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Girl PartsReview - Girl Parts
by John M. Cusick
Candlewick, 2010
Review by Natalie Kelley-Wilson
May 29th 2012 (Volume 16, Issue 22)

This book is a fictional commentary on the effects that technology has had on the abilities of young people to relate to each other and access their humanity. While exploring this idea, the story also touches on the themes of friendship, love, the value of choice and female empowerment. It aims to tackle some serious issues in an accessible and entertaining way.

This book is for young adults, between the ages of thirteen and eighteen. Boys as well as girls would benefit from reading this book, but girls will probably be more inclined to do so. However, the title and cover as well as the fact that it is about an android might entice boys to read it as well.

As with most young adult books this book is a fairly simple read, but the language is intelligent and doesn't seem condescending. Though the language is sufficiently sophisticated, it manages to be accessible to young people as far as I can tell. The conversations between the teens seem fairly realistic, though admittedly it has been a while since I have been a teen.

I enjoy the message and story, but I definitely hope that teenagers are not really as jaded and self-centered as some of the characters in the book. I like to think that even though sex is an important goal for teenagers that they are capable of being decent people while in the process of achieving said goal. I do think the teenagers in the book are examples of the extreme; a rich and entitled would be Casanova who thinks nothing (along with several of his peers) of watching another student die online, and an awkward and shy loner who's inability to relate to his classmates makes him the ideal candidate for showing the android how to respect herself and fight for her autonomy. The adults in the story are disconnected or foolish as is typical in many books for young adults. Honestly, how is giving a teenage boy a female android that caters to his every whim (to a point) in order to help him learn to connect with human girls on more than a sexual level, and expecting sex NOT to be the end goal for the boy a good idea? It isn't. There is a part near the end of the book in which the android is given a choice which she is encouraged to make for herself rather than for either of the boys in her life, that I think is particularly powerful. The story ends in an abrupt and somewhat anticlimactic way, but I think the goal of that is to mirror the reality of life. I would recommend this for a young adult collection.

 

© 2012 Natalie Kelley-Wilson

  

Natalie Kelley-Wilson graduated from Allegheny College with a BA in English Lit. and from Clarion University with a Masters in Library Science. Currently she works at her town's public library and the county historical society. Email: nataliekelleywilson82@gmail.com

 


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