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Girl Parts Hardcover – August 10, 2010

3.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From 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
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

David, a typical empowered alpha teen, and Charlie, an introverted social fumbler, are cast here as two ends in the spectrum of dissociative disorder. David’s parents, at the behest of a guidance counselor, import an experimental “companion” (a lifelike robot girl designed to create a healthy relationship with her target human) named Rose from Japan. Of course, she is absolutely ravishing, and David can’t wait to get her clothes off. But when he finally does, he discovers that, anatomically, she is “a Barbie doll,” and he unceremoniously dumps her. Rose, who has by now developed her own personality, is crushed, and though she is programmed to love only David, she learns how to love Charlie. Readers will have to construct a pretty heavy-duty lattice to suspend disbelief, and there are plenty of potential eyebrow-raisers (par-for-the-course drinking and drug use and, yes, frisky business with robots—all handled tastefully). Nevertheless, this manages to balance outrageous adolescent wish fulfillment with a perceptive, provocative exploration of teen social, sexual, and identity issues. Grades 9-12. --Ian Chipman
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1 edition (August 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763649309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763649302
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,908,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brittany Moore VINE VOICE on November 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A young girl kills herself online. Because of this many kids who watched this happen are deemed dissociative. The solution is presented by Sakora industries: a Companion. Rose is the first Companion of her kind and is sent to David. Every time David tries to put the moves on Rose however, he is greeted with an electric shock. When Rose gets tossed aside after David bores of her, she finds Charlie. Charlie seems to be a much better person, but Rose's heart is still drawn to David.

This book fell pretty flat for me. There was a lot of interesting potential, but then nothing really happened. There was no real resolution at the end either. Maybe this book was simply a 218 page metaphor for the fact that we are all robots, programmed a certain way until we decide to want something more and break away from the herd. If that was this books goal, it succeeded. The suicide in the beginning sparked my interest, I wanted to see what would happen and how that suicide would play into the book. It doesn't. The suicide is mentioned in passing. Same with Sakora. They come on very strong and there is nothing after that. They are set up in a big brother sort of fashion and then taper off into oblivion. This book could have been very enjoyable an entertaining, I liked reading it, but at the end I was frustrated that there was no solution. The characters weren't as developed as I would have liked either, what was wrong with David at the end? Do I even care? All in all I would not recommend this novel and it's a shame because the cover is very pretty and the title amuses me.

First Line:
"The room was empty and black save for the blue eye of the computer and the yellow wedge beneath the door."

Favorite Line:
"Would the fairies leave any more babies in his mummy's tummy?"
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Format: Hardcover
David and Charlie are two high school students diagnosed with dissociative disorder. David is the most popular guy in school, and Charlie is probably the least popular guy, but thanks to a school psychologist on a corporate payroll they are both recommended for the companion program. It's David's parents who actually sign up, and as a result he is presented with Rose - a robot girl.

The story the author lays out describing David's growth from being a self absorbed teenager to being a slightly less self absorbed teenager is not very compelling. Rose's eventual relationship with Charlie is slightly more interesting as Rose gets the chance to learn about humanity from a teenager who actually has human characteristics of empathy and kindness. Rose's journey from being just a robot to a robot with a self actualized personality was the most interesting part of the story, but even that felt highly superficial.

The author tells a story that is interesting but ultimately unsatisfying as it seems confused as to whether it is a satire, a serious examination of the troubles of adolescent boys, or maybe just a vehicle to get lots of teenage boys thinking about what it would be like to have their own "companion." There are some humorous moments, and lots of locker room talk between characters that are mostly not very endearing. The send ups of corporate psychology and education are heavy handed and don't add much to the story. I am usually very successful at suspending disbelief, especially when it comes to YA literature, but I didn't believe this one for a second. Maybe if the scientific aspects of things had been addressed - just don't know. Maybe if the book had been a bit longer, with more opportunity to expand on Rose's journey and her growth.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is for young adults but I'm an old adult, so keep that in mind. That being said I am a readoholic, I love reading and I'm always reading. If I don't have anything new to read, I'll reread something - anything.

Over all I really liked Girl Parts, it's well written, has an interesting plot, and interesting, well developed characters.

The reason I gave it 4 stars is because of near the ending where the author labels David as light, bright, good, Mister sunshine personified and then has the gall to label Charlie as "the cloud to David's sunshine", "the dark side of his moon", and "the flip side of David's bright spot". That labeling is exactly the reverse of what it should be. Charlie is the bright spot, the light to David's dark cloud. Then J. M. Cusick mentions when David almost hit Charlie with his car. David was not concerned that he almost killed Charlie, he was only thankful that it wasn't him.

David is on the verge of self-destruction, and trying to pretend there is nothing wrong does David a disservice. All I can think is that John M. Cusick never read his own story, or someone else wrote that paragraph (at Kindle location 2733). David is obviously psychotic and is only concerned with himself and self-gratification. He has friends when they are useful to him, he has a girlfriend because his parents bought him one, but as soon as he realizes that she is incomplete, he throws her away, and it's not just that he wants nothing to do with her, he also wants no one else to have anything to do with her either.
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