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 designed to encourage healthy bonds and treat “dissociative disorder,” he can’t get enough of luscious, redheaded Rose—and he can’t get it soon enough. 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 to her, knowing that she isn’t real. With Charlie’s help, the ideal “companion” is about to become her own best friend.
In a stunning and hilarious debut, John M. Cusick takes rollicking aim at Internet culture and our craving for meaningful connection in an uber-connected world.