When I was about eight or nine, I was really into Choose You Own Adventure books. Like, really into them. I think I read pretty much every single one until I came across one that featured space vampires. It had some fairly graphic illustrations of post-vampire dead bodies that scared the living crap out of me and I never read them again.
Until now. A Heart For Copper is basically a Choose Your Own Adventure story about an automaton girl called Copper, built by a young man and offered the chance at life. You have to guide her through her decisions as she experiences a flesh body for the first time (or decides to stay an automaton). It’s mostly romance, but with a self-discovery thread as well and some good messages about not letting your romantic interest define who you are.
A Heart For Copper isn’t a long book and actually I was so pleased with the setting and the characters that I would have been happy to read a longer version.
The general vibe is steampunk, but it’s set in the post-digital age where all earlier technology has been banned, so everyone wanders around in corsets and top hats. Everything is clockwork and there are pedal-powered airplanes. Very cool!
I never realised this kind of book existed for the YA/adult market and I’m really glad I found it!