‘Hello, David. My name is Rose. It’s a pleasure to meet you. We are now entering minute two of our friendship. According to my Intimacy Clock, a handshake is now appropriate’.
David and Charlie are opposites. David has a million friends, online and off. Charlie is a soulful outsider, off the grid completely. But neither feels close to anybody. When David’s parents present him with a hot Companion bot to encourage healthy bonds and treat ‘dissociative disorder’, he can’t get enough of luscious red-headed Rose – and he can’t get it soon. Companions come with strict intimacy protocols, and whenever he tries anything, David gets an electric shock. Severed from the boy she was built to love, Rose turns to Charlie, who finds he can open up, knowing Rose isn’t real. With Charlie’s help, the ideal ‘companion’ is about to become her own best friend.
After seeing a suicide online David’s parents are worried about him and send him to the school councilor. Charlie has been seeing the council for suspected depression. Both are recommended a companion. Charlie’s father however think it is ridiculous. David’s however agree to it and so David is sent Rose.
At first he thinks she is great. The perfect women. But David is a popular kid and has a reputation and at a party one night he make a discovery about Rose that he just can’t live with.
The result? Rose ends up in Charlie’s arms. He finds out she is a companion and as a result is able to connect with her in a way he never could to real girls. However there is a problem, she is still programmed for David.
I’m not sure why but I had expected this to be more of a dystopian book. However it is not that way it all. It is about life and relationships. I think Cusick is trying to make a point about how technology is effecting the way we interact with one and other but really we all still desire a healthy relationship and human company. There is also a message in here, I think, about how we view one another, what we view is normal and how everyone just wants to be excepted as they are.
I can’t say I was really impressed with this book but writing about it now has made me appreciate it more. I don’t think it is a particularly great read but I am glad I have read it and I am sure some people will enjoy the story it is telling.