Published October 2009 by Scholastic Press|276 pages
Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library
Genre: YA Contemporary
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?
I loved How To Say Goodbye In Robot! It reminded me of Eleanor & Park (you can check out my review here), with the overall feel and tone for the two books being really similar. How To Say Goodbye In Robot, though, had everything Eleanor & Park didn’t.
I really liked how they bonded over the one late-night radio show, and the different cast of characters that called in every night. I liked that it was their special thing, and I even liked how Bea didn’t call into the show after Jonah left. I liked how she wanted to make everything okay for Jonah, and how invisible he must have felt and wanted to be. And it made me wish that we got to see a chapter or two from his perspective, because for some reason, I really wanted wanted to know what he was thinking and going through. But at the same time, I think it would have taken away something from Jonah’s story, and what happens to him in the end.
Jonah was frustrating and selfish, and even though there were times I wanted to be mad at him, I found I couldn’t be mad him. Because I understand why he acted the way he did. He leaves, and Bea doesn’t know what to do, but she seems to be okay in the end.
I think what stood out the most was how complicated and different the relationship between Bea and Jonah. They weren’t together, but they did care for each other in their own way, and yet, their relationship wasn’t quite friendship either. It’s so hard to describe, but it’s somewhere in between, I think, and that makes it different, because it could have easily been a romance. I’m glad it wasn’t, though, because I thought their relationship was really interesting and different than most YA contemporaries, and if they were dating? I think that would have taken away something for me.
Something about this book came to life, especially Night Lights, the radio show they listen to. The callers are quite the cast of characters, and I really like the impact they have on each other. They’re quirky and different, and you can’t help but like them and wonder what they’re up to.
5 stars. How To Say Goodbye In Robot is such a different book, but I loved it a lot!