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)
242   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 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (261)

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

Category: Kids Fiction
Patriotism across the generations as a little girl and her great aunt learn the Pledge of Allegiance together. Libby's great...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
From bestselling author Patricia Polacco's family tree -- the true story of young Clara Barton. Animals and flowers were Clara's...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
An action-packed fracture fairy tale featuring a free-spirited princess and her quest to achieve the elusive happily-ever-after that she always...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
With swashbuckling action that recall Dumas' Three Musketeers Sebastien de Castell has created a dynamic new fantasy series. In Traitor's...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two sisters are summoned to their aunt's Greenwich Village flat, where they must start dressing like young ladies, cultivate their...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The hunter becomes the hunted. . . . West Grayer is done killing. She defeated her Alternate, a twin raised...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Young Adult Indie
All sixteen-year-old Sam wants in her life is a guy who doesn't suck blood, and has a pulse. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
An original eNovella set in the world of the Lotus War before the events of Stormdancer... Your blood-red skies are...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Hilary Westfield is a pirate. In fact, she’s the Terror of the Southlands! She’s daring, brave, fearless, and . ....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 1994, French cartoonist Emmanuel Guibert befriended an American veteran named Alan Cope and began creating his new friend's graphic...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Category: Kids Fiction
Secret lives, scandalous turns, and some very funny surprises — these essays by leading kids’ lit bloggers take us behind...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A novel of love during a time of war by NBC's Afghanistan correspondent. Set in present-day Afghanistan, this is the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the comics boom of the 1940s, a legend was born: the Green Turtle. He solved crimes and fought injustice...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this fast-paced, high-stakes debut novel, sixteen-year-old Sam McKenna discovers that becoming one of the first girls to attend a...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
It is Easter, 1973 and twelve year old Sebastian Duffy has some serious self-esteem issues. He is beaten by his...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this inventive romantic thriller, Del has the power to navigate between alternate realities—and the power to save multiple worlds....
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Jenna and Ryder are far from friends—until a storm stirs up their passion in this contemporary southern romance from New...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Everything hangs in the balance, and nothing is certain: Rachel has been kidnapped by enemy forces and is being taken...
 
4.3
 
4.3 (1)