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Reviewed by Janelle Fila for Readers' Favorite
The subtitle for Keeping Up With The Joneses by Derek Vaughn says it all: What would you do if a corporation placed a robot in your neighborhood to sell products? Haze is the 9-year-old next door neighbor, except, well, he's actually a robot. After failing as a space robot, Haze has been sent to suburbia as a constant advertiser to push products to Americans every day of the week, 24-7. I think this is a genius idea for a story. I love robot stories because they are so believable. Technology is so adavnced that we could have robots in our lives any day now. And it is completely rational to think that the first robot will be like a social media frenzy, ready to give us product ideas and spot television commercials in our faces. What a unique, original, interesting concept.
I also appreciated the satirical humor in this story. I think other readers will appreciate how this story attempts to make fun of a society that is all about advertising, sales and money. From quips like "McMansion" to the name of the advertising agency, "Fat, Gray and Balding." These additions are quite humorous and really shed some light on society. Especially the scene where Jason and Linda argue because Linda tells Jason to tell the truth, and then gets mad when he does just that, because who would tell his wife he doesn't want a baby (even if it is the truth?) Great job!