I’m actually sort of obsessed with the whole concept of this book — and after reading it, I can only hope there is more to come.
Girl Parts tells the story of two boys who couldn’t be more different — rich, popular David … and Charlie, the contented outsider. Their lives become suddenly connected through Rose — the Companion built just for David, to help him with his supposed “dissociative disorder.” In short, Rose is a robot — built to love David. When circumstances find Rose on her own, separated from the boy she was built to love, she finds herself turning to Charlie for help. And Charlie, knowing she isn’t a real girl, finds himself opening up to her in ways he never could with other teens.
At the very root of Girl Parts is an exploration of how technology and communication have changed the way we interact with people — and questions both the pros and cons of those connections. Cusick does so successfully without once sounding preachy, and he never pushes an agenda. He simply presents a situation and asks you to think a little more consciously about how you interact with the people in your life.
Girl Parts has a lot going for it — from an explosively dramatic opening scene (it’s shock value with a purpose) to a twisted sense of humor running throughout the entire novel.
The characters in Girl Parts are all delightfully multidimensional and deftly avoid the trappings of stereotypes. There are various facets to each character, which makes them all the more intriguing. You might want to hate David because he’s the spoiled, popular rich kid with a definite attitude — but there are other layers to his personality that make it impossible to blanket him with that characterization. There are reasons to root for him, too. Likewise, Charlie’s preference for solitude doesn’t make him the strange loner to be mocked or pitied. He has his own issues and struggles, and he truly shines as an unlikely hero.
And then there’s Rose — the robot built for love, but built incompletely. She’s incredibly sympathetic as a character — and she is the primary reason I hope Cusick is planning a sequel. I didn’t get enough time with Rose. I loved watching her grow and develop into a strong character — which sounds strange knowing she’s a robot, but she’s a really incredible robot and she has a lot going for her.
So while I loved Girl Parts, I want more. I want more Rose. I want to know more about Sakora, the mysterious company behind the robots. I want to know more about David and Charlie and what will happen to them next.
But I guess being left wanting more is a good thing, too.
PS. Check out this very amusing & clever book trailer: