Girl Parts

( 19 )

Overview

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 ...

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Girl Parts

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a very near future America where 750 viewers watch a teenager commit suicide online and do nothing, are humans more human than an android who looks and acts the part? With an almost anthropological eye, first-time novelist Cusick digs into the connections people make--physically, emotionally, and technologically. After David Sun’s parents learn that he witnessed the local girl’s death and didn’t intervene, they grow concerned that he has become “disassociated” from life, due to an overreliance on technology. The solution? More technology, of course, in the form of Rose, a Companion bot, which “dissuades dehumanizing behaviors and encourages healthy human interaction.” Rose is a redheaded bombshell, and while there are the requisite moments of misunderstood slang and other faux pas, she’s no more lost than the teenagers she meets, like scruffy loner Charlie. It’s Rose’s growth, with Charlie’s help after she’s brutally rejected by David, which forms the emotional core of this bittersweet and prescient novel, and which make the teenager-as-robot metaphor work so well. “He’s the whole universe,” Rose says of David, who alone she’s programmed to connect with. “What am I supposed to do?” Ages 14-up. (Aug.)
VOYA - Tim Capehart
Sixteen-year-olds Charlie Nuvola and David Sun both attend all-boy school Saint Sebastian's in Westtown, Massachusetts, but they could not be more different. David is rich, popular, and lives in a mansion, while Charlie is on scholarship, is a loner, and lives in a cabin in the woods with his single father, a botanist. Both boys are diagnosed as "disassociative" by the crackpot new counselor at St. Seb's, who gives them both catalogs for Sakura Companions, robotic girl simulacrum with "intimacy clocks" designed to help boys form "normal" relationships. Charlie says no. David, however, gets Rose, a beautiful redhead. At first, he's in love . . . then he learns the companions aren't anatomically correct. Rose, who has gradually become more human, doesn't deal well with rejection, and Charlie saves her from herself. They become friends and dodge Sakura goons as the company comes looking for its lost "property." Charlie and Rose try to sort out their feelings and decide what to do next. What does a robot designed to love a specific boy do with herself once he's tossed her aside? Literary agent Cusick's debut is a funny, touching, near-future science fiction tale that explores teen relationships and what it means to be a "real" person. Part Pinocchio, part My Fair Lady, this is a good quick pick for fans of light science fiction. Reviewer: Tim Capehart
Children's Literature - Heather Robertson Mason
In the near future, many experts are saying too much TV, Internet, and texting is making teens disconnected from relationships with real people in real time. Sakoro Corporation has a solution, a solution that David is about to meet. After he watches a girl live-stream her suicide, David's parents (on the recommendation of his guidance counselor) have purchased him a Companion. Rose is a robot, an unbelievably attractive robot, meant to help him build emotional bonds with humans. As David struggles with keeping his robot crush a secret from his popular friends, across the lake Charlie struggles to make friends. He's an outsider whose situation is made worse since his dad has little interest in any form of technology. When these three characters finally meet, they all question what it means to be human and what it means to be alive. The novel starts with a modern concern of parents and offers a futuristic solution. The questions it raises are interesting, mainly whether or not digital relationships are the same as face to face ones. This is a risky book for a classroom, though. A main conflict is David trying to break down Rose's protocols so she will have sex with him. His behavior throughout makes him hard to like, but that may be the point. This book is for mature readers only, and boy readers at that since the protagonist is male and much of what he says and does can be construed as sexist, but those who are ready for it may find a glimmer of themselves while they read. Reviewer: Heather Robertson Mason
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—With cold detachment, David views a classmate's video blog while she deliberately downs a toxic cocktail. He and his peers seem unfazed having witnessed her online suicide. The adults, shocked out of their reverie, notice that their children are "disassociated" from the real world. David's father, a techno tycoon, teams up with the school counselor to intervene. Enter Rose, an attractive robot girl designed to befriend David. She is beautiful, with silky hair and warm downy skin, and programmed to please. Electronic Rose will teach David how to love and feel again. No joke! Meanwhile, classmate Charlie is the antithesis of David. He and his botanist dad live off the grid on the outskirts of town. Charlie, a disheveled loner, rides a broken-down bike, and the school counselor labels him as depressed. He first suggests drugs and then a Companion, like David's. Rose generates much desire in her boy, but no substance. He remains a selfish, spoiled jerk addicted to surround monitors that flow constant communication among friends, all the while simulating suggestive images. When David discovers that Rose is more Barbie than girl—she is without "girl parts"—he casts her aside and breaks her "heart." Soon she takes up with Charlie and romance ensues. When the story digresses to Rose experiencing tender feelings and desiring "girl parts," the narrative stumbles. David remains artificially connected, Rose develops contrived humanistic drama, and Charlie falls for her. What began as a smart and sexy cautionary tale is ultimately disappointing.—Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763649302
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/10/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John M. Cusick is a 2007 graduate of Wesleyan University. About Girl Parts he says, "It is easy to feel lonely, despite the immediacy of technological connection. This is a story about human connections, how they catch us by surprise and challenge who we are." A literary agent of books for children and teens, he lives in Brooklyn.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by McKenzie Tritt for Teens Read Too

