Jun 8, 2015

Review | How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford

Title: How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: October 1, 2009 by Scholastic Press
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★

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?

Thoughts:This is a book that sat on my shelf for years. I don't really remember what it was that made me want  to read it but I've been meaning to get to it forever. When I picked it up, I had no idea what it was about anymore. So How to Say Goodbye in Robot really caught me by surprise, because I had no idea what to to really expect from it. Not sure how I even feel about it now, really, because it was so...different than anything else I've read.

Bea and Jonah are a pair of outsiders, basically. Bea is new and has the opportunity to befriend a couple girls but instead becomes friends with Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, who doesn't have any friends. I'm not sure if I liked either of them, but I liked seeing them develop and their friendship develop, although it felt so weird most of the time. I think I might be too used to every other book where the relationship eventually turns into something romantic, but Bea and Jonah's relationship never really does. They care for each other, very much so, and sort of depend on each other more than the other cares to admit. But romance? Nope, not really.

The other characters, parents and...others, were all extremely unique but also not exactly likable. It's also a little rare, I think, to see parents thrown into such negative light as both Bea and Jonah's parents were, both for very different and somewhat disturbing reasons. It did add to the uniqueness of the story though, which led to a somewhat confusing and somewhat surprising conclusion.

Standiford's characters and plot were unique, but her writing didn't really stand out to me in any particular way. I'm not sure if she's written anything else since the release of this one, and I'm not sure if I would be willing to pick up another book of hers. I wasn't really sure what to rate this book, so I gave it an average 3 stars. Mostly because it was unique, because it has a surprising ending and, just because. I don't not recommend it, but I also don't recommend it either. Again, not really sure how I felt about this one, other than relieved that I finally read it after so many years of having it on my bookshelf ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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