Friday, November 19, 2010

Girl Parts [Review]

Title: Girl Parts by John Cusick
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Science-Fiction
What They Say:

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.

What I Say:
I've had my eye out for Girl Parts since summer, so I was pretty psyched to pick it up once it rolled into the library. Despite the intriguing premise, I was reasonably underwhelmed by this one. I mean, a story about robots should be interesting, right? That said...

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Plot: ooh
So these two boys go to the same Catholic school, but are in completely different socials groups. David is the rich, popular playboy whose parents think he's disassociated because he watched one of his classmates commit suicide on the internet and hardly batted an eyelid. Charlie is the nature-loving outcast who doesn't want friends - at least, not friends like David. David thinks he's hit the jackpot when his parents buy him a female robot to teach him to form connections, but he gets a shock whenever he tries to make a move on her. One of these days, however, he is determined to get to those girl parts.

This story had a lot of promise, but while it had some mild highlights, it was a good 95% boring. Reading about a priveleged kid with no real problems and a less-priveleged kid with no real problems can only fascinate me for so long. Especially when not one of the characters has any handle on wit or snark. I mean, there was wannabe-snark, but YA is just a mess without the real thing. Real life is about zingers and sarcasm! Ha.

Characters: meh
David was so thoroughly the jerk-who-sort-of-grows-feelings. Cusick really stuck to his clichés in this book. I guess it was nice that he didn't make some magical Jerkass-to-Gentleman transformation at the end, but at least then the story would have had a point...

Charlie was...oh, sorry, I just fell asleep. Rule #1 to Being An Outsider: one must be intriguing and/or mysterious at all times. Charlie definitely broke that rule. How can he look down on all the rich kids when he's just as dull as they are? Other clichés perpetuated: boy is nobody, boy can't talk to girls, boy somehow gets above-average girl anyway. Oh, John, why?

Relationships: meh
David and Rose - Boohoo, my killer 16-year-old charm isn't getting me some, sooo I'm going to be a jerk and throw out the girlfriend my daddy had to buy for me. My life is sooo hard. Boohoo, I'm a Japanese robot who has apparently been programmed to worship this 16-year-old boy That's not weird at all...

Charlie and Rose - Yay, I just got my first kiss. Who cares if it's with a malfunctioning Japanese robot? I laugh at those dumb rich kids whose parents buy them sex dolls, but it's actually totally normal! (Sigh.)

Special Features: ooh
Well, despite the fact that the robot in this story was pretty dull, it was an interesting angle to take. A main love interest who isn't technically real? A for effort on the idea, Cusick. I see where you were trying to go with that.

Parting Quotes:
I tried realllly hard to find a cute/interesting/snarky quote from this book but I simply couldn't. Though perhaps I'll find one on the re-read and add it later.


  1. Oh no! This is on my to read list! I hate when that happens.

  2. I'm your newest follower! With that said, I heard promising things about this book. Hmm, too bad it doesn't seem that good after all.

  3. I'm reading this book right now and it's not bad at all. I've read mixed reviews about it. People either love it or hate it.