Friday, February 19, 2010

How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford

Book Review #19
How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford
Rating: Four stars (refer to the rating system on the right)

Summary: (taken from inside flap- I thought it was more fitting than the Goodreads description)

New to town, Bea is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. You know the type: very cheery, very friendly, very average. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Bot, a quiet observer who hasn't made a new friends since third grade. He's not a big fan of people in general...but he's willing to make an exception for her. Maybe.

Bea and Jonah are not going to have a friendship like other people have a friendship, where it's all based on gossip and parties and what everybody else thinks. Instead, their friendship comes from truth-bound conversations, shared secrets, daring stunts, and late-night calls to the same old-timer radio show. They help each other and hurt each other, push away and hold close. It's not a romance, exactly-but it's definitely love. And it means more to them than either once can ever really know....

Whoa, a few words to describe How To Say Goodbye In Robot would be strange, weird, wacky, and definitely not normal, but that's why I liked it so much. There may be few things that were normal in this book. I'm used to books with similar plots and storylines, so this was like taking a taste of a new exotic dish. Along with be different it was sweet, funny, brutally honest, and warm. I wasn't really sure what to expect, I thought it was going to be a romancish love story, but I don't think I could classify this one as a romance novel. It definitely has love, but a different kind of love.

Bea's constants moves and parents' troubled relationship left her struggling to show her emotions, afraid to grow attached to people and places, and left believing she is actually  the cold, emotionless person everyone thinks she's become (Robot Girl). Luckily it is senior year and it's Bea and her family make one last stop in Baltimore. The private school she goes to is small, with everyone having known everyone else forever. Bea meets Jonah aka Ghost Boy. Jonah, is the school outsider, he has few friends, and no one really knows why. If only they knew that he lost his twin brother Matthew and his mother in a car accident, leaving him changed forever.  Beatrice sets her mind on becoming friends, she sees something in him. 

I've never read about a friendship quite like Robot Girl's and Ghost Boy's. The two form a memorable friendship, based on Night Life, a quirky nighttime radio show, and family secrets. They form an powerful friendship, complicated by Jonah's obsession with his mentally disabled twin brother, who his father had told him died along with Bea's own problems dealing with her wacky parents. There relationship is definitely tested, but for some reason Bea can't stay away from Jonah. Jonah and Bea are never a couple - they are so much more. It's complicated they are more than friends, not lovers, but they certainly each fill a hole in the others' lives, the question is whether Jonah's hole is to deep to fill.

I loved a lot of the characters in this book, they all were different, and you learned a little bit about each of them. You even get to meet the characters on the Night Life show, all of the people start to get to know each other by their on-air personalities and they even meet in person on occasion. I loved the radio show, it was hilarious and fun to "listen in" to. Then there's Bea's mother-she's kind of crazy. First off she's obsessed with chickens, gets "sick" all the time, and in her spare time her and Bea would dress up and reenact crazy scenes.Of course, I fell in love with Bea and Jonah too, who both significantly change. 

I"m not really sure how I feel about the ending. I can't describe how I'm feeling without giving it away, but in a way I'm feeling a bit heartbroken, but definitely touched. It was kind of nice how everything came together, I had no idea, but everything Jonah did everything for a reason (It leaves you going "Oh that's why he did that!"). Although I didn't love the ending, it doesn't make or break the book.

Overall, wow what a memorable book. How To Say Goodbye In Robot is not like anything you've read before. True honest friendship (maybe even more), painfully realistic characters- that weren't normal, but were OK with it, laugh out loud moments, and so much more, what more could you ask for. I almost forgot, I loved the setup of the book- separated by months which was a great way to tell time, and a pink and black interior which I loved. I'm so happy I finally read this one, if this is in your TBR pile, move it up to the top :)


Jami said...

I wasn't sure I was going to read this one, but after reading this review I really want to. Thanks :)

Christina T said...

I'm intrigued by your review. I think I will add this to my TBR list and try to get it from my library. Great review!

Anonymous said...

This is already on my TBR list. I can't wait to read it.

Morgan said...

I really enjoyed this book and you're right about it being different. It was nice to read something I wasn't used to, however. And I also really liked the characters and how different each of them were. Great review!

Bere said...

Great review Sara! This book is in my wish-list
and I hope to read it soon. It
sounds so great. I'm glad you liked it =)

Emidy said...

I've actually heard of this one before! And everyone says it's great. I'm going to have to read it eventually!

Une Parole

Stephanie said...

I love characters who are not normal but O.K. with it! :-) Thanks for this terrific review.

Texan Teen said...

this is a GREAT review! I love it!
following your blog! <3

CarlyB said...

Thanks for the great review :). This one sounds really sweet.x

Christina/Book Addict said...

Great review. It sounds like a book I'd like. Also, I wanted to let you know that I gave your blog an award.
:) Have a great weekend!

Ah Yuan // wingstodust said...

Here from the Saturday Network. Your review really intrigued me. I like the fact that the girl and the guy doesn't actually end up together. That's so rare in YA fiction these days. And the whole radio and off-kilter-ness of the characters sounds fascinating. Definitely giving this novel a shot. =D

Melissa said...

I've never heard of this one before, but it sounds really good, and your review was brilliant! I think I'll need to give this one a go, so thank you for pointing it out to me! :)

Anonymous said...

This book sounds beyond good. I think it's already on my list but if not, I'm adding it for sure. Thanks for the great review!

Lauren said...

Great review! This book is in my TBR pile, and I can't wait to read it. :)

Anonymous said...


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What do you think close to it ?

Thanx in advance

Sorry for my bad english :s

Katherine said...

After seeing your comment, I had to come over and find your Robot review :) I'm so glad you liked it too! I think it would be cool if the book included a map of their jaunts around Baltimore-- kind of like the map that was included in 13 Reasons Why.