Willful Machines
by Tim Floreen

When I received this book from Simon & Schuster and saw it described as “Gothic, gadget-y, gay”, I thought well hot damn, I must stop everything and see what this is all about. And Wow. Just, Wow. I can honestly say there is nothing else out there like Willful Machines. It is such an amazing, truly unique story!

It is slow to get started, and you might get turned off with all the political speak in the first few chapters, but trust me keep going. I was the same way and was kind of disappointed reading the first few chapters (only reason it didn’t get that last half star), but it instantly picked up and had me not only sucked in, but truly caring about the main character, Lee Fisher.

I can definitely see this becoming a required reading! There is so much deep thought and life lessons for young readers to learn: new love, free-will, depression, and true friendship. Readers will learn through Lee Fisher’s life struggles and will be challenged to really think of what they believe.

There better be a sequel!

P.S. I really want my own ‘Gremlin” now….


In the near future, scientists create what may be a new form of life: an artificial human named Charlotte. All goes well until Charlotte escapes, transfers her consciousness to the Internet, and begins terrorizing the American public.

Charlotte’s attacks have everyone on high alert—everyone except Lee Fisher, the closeted son of the US president. Lee has other things to worry about, like keeping his Secret Service detail from finding out about his crush on Nico, the eccentric, Shakespeare-obsessed new boy at school. And keeping Nico from finding out about his recent suicide attempt. And keeping himself from freaking out about all his secrets.

But when attacks start happening at his school, Lee realizes he’s Charlotte’s next target. Even worse, Nico may be part of Charlotte’s plan too.

As Lee races to save himself, uncover Charlotte’s plan, and figure out if he can trust Nico, he comes to a whole new understanding of what it means to be alive…and what makes life worth living.

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tim-floreenAbout Author

Tim Floreen

One of Tim’s earliest memories involves sitting in front of the television and staring in awe at a raven-haired, star-spangled Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. He went on to spend much of his childhood running around in a paper tiara and bracelets and tying up his grandma with his “magic lasso.” When not doing that, he was developing crushes on his Masters of the Universe action figures, memorizing the entire libretto of Les Misérables, and carefully maintaining his huge (and now mostly worthless) comic book collection. Also, he read a lot and wrote a lot.

Tim majored in English at Yale and earned a master’s degree in creative writing at Boston University. He now lives in San Francisco with his partner, their two daughters, and their two cats. His recollection of the words to Les Miz and his adoration of Wonder Woman remain fully intact.