Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Review of Girl Parts

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.
[from Goodreads]
Rating:   1 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience:  Teenage boys?
High point:  Rose's transformation
Low point:  The crude content
Reader maturity: 15+

Somehow I missed the actual meaning of the blurb on the book cover of Girl Parts and naively assumed that "girl parts" merely referred to the robotic female within the pages. And it does...but it's also referring to anatomy. Once I figured that out, it was all downhill from there.

I couldn't get over the crude, immature and misogynistic content in order to appreciate what good there might have been in the novel. Nothing in particular struck me as being incomplete or hastily done, but I was so blinded by the egos and self-centered of most of the characters that everything else faded into the background. Maybe there's a good tale in there somewhere about a boy learning to respect himself and women or of another boy and girl learning to break out of their shells and trust a little...or maybe everyone ends up exactly where they started.

As the only non-crude character (at least for a while), I liked Rose (again, for a while). Her transformation from newborn robot to almost being a person was very convincing, and I liked the way her personality and quirks developed.

Obviously this wasn't my cup of tea, due to content, but other readers have liked it, as it has 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I've linked to it in case you're interested in some other opinions. Mine seems to be more extreme than most.

Title:  Girl Parts
Author:  John M. Cusick
Genre:   Fiction - Science Fiction
Year:   2010
Book Source:  Purchased