Release Date: 01/06/11
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Target Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Synopsis: 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.
My Review: Do you know someone who won't shift from their computer? Do you know someone who just doesn't get on with people? Hand them this book, it's a valuable lesson in why it's important to talk to actual people and why people need other people. The irony being, that it's a robot that teaches the two boys in this how to feel, and boy does she do it well.
Rose was by far my favourite character though closely followed by Charlie. David annoyed me though I have to admit even he learned a lot from his experience with Rose as he did change in some respect by the end of the book.
Rose's voice is honest, innocent and very earnest and though she's the robot in all this, I can't help but think that she was perhaps the most human in how she behaved, especially after the incident with David part way through.
Though there are some valuable lessons to be learned about sex (and it's meaningfulness) in this book, the main focus is emotional attachment and it was wonderful seeing Charlie learn to how to form a connection with Rose and opening up a bit more, which really does beg the question...Just because Rose is a robot, does that make her feelings any less real? My personal opinion would be she is as real as the two boys, but I'll let you decide that for yourself.
I really really hope there's a second book because the way this ended will really bug me a bit if I don't find out what happens after the end of the book. Cliffhanger alert :)