By Natalie Standiford
Publisher: Scholastic, 2009
276 pages, paperback
Date Finished: 18/1/2011 (Leanne), 31/1/2011 (Zakiya)
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Coming of Age
New to town, Bea 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?
~First Line: "Goebbels [pronounced gerbils] materialized on the back patio, right before we moved to Baltimore, and started chewing through the wicker love seat."
~Last Line: "That's how I imagined it, anyway."
Leanne's Review: The novel How to Say Goodbye in Robot, was truely one of a kind. I read it last year, but I was not as good at reviwing or analyzing books back then. It was my favorite book because it made me cry, until I re-read it. Then I saw the lack of character substance at some points and plot holes. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone, but it bounced around a lot. Bea was a very understandable character, and you just HAD to love Jonah. Everyone wants a relationship like Jonah and Bea's, being able to be in love without having to use titles or show it every five seconds. This book isn't something we all go through, far from it, but it is relatable, which is something we all enjoy. The whole radio show aspect is fun and corky; I really enjoyed this book. Definitely will read more of Standiford's books, she is an amazing writer, who really captures a story.
Zakiya's Review: This novel was first recommended to me by Leanne. I'm so glad that she got me a copy for my birthday. It really was a great read!
Beatrice, our main character, is new to Baltimore, and her first friend at her new school is Anne Sweeney. Her first curiousity: Jonah Tate. It was, in my opinion, really fast at how she and Jonah started talking to each other. It was good, though. They were totally in love, and they were almost completely oblivious to their feelings. I mean, they were basically dating, but they never admitted to being together; it was sort of nauseating.
Jonah introduces Beatrice to a wonderful and very appealing late night radio show called Night Lights. I have to say, it's not your regular music station. The callers are all really great, and their personalities are well-represented. They make me wonder: Did Natalie Standiford "create" these characters off of people she knew? Or does she just have a super-good imagination? My inner thoughts are saying probably both :).
This novel was a contemporary romance, but it was sort of a hidden romance; like, it was there, but you had to be into the characters and their actions and feelings. No blood-and-gore action, although they do "fly" on the "magic carpet," which I'm sure was a lot of fun!
Overall, you need to read this spectacular novel. Sadly, it's a stand alone novel, but the ending was so great that you don't really need anymore books with Beatrice and Jonah (although it would be nice). You seriously need to read this book if you haven't already! :D
Quotes from the book:
"I turned a corner and came to a small church. There was a headstone near the path leading to the church's wooden doors. I stepped closer to read the headstone. It said 'For the Unicorn Child.'
That is so cool, I thought. What a funky town this was. I imagined a neighborhood Legend of the Unicorn Child, about a one-horned little boy who'd died tragically, hit by a car or shot by a mugger or maybe poisoned by lawn pesticides. The story of the Unicorn Child was so real to these people they'd erected a stone in his memory.
Then I read it again. The stone didn't say 'For the Unicorn Child.' It said 'For the Unborn Child.' "
" 'She don't want a boyfriend, she don't need to be pushed. She and Ghost Boy will fall in love when they're ready.'
'But they're meant for each other,' Myrna said.
'Sure, like crabcakes and crackers,' Larry said. 'I didn't say they wouldn't get it on sometime.' "