Scootsa1000’s #CBR5 Review 47: How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford

UnknownI can’t tell you how much I really didn’t want to read this book. When the book club said it was the November YA selection, and I read the blurb on Amazon, I was less than enthused.

“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?”

Really? Blah.

But then I opened it up, and by page 2, I was all in.

There’s way more to the story than two awkward outcasts finding each other. We have some family drama and trauma on both sides. We have a wacky group of tertiary characters (friends made by listening to a crazy late-night radio show), and the usual private high school crowd (popular, rich kids who have known each other for years).

Bea’s dad is a professor, and they move from college to college until they finally get to Johns Hopkins, and she’ll spend her senior year in Baltimore. Of course, being the new kid in school is hard, so Bea has started to shut herself off emotionally — and her mother feels she’s turning into a robot. Bea meets Jonah (Ghost Boy), another school outcast, and they become quick friends.

Bea is never quite sure if they are just best friends, or if there is something more to their relationship, but I was glad that a romance never developed between the two. Its nice to read a friendship between a boy and a girl that’s simply just a friendship.

I have to admit, I was frequently annoyed by Jonah’s dramatic behavior. However, I can’t even begin to imagine experiencing the emotional roller coaster ride he takes during the course of the story. And I could have done without Bea’s mom’s “quirks”. But other than that, it was a quick, enjoyable read.

Sorry that this is shorter than I might like. I’m way behind on reviews and really trying to finish up my 52 books before I get bogged down in holiday stuff!

You can read more of my reviews on my blog.

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