Second Look: Girl Parts by John Cusick (who is NOT the actor in High Fidelity… that was John Cusack)

PLOT:
David Sun spends too much time on his computer. His family and new school counselor think he is disassociated and socially disconnected. They agree that David should have a Companion… a female computerized humanoid robot. Enter Rose. However, David learns the hard way that Companions have Intimacy Clocks. If you touch them before it is considered “appropriate” then any boy brave enough to try to take some goodies from the cookie jar (if you get my meaning) will be zapped with an electric shock. Since David is a Playa with a capital P, he’s obvs. not too happy about that. But when loner Charlie Nuvola accidentally meets Rose, they find something in each other that they can’t find from anyone else.

CHARACTERS:
David
is a rich snob and Class A jerkface. I’m not sure if the author wanted us to feel sorry for him or hate him. I HATED HIM. He’s crude, sex obsessed, obnoxious, and eerily reminiscent of most guys I dated in high school. Maybe that’s why I hated him so much… Poor Rose was born (read: created) to be David’s Companion. She’s only programmed with a certain amount of information, and is supposed to become “more human over time.” She’s naïve and programmed to focus solely on David, who she can’t let go of when something goes wrong with their arrangement. Charlie is David’s sort-of neighbor and a notorious loner. He values any time he can get without people, until he meets Rose, who isn’t like most people. Charlie is a very sympathetic character. Once the rest of the supporting characters are introduced (mostly David’s male friends) and we see the way they treat each other (meaning anyone female), it’s easy to understand why Charlie likes to be alone.

EXTRA GOODIES:

  • I love the idea of some warped sci-fi world in which fembots exist to teach boys how to be more civilized.

OPINION:
So, Mom and Pop Sun think, “Hey! Let’s get a glorified sex doll for our 16-year-old misogynistic, sexually frustrated son. Because surely THAT will help him respect women and form deep social and emotional bonds.” Yea… there’s a surefire winner of an idea. I can’t imagine why it all went wrong! Ultimately, this book did not sit well with me. The premise was awesome. To set up such an intriguing idea, the author had to show us that boys were scum. Like the Orbit commercials, 16-year-old guys have dirty mouths. Normally I have no problem with crude and sexually suggestive language in books, but this just seemed like it was there because the author had nothing else good to say. I was waiting for the climax to really shock me and I found myself only mildly impressed. I will admit I thought the ending was unexpected, but on the whole it was rather unsatisfying. I had high hopes for this book and was very disappointed. It was a weakly constructed story smoothed over with a unique plot line and semi-decent writing.

OFFICIAL RATING: 4/10.

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