Review: How to Say Goodbye in Robot

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?–From Goodreads

Bea moves around with her parents from town to town, learning to detach herself from the people around her. When Bea’s mother calls her a robot, she feels far more than she lets on. In Natalie Standiford’s How to Say Goodbye in Robot, Bea finds herself letting go of her emotional control as she forms a bond with Jonah, a moody boy with a sad past who is invisible to his peers. The two reclusive characters begin to let each other in their private worlds, but will that be enough, or are some people simply destined to be on their own?

Don’t be distracted by the hot pink cover. This is not chick lit. It is however, a melancholy book that will likely leave you feeling less than optimistic., as you can likely predict from its fabulous title. Robot Girl and Ghost Boy are accompanied by one of the most eccentric groups of characters I have ever read, drawn primarily from a late night radio show. The eclectic mix of people is brought together by their mutual loneliness. If misery loves company, than one can certainly find it within this book, but there are also some hilarious moments and perhaps a few small sparks of hope.

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