The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.”
Finn looks and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task is now to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion…and more. But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world, and in Cat’s heart.
THIS BOOK MADE ME CRY. CORRECTION, THIS BOOK MADE ME SOB.
For those of you who know me well, you know what kind of declaration that is. For those of you who don’t, allow me elaborate. I have malfunctioning tear ducts. I cry, on average, about once every six years. This book broke me, absolutely shattered me in a way that I’m not entirely comfortable with.
The thing is, there wasn’t any one scene that did me in either. The entire book left me with a raw, achy feeling, like I was coming down with the flu. My skin was too sensitive, my head buzzed, my throat felt constricted. Then, about 4/5 of the way through, tears started to pour down my face. And I was helpless to stop them.
I’m at a loss for how to do this book justice, so please bear with me while I try.
This is the story of every person that has ever caved to society.
I hate to say it, but that’s most of us. Did you have a crush on the “wrong guy” in high school but didn’t go after him because you were worried about what other people would say? Did you go to college because your parents pushed you to? Did you choose your major based on which degree would get you a safe, dependable job? Did you ever make a choice about anything because you thought it was what you shoulddo? I’m sure the answer to this final question is ‘yes’. Lord knows it is for me.
This is also the story of every person that has ever been unhappy or unsatisfied.
This is about the introspective one that doesn’t relate well to the rest of society. The one that pulled herself so far into her own mind that other people’s words stopped reaching her. The recluse, the self-saboteur, the coward, the ice-queen.
The only way I can think to describe our MC, Cat, is to say that reading this book, being in her mind, felt like being chained to her as she stood by a bank of windows while a hurricane raged outside.
There she was, watching the rain pelt the glass in front of her as she wondered how it would feel on her skin. Would it be cold? Would it hurt?
When the trees began to whip back and forth I knew that she should seek shelter in the basement, that it was only a matter of time before a branch hit the glass or the roof caved in. Some part of her must have recognized this danger too, but instead of fleeing she remained where she was, gazing out into the fury with a strange look of longing on her face.
And so I too remained, trapped beside her as she listened to the muffled howls of the wind, safe and warm within her house as an echoing cry built in the back of her throat.
I wanted to warn her, scream at her to get away, protect her in some way, because deep down, I recognized part of myself within her, and I wanted to save her from what I thought was coming.
But when the glass finally shattered and the storm bore down on us, did I urge her to run? No. I stood there beside her as the wind lashed our hair and the rain stung our faces because suddenly I realized that this is what she’d been waiting for all along.
And that she was finally free.
This book has affected me in a way that no other has this year. This book will remain with me in a way that no other will this year. I urge you to read it.