Books Young Adult Fiction How To Say Goodbye In Robot

How To Say Goodbye In Robot

http://www.yabookscentral.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x275s/22/be/28/_Robot_1335808923.jpg
 
0.0
 
4.2 (2)
266   0
Age Range
14+
Release Date
December 01, 2010
ISBN
0545107091
Buy This Book
      

From bestselling author Natalie Standiford, an amazing, touching story of two friends navigating the dark waters of their senior year. 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?

User reviews

Average user rating from: 2 user(s)

Already have an account? or Create an account
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Plot 
 
4.5  (2)
Characters 
 
4.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (2)
Now, you probably know by now that YA contemp is totally not my thing. It's just too...real. I also don't believe that a boy and a girl can be friends without one or both of them wanting more, but that's more of a personal moral/family background than mere taste. But I was reading Atlantic Wire's list of summer reads based off YA authors' recommendations, and of course, being the Maggie Stiefvater fangirl I am, I instantly zoned in on what she had listed. In particular, I was caught by the pretty pink cover of How to Say Goodbye in Robot (seriously, this is the main reason why Scholastic is tied for top of my dream publisher list - gorgeous cover work), and Maggie enthusiastically endorses it as one of those books that can be totally seen in your mind as a movie.

Just another piece of evidence to prove that Maggie is awesome.

You should know that already.

So, as our heroine, we have Bea. She's just moved to a new town with her 'rents (both of whom are strange and broken in their own right, in my honest opinion). The thing that caught my attention about Bea straight away was the way she reacts to her mother calling her heartless and a robot. I don't know about you, but I think most teenagers go through this constant second-guessing of themselves - if they're feeling the right way, reacting the right way, thinking the right things as everyone else. Bea's really considering herself as a robot girl really touched a chord somehow, somewhere.

Of course, a true-to-life teenage girl like Bea can't just wind up with a cliche friend who crushes on Zac Efron and paints her toenails Sunset Passion. So, we are introduced to Ghost Boy - a.k.a. Jonah, who is pretty much ignored by the rest of the student body, but has some hidden skeletons in his family closet and a mutual passion that pulls Bea into his small, isolated world.

A radio station.

And not just any radio station. A quirky, local station, run by a man that calls himself Herb. A station where it isn't unusual for callers to ring in for an evening ride on "the magic carpet", or read poems they wrote themselves, or obsess over Elvis Presley. It's a little family of its own, united by being outsiders, for embracing their quirks whether others would rather hide it away and be part of the norm.

Yes. You really want to read this now, don't you?

Even in a novel, though, friendship doesn't run smoothly. The world doesn't stop turning for happy little moments of mutual radio-station listens or ditching prom or art contests. The ways that Bea and Jonah get pulled in opposite directions are depicted so accurately, it can't help but make your heart ache. In particular, Jonah's struggle with his father over his brain-dead twin, Matthew, really made me wish that it would all work out, because it's fiction and it's just got to have a happy ending...right?

I won't tell you whether it does or doesn't, but I will tell you that it is a bit sad. Definite hanky warning for this one.

The one thing I must return to in this novel, again and again, is how the author keeps it real. Of course, I did wish she'd avoided the cliche underage drinking party, where the protagonist wanders about bemoaning his/her existence and wondering why he/she even came and seeing the guy/girl he/she is/was interested in macking on another person. But besides that little snag, the rest of it pretty much is authentic. Bea and Jonah could be that quiet pair in the cafeteria you don't say hi to, or idling away their time on the lawn of some closed appliance store, speaking to themselves in voices that don't carry to your curious ears.

It's the beauty of being a YA writer when you can actually see these things come to life, on a sheet of white paper. Maggie is right. How to Say Goodbye in Robot would make a wonderful movie.

Just, again, I feel the need to warn you: it's not all rainbows and butterflies. I felt the need to smack one or both of Bea's parents at different intervals while I read. Jonah's dad isn't much better, and the high school kids...well, I think after reading YA for a while, you know how some of them can behave. And don't expect all the i's to be dotted and t's crossed and everyone to drift away on a breeze of soft, scented air and bright smiles as the credits roll across the screen.

This is not a Disney Channel Original movie sort of wonderful.

I think you have to read it for yourself to see what I mean. I can't think of how else to explain it.

I still wish she'd made Jonah a girl, though.
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Kaye M. Reviewed by Kaye M. June 15, 2012
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (14)

Maggie Stiefvater recommended it. I took her word for it and never looked back.

Now, you probably know by now that YA contemp is totally not my thing. It's just too...real. I also don't believe that a boy and a girl can be friends without one or both of them wanting more, but that's more of a personal moral/family background than mere taste. But I was reading Atlantic Wire's list of summer reads based off YA authors' recommendations, and of course, being the Maggie Stiefvater fangirl I am, I instantly zoned in on what she had listed. In particular, I was caught by the pretty pink cover of How to Say Goodbye in Robot (seriously, this is the main reason why Scholastic is tied for top of my dream publisher list - gorgeous cover work), and Maggie enthusiastically endorses it as one of those books that can be totally seen in your mind as a movie.

Just another piece of evidence to prove that Maggie is awesome.

You should know that already.

So, as our heroine, we have Bea. She's just moved to a new town with her 'rents (both of whom are strange and broken in their own right, in my honest opinion). The thing that caught my attention about Bea straight away was the way she reacts to her mother calling her heartless and a robot. I don't know about you, but I think most teenagers go through this constant second-guessing of themselves - if they're feeling the right way, reacting the right way, thinking the right things as everyone else. Bea's really considering herself as a robot girl really touched a chord somehow, somewhere.

