07 August 2010

Review: Girl Parts By: John M. Cusick

Title: Girl Parts
Author: John M. Cusick
Publisher: Candlewick Press, 240 Pages (August 10th 2010)
From: the Publisher, Thank You!

Synopsis: "Hello, David. My name is Rose. It’s a pleasure to meet you. We are now entering minute two of our friendship. According to my Intimacy Clock, ...more "Hello, David. My name is Rose. It’s a pleasure to meet you. We are now entering minute two of our friendship. According to my Intimacy Clock, a handshake is now appropriate…"

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 to encourage healthy bonds and treat "dissociative disorder," he can’t get enough of luscious red-headed Rose — and he can’t get it soon. Companions come with strict intimacy protocols, and whenever he tries anything, David gets an electric shock. Severed 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 uber-connected world.

Review: 3 Stars - Girl Parts was an intriguing idea that was good in parts (no pun intended) and had me questioning things in others. With some characters I thoroughly enjoyed and others that I just didn’t care for, I finished reading this one because of just how different the whole concept was.

I really wanted to love this and for me it was just okay. There were highlights here and there – like Rose – the robot companion who’s one of the main characters in the book. When David’s parents question things about their son after he witnesses something horrible on the internet and feels nothing, his guidance counselor at school and his parents decide to take matters in their own hands and, well, send him Rose. She’s part of a new technology that is geared to help teenage boys become less dissociated with the world via the help from these said companions.

While David has friends and is part of the popular circle at school, he does seem lost in a way that’s totally different to our other main character, Charlie. Quiet, distant, with no friends and enjoying sticking to himself, Charlie might be very different, but each is the same in how they feel when alone. I did enjoy reading Charlie’s parts and found myself wishing that this was more about him and Rose, then about David and Rose.

One thing I just didn’t get was how one sided things were – how black and white things are here. Why parents would resort to Robot companions to help their sons. And why was this company so focused on males? I understand that this might be geared more for the male YA readers out there, however girls have problems growing up too, right?

However Rose was the key ingredient for me. Watching her grow and learn that the world is bigger then just what she was originally programmed for was another highlight in the story.

Rose, Charlie and just how different the idea for this book is, was what made me rate it how I did .The whole idea about Companion robots was creepy, to say the least; however it’s one of those things you just can’t look away from. All in all the storyline was interesting and creative. The writing flowed and the characters had their hit and miss moments. I had high hopes for this one, and even with it falling a little flat, I’m glad that I gave it a read.

FTC Disclaimer: I did not pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this review.

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2 comments:

  1. Don't think this is one for me, but thanks for sharing your thoughts anyways! You're right. The "Companion" idea is intriguing, if not a little bit disturbing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I felt the same way--I had high hopes but came away with a meh feeling. I didn't like David at ALL. He never redeemed himself in my eyes. Rose and her growth was the best part, with Charlie a close second.

    Not horrible but not very good, either. *sigh* hate when books disappoint like that!

    ReplyDelete

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