Thursday, December 5, 2013

Book Review: How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford

From Goodreads:
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 want to rave about this one so badly, mainly because two of my very trusted reader friends went nuts over the writing.  I'm sad to say though, that this one didn't really stand out for me as being anything exceptional in terms of the quality of writing.  It wasn't bad by any means, but I didn't get anything exceptionally beautiful from it either.  The author does some really original things in terms of the plot, and I'll go into those below, but I wasn't just blown away by the writing.

Entertainment Value
This is where the book shone for me.  I loved that the author included a non-romantic friendship between a boy and a girl.  I adored the late night radio program that Bea and Jonah call into and the crazy characters they meet through it.  I liked that all of the characters, including Bea and Jonah, have both likable and unlikable traits, although at times I wanted to reach into the book and shake them both.  It made them more dynamic and both changed and grew over the course of the book, although maybe not as much as they could have.  I think this is fairly realistic though.  We don't learn everything we need to learn to be successful adults in our teen years.  If only.

I wound up giving it three stars, and I'm happy with that middle of the road rating.  It wasn't amazing and didn't blow me away like I had hoped it would, but it does something unique and tells a story I haven't read before.  I was entertained and pleased, but I'm not proclaiming it a must read.

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