Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford

Title: How to Say Goobye in Robot

Author: Natalie Standiford

Pages: 288

Received from: library


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?

Bea is new to Baltimore, the latest in several moves headlined by her restless professer father. The first person she meets is Jonah, seated next to her in homeroom, whose known to everyone as the oh-so-creative "ghost boy". He obviously takes a special interest in Bea, providing her with a midnight radio station to replace the one she had in her previous town. There, she meets an assortment of characters, all calling in for their own reasons but all equally adorable.

But the book isn't about the radio station. It's about Bea and, more importantly, Jonah. Both have been deamed unhuman at some point in their lives--Bea, a robot by her overtly emotional mother, Jonah, a ghost by his classmates as part of some cruel joke years ago. Both are mentally alienated from their peers, lost in their own fantasies and quirks. Both wish they could disapear. And one of them is better at it then the other.

Look, I've been starring at this Blogger post for a good twenty minutes trying to think of a way to describe Robot in as plain terms as possible, in a way that won't ruin the entire needlework of the store, but I really can't. I'm sure it can be done, but I possess neither the creative nor journalistic skills to do it. So I'll just ramble and you can pretend you know what I'm talking about. Or spam me horribly. Such is the internet.

My first impression was of distaste, a kind of familiarity without the nostologia that I like in my contemperary YA. You know, with the stray thoughts, metaphors and such that are signiture in works such as these. And maybe it was just the mood I was in while reading it that affected my liking, but I just found myself really disliking the whole thing.

On a critical level, there really isn't much to not like. Well rounded characters, nice prose, the lot. I think it's just one of those things where you need to be in a particular mindset before picking up.

I don't know, I'm tired.

Rating: 6 out of 10


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