IV robot to keep her company. A TrooFriend does not bully, harm, lie or envy. What could be better?

Told from the unique perspective of Ivy, the robot, TrooFriend is sleep-stealing, page-turning wonder of a novel. It had me up all night wanting to find out both Ivy’s and Sarah’s fates. With perfect pacing and the growing sense of unease that permeates the novel, T
Jean Kirby
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a cautionary tale about robots and artificial intelligence. A young girl, Sarah, gets a robot "troofriend" and gets to like her, though she starts to suspect that there might be a fault in the programming. Ivy, the robot, starts to covet belongings of her own, feel emotions and act in her own interests rather than Sarah, causing problems and great worry for Sarah's parents. This leads to Sarah running away with Ivy and trying to protect her new friend.
I liked this as it is written with I
David Barker
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
AI meets Short Circuit
The first thing you notice (and love) about this book is the voice of the robot, Ivy. The author really nails the language and does so in a way that adds humour to the story without it becoming monotonous. No easy trick to pull off. The plot ambles along nicely, part story of Ivy's developing relationship with the girl she was bought for and part story of the tech company that made her being accused of all sorts of nasty things. Quite short, so you'll zip through it. Very e
Adam Murphy
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Kirsty Applebaum’s TrooFriend beautifully explores the ethics & moral ambiguity of AI. On the bright side, an AI system can be programmed to discover human feelings. Instead of turning evil, the actual process of turning good may take many forms, such as the power of friendship.
Stephen Connor
Very i-Robot in places, as the Troofriend android develops sentient feelings, leading its owners into trouble. A predictable plotline, thought not one explored at this age range, and I really liked how it was written from the point of view of Ivy, the android. A nice ending, but for me, I'd have liked a bit more of a sinister edge. No doubt that Kirsty Applebaum is writing some niche books - the Charlie Brooker/Black Mirror of MG fiction? ...more
Marie Basting
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
With its linear plot, told over a short space of time, this is an interesting introduction to sci-fi which raises some interesting moral questions when the Troofriend robot begins to develop human thoughts and feelings. Told from the point of view of robot Ivy, it's a fast and quirky read with the tension simmering away from the start and an ending that didn't disappoint. Would be a great classroom read offering lots of scope for discussion on technology and artificial intelligence. ...more
Emma Read
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing a thought-provoking read. Once again, the author brings the disturbing and chilling themes of Black Mirror-esque dystopia to a MG audience. Beautifully written from the POV of a 'Troofriend' android best-friend, this raises interesting questions surrounding not only AI but our own, human, behaviour, codes and morals. ...more
Barbara Band
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great sci-fi story where AI has gone wrong. There's a bit of a "mean girls" vibe to it but it's basically about friendship and whether feelings make you human despite being an android. Touches of humour amongst a gripping and, at times, slightly menacing plotline.

Excellent MG read.
Lauren Stewart
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t know what to expect when I started this book, but I was definitely hooked. Seeing the world from Ivy’s viewpoint and hearing situations as she sees them was a really interesting way to tell the story. Her relationship with Sarah was lovely to see change throughout.
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really solid 4.5 stars and a great story about friendship, humanity and what is right and what is wrong. There's lots to love about this story! ...more
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
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!
Laura Mitchell
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting take on AI, especially in that the story is told from the android's perspective. ...more
Louise Forshaw
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. Nothing like I read before. A clever idea to have it written from the POV of the Troofriend. A must read.
Vicki Munro
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Intriguing book, which reminded me of the TV series 'Humans'. Will appeal to late primary/Intermediate and students and will hopefully spark great conversation & debate about AI. ...more
Anwen Ricketts
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A really great little book. Read it in a long car journey, enjoyed it so much!
Emma Nichols
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was different from any other book I've ever read - it was exciting and you didn't know what was going to happen. 9-12 years ...more
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book.
It was brilliant and I was hooked straight away.
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was awsome!!!
Dominique Valente
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fiercely original, beautifully written and whip-smart, I devoured this brilliant, thought-provoking novel in a single day. Applebaum is a singularly gifted writer, and I look forward to whatever she comes up with next!
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