YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: October 1st 2009
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Gold star (4/5 stars)

Synopsis: New to town, Beatrice is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet loner who hasn’t made a new friend since third grade. Something about him, though, gets to Bea, and soon they form an unexpected friendship. It’s not romance, exactly – but it’s definitely love. Still, Bea can’t quite dispel Jonah’s gloom and doom – and as she finds out his family history, she understands why. Can Bea help Jonah? Or is he destined to vanish?

Review: I finished this book overwhelmed with emotions. Let me say first, How to Say Goodbye in Robot is totally different from Standiford’s Dating Game books. I am awe at the difference between both books. How to Say Goodbye in Robot has much more depth and the characterization was well done. Sometimes I judge books by their covers, and I loved the pink cover for this novel. It stands out and you might think it is some chick lit book but it’s not. The novel itself was thought-provoking and deeply moving, complete with a cast of unusual characters.

Initially Jonah was aloof but his withdrawal was understandable considering all that he’s been through. Eventually, Jonah and Beatrice bonded over the late-night radio calls but he still remained a complex and slightly bizarre character. I loved reading the late-night calls to the radio station, the other characters were quirky and mysterious people but they made the chats humorous, touching and so much fun to read about. The characters are flawed, yet I loved them because they are fascinating unique characters. Beatrice is sarcastic, witty and she thinks of herself as Robot Girl because she doesn’t have feelings yet I still find her lovable.

There is a twist in the story which I did not see coming, readers will be introduced to Matthew… I won’t spoil the book for you so you should read it and discover who Matthew is for yourself.

It’s not your typical romance, I have no idea how to describe it but Jonah and Beatrice share something more. My only complaint is that there were times where I felt the writing was inconsistent. I don’t know how to describe it but it was random.

This book has the perfect mixture of friendship, adventure, and wonderfully written characters that will make you laugh, cry, grin and seethe almost simultaneously. I highly recommend How to Say Goodbye in Robot to everyone who wants to read a book that contains magic but does not have anything supernatural. Standiford has definitely shown that she is a wonderful writer with this book and I hope to see many similar works like this in the near future.

Hope you enjoyed my review! Don’t forget to enter my contest to win 2 signed copies of Monster Republic. For details, click the link!

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