    David is a popular jock. Charlie is an outcast who would rather spend his time alone or with his dad. Neither one, however, is very close to anyone. When David's parents give him an attractive female Companion robot designed to encourage social interaction, things get a little haywire. David wants more than Rose is willing to give - and she shocks him when he tries too much. After a turn of events, Rose finds Charlie, and both connect to each other like never before. Each boy experiences what love and loss are and how to deal with the consequences. John Cusick's story is an original, funny one that is very relevant in today's world of Facebook and texts. Though people can instantly be connected, they often aren't genuinely close. David and Charlie are typical teenagers who are experiencing just that until Rose, the gorgeous bot, comes along. She changes their perspectives after a few hard-earned lessons, teaching them that connections aren't immediate and that love is something we must work towards. Charlie and David are likeable enough, but I wish we got to know more about them. We didn't know much about their pasts, nor their daily lives. I would've liked more involvement between real life and their time spent with Rose. I did, though, enjoy the focus on Rose and her development of feelings and interactions with the world around her. It became an interesting ethical debate, whether Rose was something that could simply be turned off, or whether she had developed real emotions that allowed her to live. GIRL PARTS is a refreshing and humorous novel that brings up plenty of important questions about today's society. I recommend it to anyone looking for a contemporary science fiction read that will have you laughing. On another note, I look forward to a hopeful sequel, as I wish to learn more about Rose and to find out what happens after that gosh darn cliffhanger!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Expected a little more

    It was such a relief to be connected to a simple, 200 pager instead of big, chunky 400 pager. Don't get me wrong I love to read, but unless it's one of my favorite books, I can only take so much of it. Girl Parts was the perfect length, not too short and not too long.

    The characters were really fun to read about, especially Rose. Don't get me wrong, I loved Charlie and David was fun too, but Rose was just wonderful. I loved her curious attitude and also how pure she was!

    Girl Parts was a pretty quick read; there wasn't a lot of boring parts, but not a lot of exciting ones either. I felt like the story kept building up, only to realize that there wasn't much it was building up to. The story was good, I guess I just wish there was more (depth) to it.

    The whole idea behind Girl Parts was so interesting! I've never read a book about robots and now that I know what I've been missing, I'll have to check some more out.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Funny, perfect length, not just for kids

    I usually do not read y.a. but this one turned my head. It is a satire on technology as a cause of dissociative disorder, yet using even more advanced technology, like robotic girls, to improve human connectedness. I do not think most young readers would pick up on the humor of it as much as mature kids and adults. Good book to read with your teenager as it can help spark many discussions.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not what I expected

    I really expected more out of this book. I had high hopes for it but it never was what I wanted. I was able to read through it quickly, but found that that the plot needed something more...


    David is disagnoised with being Disassociated. With this, his doctor prescribes him not drugs but a machine to help him become more associated with the world. David sees the machine as nothing but a sex toy. All he wants to do is make out and have sex it with it. Because of this problem with teenage boys, the company removes all girl parts from the machine, thus the name of the book.


    David does learn somewhat of how to establish a stable good relationship. If he tries something not good, then he is punished by electric shocks. David learns quickly that he must earn trust and establish a relationship before even trying to kiss Rose.


    Charlie is also a disassociate but his father did not approve of the program. When David gets mad at Rose, Rose runs into Charlie in which he helps her.


