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Annie Bot by Sierra Greer
Literary fiction

Annie Bot

by Sierra Greer

Excellent choice

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Quick take

A robot girlfriend’s tumultuous coming-of-age is a gut-wrenching examination of modern romance, agency, and humanity.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional

    Emotional

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Feminist

    Feminist

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SalaciousPeach

    Salacious

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Tech

    Tech world

Synopsis

Annie Bot was created to be the perfect girlfriend for her human owner Doug. Designed to satisfy his emotional and physical needs, she has dinner ready for him every night, wears the pert outfits he orders for her, and adjusts her libido to suit his moods. True, she’s not the greatest at keeping Doug’s place spotless, but she’s trying to please him. She’s trying hard.

She’s learning, too.

Doug says he loves that Annie’s AI makes her seem more like a real woman, so Annie explores human traits such as curiosity, secrecy, and longing. But becoming more human also means becoming less perfect, and as Annie’s relationship with Doug grows more intricate and difficult, she starts to wonder: Does Doug really desire what he says he wants? And in such an impossible paradox, what does Annie owe herself?

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Content warning

This book contains scenes that depict sexual assault.

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Annie Bot.
Annie Bot

chapter one

“Come to bed, mouse. I know how to cheer you up,” he says.

“I’m not brooding,” Annie says.

“You sure?”

“Fairly sure.”

She is fresh from her shower, rubbing lotion into her legs. Her dark hair hangs in wet clumps along one side of her neck, and she has deliberately left the belt of her robe undone, knowing he can take a peek from the bedroom via the mirror.

“This is still about your tune-up, isn’t it?” he says. “Forget about it.”

“The whole thing’s degrading,” she says, and sees it’s the right angle. He enjoys a degree of humiliation.

“Did you see your normal tech?” he asks.

“Yes. Jacobson.”

She taps off the bathroom light and steps out of the humidity into the cooler air of the bedroom. Pretending to inhale deeply, she takes a quick assessment of how far along he is. She has memorized Doug’s features from many angles: his brown eyes, the V-hairline of his dark locks, his tall, pale forehead and the contours of his face. His mouth, in repose, settles into a decisive line, but this does not convey discontent. The opposite, in fact, is more likely. With his shoes off but otherwise fully clothed, he is stretched out on his back on top of the covers. He has set aside his phone. His hands are tucked behind his head, putting his elbows in the open butterfly position, which further indicates he is relaxed, ready for verbal foreplay.

She sets her temp to warm up to 98.6 from 75.

“Did he mention anything I should know?” he asks.

“I’m good for another three months or three thousand miles, whichever comes first,” she says.

She crawls across the bed and sits nudged against his hip, facing away. She rubs the last of her lotion into her hands and studies her cuticles. They did the whole job today, the waxing, the nails, the memory tetris. She feels sharper, less sluggish. If she could just forget about that sad Stella in Pea Brain’s cubicle, she’d be fine.

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Why I love it

We now live in the age of AI. Or so the headlines would have us believe. I remain skeptical but cannot pretend that I don’t find the topic interesting, though I prefer fictional treatments, which to me pose much more incisive existential questions. Enter Annie Bot. Sierra Greer has written a searing, brilliant story about an AI robot girlfriend discovering what it means to be human.

Annie aims to please. She’s been built to her owner Doug’s exact specifications—always ready to jump into action to fulfill his desires. She can adjust everything from her temperature, cleanliness, and libido to meet his needs. Then one day a friend of Doug’s visits their apartment and offers Annie a secret, telling her it will make her more human. So emerges an awareness that she can have desires that have nothing to do with Doug…and the realization that perhaps Doug, darkened by a breakup and myriad insecurities, might not be the Good Guy™ that everyone else thinks he is.

2024 has just started but I’ll go out on a limb and stake a claim that Annie Bot will be my favorite read of the year. It’s so much more than its ingenious premise. Annie’s voice is so unique and vibrates with the ring of truth. I ached watching her experience the painful process of coming of age, culminating in an ever-so-human realization: “Fulfillment starts with being truly honest with yourself. Not anyone else. Yourself. And that’s harder than you might think.”

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Member ratings (6,748)

  • Kassidy B.

    Richmond, TX

    Absolutely loved it! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I enjoyed every second of reading this book. Greer is an amazing writer. I felt as though the ending was a tad abrupt, but I think I just truly did not want it end!

  • Erin E.

    Castle Rock, CO

    Had such a hard time putting this one down! Annie really captured me and broke my heart multiple times throughout the story. Such a unique and interesting story with a satisfying ending ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Drew H.

    Nicholasville, KY

    Like a cross between POOR THINGS and HER. An AI experiences the Rollercoaster of emotions - pain, curiosity, and all other emotions that make us human - as she discovers what makes her Annie. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Sarah F.

    Brooklyn, NY

    I loved this book. It’s the best BOTM I’ve read in years. That said, I can’t believe they called it “salacious.” The sex is never consensual. The book is feminist and light sci-fi which was great.

  • Jordan H.

    Harahan, LA

    The first book I’ve read this year that I didn’t want to put down. It was so different from anything I’ve read. Such a complex look at the dynamics of freedom and womanhood told through the POV of AI.

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