Of course, a true-to-life teenage girl like Bea can't just wind up with a cliche friend who crushes on Zac Efron and paints her toenails Sunset Passion. So, we are introduced to Ghost Boy - a.k.a. Jonah, who is pretty much ignored by the rest of the student body, but has some hidden skeletons in his family closet and a mutual passion that pulls Bea into his small, isolated world.

A radio station.

And not just any radio station. A quirky, local station, run by a man that calls himself Herb. A station where it isn't unusual for callers to ring in for an evening ride on "the magic carpet", or read poems they wrote themselves, or obsess over Elvis Presley. It's a little family of its own, united by being outsiders, for embracing their quirks whether others would rather hide it away and be part of the norm.

Yes. You really want to read this now, don't you?

Even in a novel, though, friendship doesn't run smoothly. The world doesn't stop turning for happy little moments of mutual radio-station listens or ditching prom or art contests. The ways that Bea and Jonah get pulled in opposite directions are depicted so accurately, it can't help but make your heart ache. In particular, Jonah's struggle with his father over his brain-dead twin, Matthew, really made me wish that it would all work out, because it's fiction and it's just got to have a happy ending...right?

I won't tell you whether it does or doesn't, but I will tell you that it is a bit sad. Definite hanky warning for this one.

The one thing I must return to in this novel, again and again, is how the author keeps it real. Of course, I did wish she'd avoided the cliche underage drinking party, where the protagonist wanders about bemoaning his/her existence and wondering why he/she even came and seeing the guy/girl he/she is/was interested in macking on another person. But besides that little snag, the rest of it pretty much is authentic. Bea and Jonah could be that quiet pair in the cafeteria you don't say hi to, or idling away their time on the lawn of some closed appliance store, speaking to themselves in voices that don't carry to your curious ears.

It's the beauty of being a YA writer when you can actually see these things come to life, on a sheet of white paper. Maggie is right. How to Say Goodbye in Robot would make a wonderful movie.

Just, again, I feel the need to warn you: it's not all rainbows and butterflies. I felt the need to smack one or both of Bea's parents at different intervals while I read. Jonah's dad isn't much better, and the high school kids...well, I think after reading YA for a while, you know how some of them can behave. And don't expect all the i's to be dotted and t's crossed and everyone to drift away on a breeze of soft, scented air and bright smiles as the credits roll across the screen.

This is not a Disney Channel Original movie sort of wonderful.

I think you have to read it for yourself to see what I mean. I can't think of how else to explain it.

I still wish she'd made Jonah a girl, though.

Was this review helpful to you? 
When I finished this book, I wasn't sure what to think. I just sat around trying to piece together my feelings. It's weird, and I really didn't like Jonah. He drug Bea into this hole that neither of them could find an easy way to get out. I shouldn't hate this kid, because he does have a bad home life. They both do. But it still doesn't give him a right to drag other people into his pain. He was selfish, if anything.
So read this book if you like deep, beautifully written, traumatic stories.
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Emily Savant Reviewed by Emily Savant April 30, 2012
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (271)

How to Say Goodbye..or Not

When I finished this book, I wasn't sure what to think. I just sat around trying to piece together my feelings. It's weird, and I really didn't like Jonah. He drug Bea into this hole that neither of them could find an easy way to get out. I shouldn't hate this kid, because he does have a bad home life. They both do. But it still doesn't give him a right to drag other people into his pain. He was selfish, if anything.
So read this book if you like deep, beautifully written, traumatic stories.

Was this review helpful to you? 
 
Powered by JReviews

LATEST YABC BLOG POSTS - BLOG TOURS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, AND GIVEAWAYS

View more blog entries

Latest Book Listings Added

Marissa tells lies. To herself, about the fact that her brother abandoned her. To her grandmother, when she says “everything’s...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Caitlyn is planning on having a carefree summer before she goes off to college. She has left the past behind...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
After Wendy is kidnapped by her own mother, the only way she can survive wartime Germany is with the help...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Flipping Scales-thumb.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
Meredith and Marina’s lives have been flipped upside down. When the translucent skirt that straight-A-student Meredith finds hidden...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Monarch TN.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
Some small town secrets need to be told . . . Stealing the family car is not 14-year-old Darby Fletcher’s...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tandem cover thumbnail.jpg
Category: Young Adult Indie
An ex-con. A tandem bicycle. And a bike trip through the mountains. Not exactly the ideal conditions for a father-son...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Sword and its Servant Title (with age warning)
Category: Young Adult Indie
Between Our World and Hel, Uncover... Deep lore, Dark intrigue, Depraved enemies. The links between the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
legendary
Aliana Fagan spent her childhood traveling the world, dreaming of legendary heroes and mythical lands. But after the sudden death...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Juniper Sawfeather is choosing which college to attend after graduation. She wants to get as far away from her environmental...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day 5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market 4) Crashing a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday...
 
0.0
 
4.3 (1)
Forgive us, Father, for we have sinned Brooklyn Stevens sits in a pool of her own blood, tied up and...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after...
 
0.0
 
4.0 (1)
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside. Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
athousandpiecesofyoucover.jpg
This emotional, hilarious, devastating, and ultimately triumphant YA debut, based on actual events, recounts one girl’s rejection of her high...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author...
 
0.0
 
4.7 (1)
winterspell
The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince . . . but what follows is...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Indie
Meet Arielle. She loves nothing more than to spend time with her dog, Britches, and her cat, Nosey, in...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Drama and danger abound in this fantasy realm where dukes play a game for the throne, magical warriors race to...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Many generations ago, a mysterious cataclysm struck the world. Governments collapsed and people scattered, to rebuild where they could. A...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)