Review: How to Say Goodbye in Robot

Title: How to Say Goodbye in Robot
Author: Natalie Standiford
Publisher: Scholastic
Pub. Date: Today (10/1/09)
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Friendship, Love, Family, Social Situations
Pages: 288
Plot (from ARC):
“Icelandic hairdressers are the happiest people in the world.

Bea is not an icelandic hairdresser.

Neither is Jonah.

But together, they might find something approaching happiness.

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 Boy, a quiet observer who hasn’t made a new friend since third grade. He’s not a big gan of people in general.. but he’s willing to make an exception for her. Maybe.

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

How to Say Goodbye in Robot is definitely on my list of favorites for 2009… if fact, it makes my favorite books ever list! With the amount of books I read, that isn’t an easy feat!

The story How to Say Goodbye in Robot is painfully realistic at some points, but that just makes it hauntingly beautiful. I loved the old-timer radio show that Bea and Jonah listen to – it made me want to turn on the AM radio and find my own quirky insomniacs to help guide me through tough times.

There was something about Bea that I found easy to relate to. Before she found that late night radio show, Bea fantasized about death  – not suicide – just the comfort and relaxation of being separate from life. I may not have been quite as instense as Bea, but I’ve often wondered about death as I lay awake an night too. Bea struggles with showing her emotions; she is afraid to grow attached to people and places because she often has to pack up and move as soon as she makes connections. I undestood Bea’s confusion and her ability to accept the fact that, maybe, she is a robot: cold, unfeeling, and hard.

I loved Jonah. He was one of those characters that will draw a reader in like a moth to flame. He is so perfectly broken – I can see why Bea would be drawn to him in her own broken state.

How to Say Goodbye in Robot is not a love story, but it is terribly romantic. Jonah and Bea have so much chemistry and truly love one another, flaws and all. I found the sappy teenager in me yearning for them to be together as a couple. But Jonah and Bea are never a couple – they are so much more. To me, this novel emphasizes how important connections other than the physical are – and how those ties can run so much deeper.

Ratings (Out of 10):
Plot: 10
Characters: 10
Writing: 10
Romance: 10
Originality: 10

Total: 50/50 (A!!)

I simply cannot write a review that will do this novel justice! It is one of my absolute favorites that I’ll have on my go-to list for recommendations. How to Say Goodbye in Robot is a must read for 2009!

Want to read this book too? Go here to win a copy!

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15 thoughts on “Review: How to Say Goodbye in Robot

  1. I've been wanting to read this just because I am in love with the title, but this "The story How to Say Goodbye in Robot is painfully realistic at some points, but that just makes it hauntingly beautiful" made me want to read it more.Great review!

  2. I too absolutely adore the title. It's what made me want to read the book in the first place. I really enjoyed your review!! I'm so glad in hit your favies of 2009 =)

  3. I like this story even if i haven't read it. I love romantic story with a gloomy hue to it. Thanks for sharing this book with us. It's on my TBR list now. 😀

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