What happens when a robot designed to be a boy’s ideal “companion” develops a will of her own? A compulsively readable novel from a new talent.
David and Charlie are opposites. David has a million friends, online and off. Charlie is a soulful outsider, off the grid completely. But neither feels close to anybody. When David’s parents present him with a hot Companion bot designed to encourage healthy bonds and treat his “dissociative disorder,” he can’t get enough of luscious redheaded Rose — and he can’t get it soon. Companions come with strict intimacy protocols, and whenever he tries anything, David gets an electric shock. Parted from the boy she was built to love, Rose turns to Charlie, who finds he can open up, knowing Rose isn’t real. With Charlie’s help, the ideal “companion” is about to become her own best friend. In a stunning and hilarious debut, John Cusick takes rollicking aim at internet culture and our craving for meaningful connection in an uberconnected world.
I adored the premise of Girl Parts, and every single bit of information about the Companions I ate right up, I couldn’t get enough of it. I loved the beginning of the book, especially a passage about Charlie (the more quiet and nerdy of the two boys) going out on a date. That entire chapter I envisioned Alec Baldwin narrating a la The Royal Tenenbaums (my favorite movie).
The middle of the book remained interesting, I liked seeing David experience a healthier relationship with his Companion, Rose. And then Rose meeting Charlie and learning things about herself, that even though she’s programed to have her "heart" point her right at David, maybe there are other things in the world.
All the while I expected the book to go someplace and the characters to grow. But I’m not really convinced that that happened in the end and that was disappointing. Also, Charlie and Rose’s relationship ended up going someplace I really didn’t agree with, kind of ruined it for me, sorry.
Overall, I think Girl Parts was a great idea that could have used a bit more fleshing out and a concrete ending.
Girl Parts was released on August 10th 2010
Genre Young Adult
ARC picked up at BEA