Girl Parts - John M. Cusick
It all starts with a suicide. Nora Vogel transmits her death live on a video website and David just happened to stumble upon it while he was surfing the Internet. When word gets out that he was one of the kids to watch, his parents and the school counselor become worried about the amount of time he and the other teens spend isolating themselves with technology. The school counselor suggests to his parents a Companion from Sakora Industries - a robot meant to encourage healthy bonds to treat dissociative disorder.Rose is created to be David's Companion. She has flawless skin, flowing red hair, and a direct satellite link to Sakora for instant information about the world around her. She has been designed specifically for David. He is HER BOY. Her job is to make David happy and teach him the importance of "human" contact. Each Companion is programmed with strict intimacy protocols. Rose can shake hands with David after 2 minutes of friendship or hug after another time limit has been reached. If David attempts to touch or kiss before the allowed time he is given a horrible shock. Even though he is extremely frustrated and doesn't want to wait for intimate contact, he soon realizes he enjoys spending time with Rose and finds himself developing deep feelings for her.Just when things are going great, David discovers something about the Companions that sends him over the edge. In a fit of anger he abandons Rose at a party and leaves with another girl. He doesn't care where Rose goes or how she survives.Charlie lives across the lake from David. They've known each other for a long time, but have never been friends. David has teased Charlie on multiple occasions because he is poor and an awkward loner and once even ran him off the road and almost killed him. If it hadn't been for Rose, David wouldn't have even stopped to check to see if he was okay. Charlie finds Rose and gives her a place to stay after David kicks her out of his life. During her time with Charlie and his father she begins to develop her own personality, thoughts and opinions - something that could be very dangerous for her if Sakora Industries finds out. Companions should only do what they are programmed to do. Independent thought wouldn't be a good selling point for their rich clients.GIRL PARTS is a fascinating story. The technology John Cusick created for the Companion robots is super fun. While not all the characters are completely developed, the reader does get to know and sympathize with Rose. It is interesting to me that the robot in the story is the character with the most growth. The author leaves the ending open to sequel possibilities and I, for one, will enjoy finding out what happens. I rated it 5 Glasses and a Stay Awake Award simply because I couldn't wait to find out what happened in the story - not because it is the best literary quality I've come across. There is a good side story involving Charlie and a girl he wants to date. Watching Charlie's personality change because of his relationship with Rose is nice.Check out John Cusick's website for more information about his work and the book.