Title: Girl Parts
Author: John M. Cusick
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Page #: 218
Got Book: ARC from BEA
"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 "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 and electric shock. Parted from the boy she was built to love, Rose turns to Charlie, who finds he can open up to her, knowing that she 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."
"Even before Nora and the power died, Charlie and David's lives were mixed up together like pigments on a palette."
I almost wrote realistic fiction for the category on this book - and it's basically about robots. I know that's a weird start to a review, but that's almost how I felt about the book. This story is about the Internet age and how it's keeping people connected online... but totally seperate in real life. One company decided that the way to cure this for the many boys who waste their days online - create a girl for them! A really hot, really devoted girl.
At first, my feminist sense started going off when I heard the premise. I mean... all a boy wants is a chick to love him? Really? That's all it takes? Surely there's a lot of fallout from that whole idea. That is sort of what this book is about - the fallout for one guy and his Companion. So I felt a little better about the idea when all of the problems started showing with the idea of a robot girlfriend.
I'm still a little bothered that there's no dude for the girls who spend way too much time online and such. I mean, we all know those girls exist (I'm trying not to look in a mirror), so it's hard to think that this company decided to only make girls instead of both. That's just me, I guess. But this book is about more than just the robots.
One of the reasons this book feels like almost realistic fiction - as in right now - is that it deals mostly with relationships and how people create and maintain them. I did really like seeing how all of the different characters interacted with each other. You see each of them from several different viewpoints - which makes the whole thing fit together really well. And you get a more complete view of the characters.
I do wish this book was a little longer - only because I feel like there were some things that could have been hashed out a little more. You get a really unlikely friendship toward the end and would have liked to see more of how that worked out.
I think I will be recommending this one when it comes out in August - but mostly to older guys. I think the whole subject matter (girl parts) is described in enough detail that it shouldn't be for the middle grade kids. It's a bit too... graphic for that. For lack of a better explanation, there's sexual content. A bit of it. Oh, and some drug use as well. Just fyi.
This book is the first by the author... and I wasn't able to find a full website. There is a blog that he seems to update fairly often. So check that out. Hopefully we will see more from this author in the future.
Other Blog Reviews:
Hmmm. I only saw this one other review. Have you read this one?? Did you like it? Let me know and I'll add your review to my list here.