    There is so much going on in this book with the three different POV's going on. It was hard to keep up, but just to me too many story lines. Also I enjoyed Rose finally making up her own mind and doing what she needed to do. I wish I could see more from Rose POV rather than David and Charlie.


    This book contains drugs, suscide, sex, and cursing. In all the book was an easy read, but nothing that I would read again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 20, 2014

    First, I LOVE the cover! It's gorgeous! I had HIGH hopes for thi

    First, I LOVE the cover! It's gorgeous! I had HIGH hopes for this book and I expected this to be amazing. Sadly, I was let down. Maybe it was just me? I actually purchased the hardback AND the audio (they were on sale). To be honest, it felt like the book was meant for a young man (teenager) to read. To tell the truth, I felt disconnected. The word 'disconnected' is a perfect description. The story started out good, but sort of went down hill from there. I really wanted to love this book and it upsets me, because I didn't. Also, the ending was a major let down. Too many unanswered questions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2013

    When I first saw this book I thought that the topic would be int

    When I first saw this book I thought that the topic would be interesting to read about. Every review I looked at basically said it was good or great. Then I got the book and read it and while it wasn't the worst book in the world I know I won't be buying it from a store or reading it again ever. While the plot for it sounds good it just didn't live up to what I thought it should have. I also wish the characters weren't so "dull". I don't like to use that word for them but there is really no other way to describe it. Over all, the book didn't completely suck because it did have it's moments but between David's pathetic attempts at being with Rose and his hook up scene along with a few other parts that could have just been better for me I kind of wish I just hadn't read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Interesting Concept

    The book basically is about very life- like blow-up dolls for teenage boys who are disassociated from reality. It does discuss an important phenomenon of today's rimes. Teens spend so much time online and playing video games that they are increasingly detached from reality with little empathy for others. In this story David watches a teen girl commit suicide on his computer, but fails to react by alerting anyone about what he's seen. This leads his parents to enroll him in a program that provides him with a Companion- the android like doll, which is supposed to help him develop that missing empathy.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    Anonymous

    Creepy and georgeous, I liked this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great novel for adults and teens

    There are many issues embedded in this sci-fi young adult novel. Would be a great book for discussions, whether a book club, reading group, or parents to read with their teens. Brings up many reckless things teens do, like drinking, sex, internet sites, with an overall theme of emotional connectedness. It's got it all. Who wouldn't want to read it?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Hfj

    Vjcg

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2012

    Its a nice book

    Its good for some people and bad for others so im going with 3 stars ok and im single and a girl and needs love

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Eeeehhhh

    It was stupid to me. I found it extremely addicting though i do think its worth it if you're bored but...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    good read

    Girl parts was an interesting original book. i liked the book because of the message but to me some of the characters were confusing in the beginning, and the part at the end with Rose really confusing because it happened really fast. But i loved the story line and the characters and the problems intertwined in Girl parts and i still recommend it to anyone looking for a good fast book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2010

    Original!

    she is a bot, no she's not! anyway, she's hot! great characters and entertaining story.

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  • Posted August 14, 2010

    Girls and Guys alike will enjoy the book from this debut author

    GIRL PARTS, by John Cusick, centers around two contrasting high school boys dealing with the same "dissociative disorder" that they are diagnosed with. Companions are given to teens who are having face-to-face connection issues to learn boundaries of communication in "real life". In his debut novel, Cusick humorously explores the fate of those who are disconnected from society through technology.

    This book was a pleasant unexpected surprise. Cusick molded a story around two totally different teens (popular troublemaker versus unpopular nerd) and their link through one not so human Companion, Rose. Both these characters had me laughing out loud during awkward date moments and general male-hormone-driven thoughts.

    I liked the concept of the Companions. Through Rose's point of view we are able to see how technologically advanced the Sakora Solutions company really is (it's a bit scary too if you ask me!). Rose started off as pretty stiff in her movements and speech but through her "learning" she eventually looked and acted like any other female. She definitely won my heart with her innocence and downright sweetness.

    Overall, this book was definitely different and I think girls and guys alike will enjoy it. It was hilarious, romantic, and definitely bittersweet. I look forward to reading future releases from this talented author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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