Today I share my review as a part of the blog tour for The Cinderella Plan by Abi Silver. This Science Fiction/Legal Thriller shows us where our future may go with autonomous vehicles. This one really left me thinking about this topic afterwards!
**There is also a giveaway going on for those of you lucky enough to be in the UK!**
When James Salisbury, the owner of a British car manufacturer, ploughs his ‘self-drive’ car into a young family, the consequences are deadly. Will the car’s ‘black box’ reveal what really happened or will the industry, poised to launch these products to an eager public, close ranks to cover things up?
James himself faces a personal dilemma. If it is proved that he was driving the car he may go to prison. But if he is found innocent, and the autonomous car is to blame, the business he has spent most of his life building, and his dream of safer transport for all, may collapse.
Lawyers Judith Burton and Constance Lamb team up once again, this time to defend a man who may not want to go free, in a case that asks difficult questions about the speed at which technology is taking over our lives.
Author: Abi Silver
Published: July 11, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 18-26, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
All science fiction is fiction until it becomes science fact and we are heading in the direction of autonomous/driverless cars. Though is novel is not exactly science fiction, it is more of a legal thriller, but The Cinderella Plan leaves you thinking about that future and the effects surrounding that society.
James Salisbury owns a British car manufacturer of autonomous vehicles and drives one himself. One day tragedy happens: James and the autonomous vehicle are involved in a deadly accident. Autonomous vehicles cannot have accidents….Or can they? This is the impasse that James faces as he has no memory of the accident: Was he responsible? If so, then he faces prison. If he was not responsible and the vehicle was to blame, there goes his business he has tirelessly worked for many years. For James, he loses no matter what the verdict is: guilty or not guilty.
From the start, I was pulled into the story as we experience the accident. The actual court case was a bit too technical for me, so it dragged at times. It is obvious that Silver did her research as she wrote this novel. There are also some unexpected twists that occur. Silver also mentions how autonomous vehicles effect everything, including laws and everyday business. The novel also shows what the positives and negatives of autonomous vehicles are. The Cinderella Plan does really make you think about the future with these vehicles:
Once I finished The Cinderella Plan I was thinking about how soon we might be 100% autonomous vehicles. I honestly do not seeing that happening in the immediate future as I live in a state where you need a vehicle to get where you need to go as public transportation is not readily available everywhere. In fact, there is a big stigma towards it. These cars would be expensive and the average driver in my state would not be able to afford one. Autonomous vehicles may be coming soon, but I think it will be a long time before we are using 100% autonomous vehicles.
Lightning Books Website
**Readers can order the book from the Lightning Books website at 50% off (with free UK p&p) if you enter this code at checkout – BLOGTOURCIND
About the Author:
Yorkshire-bred, Abi Silver is a lawyer by profession. She lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and three sons. Her first courtroom thriller featuring the legal duo Judith Burton and Constance Lamb, The Pinocchio Brief, was published by Lightning Books in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award. Her follow-up The Aladdin Trial, featuring the same legal team, was published in 2018.
Read more about Abi and her work at www.abisilver.co.uk .
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Published: October 2, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 10-17, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
When the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, one teen is forced to make life and death decisions for her family in this harrowing story of survival from New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman.
The drought—or the Tap-Out, as everyone calls it—has been going on for a while now. Everyone’s lives have become an endless list of don’ts: don’t water the lawn, don’t fill up your pool, don’t take long showers.
Until the taps run dry.
Suddenly, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbors and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return and her life—and the life of her brother—is threatened, Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.
Between reading Hanna Jameson’s The Last and now Dry and watching ‘Walking Dead’ type shows/movies I now want to stock up on everything and be ready for the end of civilization! Especially water: You cannot live without water after a few days. Dry has totally freaked me out and I want to be prepared! Everything about Dry felt real to me. It takes place in southern California (OMG, this happened in the USA!) and the water has run completely out. The desperation of everyone is captured brilliantly and we see how people become in impossible situations.
Our protagonists are young adults, so they will come with immaturity, but I was completely drawn into the story! You don’t know what is going to happen and who will die or live. For a while I thought we were going to have a ‘Mist movie type ending’ and OMG, that would be jaw dropping as it is so realistic and not a happy ending.
Shusterman does such a wonderful job making you think about things long after you have finished his books. He continues this with Dry. Dry has you thinking about what you will do and who will you become when the Tap-Out eventually happens.[Top]
Author: Joanne Ramos
Published: May 7, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 23- May 5, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a sumptuous retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you get paid big money—more than you’ve ever dreamed of—to spend a few seasons in this luxurious locale. The catch? For nine months, you belong to the Farm. You cannot leave the grounds; your every move is monitored. Your former life will seem a world away as you dedicate yourself to the all-consuming task of producing the perfect baby for your überwealthy clients.
Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines and a struggling single mother, is thrilled to make it through the highly competitive Host selection process at the Farm. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own young daughter’s well-being, Jane grows desperate to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on delivery—or worse.
Heartbreaking, suspenseful, provocative, The Farm pushes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit to the extremes, and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love.
The thriller lover in me wanted a novel where Golden Oaks, aka ‘The Farm’ was ‘the big bad evil’ with ulterior motive and missing surrogates, etc. The Farm is Joanne Ramos’ debut novel and instead of thriller we get a novel about class and privilege and extreme differences. The differences in race, immigration status, lack of freedom, morality and greed, and many more topics are also explored.
‘The Farm’ seems like a resort for surrogates, and in some ways it is. The surrogates are given most everything they could need, but not want. They are subject to rules and regulations but they are also paid significantly as the pregnancy progresses. There are both positive and negative consequences to ‘The Farm’. In reality, the women are numbered like cattle carrying commodities, and it is all about the health of the fetus and the end result of a healthy baby delivered for ‘the client’. Most of the ‘hosts’ are immigrants who need a job and see a high payout with working at ‘The Farm’ and most of the clients are white. The ‘clients’ of Golden Oaks are not necessarily people who cannot have children: They are the rich who may not want to ruin their ‘perfect bodies’ with pregnancy or don’t want to deal with the time involved with doctor’s appointments and possible complications.
We get four points of view in The Farm:
Jane- an immigrant and our main protagonist
Reagan- another Host/Surrogate
Mae- Golden Oaks’ Director of Operations
Ate- Jane’s cousin
Each character makes decisions based on what works best for them and their given situation. I liked Jane and was on her side the whole novel. When she made bad decisions I just wanted to knock some sense into her! I felt for her when she missed her baby girl that she left with her cousin to ‘work’ at ‘The Farm’ for 9 months. Nine months can be a short amount of time to earn a huge payout, but at what cost? Jane begins to realize this as time passes and she misses her daughter’s milestones.
This is yet another novel that will leave you thinking. How far away is our society from having real life ‘farms’ for the wealthy that are made up of ‘hosts’ who are the poor and want or need that paycheck?
Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for my copy.[Top]