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How to Say Goodbye in Robot

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  7,183 ratings  ·  906 reviews
New to town, Bea is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. You know the type: very cheery, very friendly, very average. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet observer who hasn’t made a new friend since third grade. He’s not a big fan of people in general... but he’s willing to make an ...more
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Published December 1st 2010 by Brilliance Audio (first published October 1st 2009)
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Maggie Stiefvater
The best favor I can do to everyone considering reading this book is to tell them that it's not a YA romance. Once you get that out of the way, you can enjoy this book for what it is: a quirky, intelligent YA novel about two lost teens finding their way back to normalcy -- or not.

While the two main characters -- nicknamed "Ghost Boy" and "Robot Girl" -- in this book are earnestly 3D, the real star of this novel is the late night radio program that both of them listen to. The quirky and sincere
Standiford’s How to Say Goodbye in Robot is told with an incredibly strong voice, continuously showing little glimmers of hope before quickly enclosing them into darkness once again. This book really is like nothing else.

The girls at school, Bea’s parents, the Night Lights (Myrna was my favourite) – they were all believable. There’s something about these characters that just got to me. When they were mean, I didn’t mind. When they were sad, I still wanted them around. It’s very rare to come acro
"If you'd only let me come by myself, none of this would have happened. Having you around makes everything worse.'
She buried her head under her pillow. 'Stop it! You're so cold! You're heartless, you little robot!' The pillow muffled her words, but they still stung.
'I feel things,' I said. 'I'm not a robot!' I stamped my foot and screamed. Then I burst into tears. I touched the wet little drops and held them toward her. 'See, I'm not a robot. This is proof."

Beatrice has gotten used to forming on
jo mo
I finished reading the last page.
Closed the book.
Got mad & felt sad. Then got mad for feeling sad.

Bea (Robot Girl) & Jonah (Ghost Boy) both were sweet, quirky (in a good way), innocent & naïve, being the way they were. Weaving stories, giving imaginary places names, meaningless things meaning, making the whole story cozy & colorful. Which is why I wanted to read it in the first place. The book even has a few colored pages (black, pink, blue), which makes it stand out even more th
How to Say Goodbye in Robot starts with a strong voice and weaves into a complicated relationship that was so real it broke my heart. I got why Bea fell into this co-dependency. You have a closed-off boy who shuns everyone else and all of a sudden he wants to be your friend. Somehow that makes you special or really nice or cool or something than stands out from the masses. No matter how un-friend-worthy said boy turns out to be, you would do anything to hold up his volatile world and emotions an ...more
Agne Jakubauskaite
Apr 15, 2015 Agne Jakubauskaite rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like reading about strong, non-romantic relationships
Recommended to Agne by: Self Respect Teen Lit Book Group

Natalie Standiford’s realistic young adult novel “How to Say Goodbye in Robot” centers around Beatrice Szabo, who just moved to Baltimore, MD and has to start her senior year in high school as a “new girl.” Because of Mr. Szabo’s job as a biology professor, Bea’s family never stays in one place for too long. As a result, Bea has learned not to get too attached to anything, let it be her house, neighborhood or friends. However, at the new school she develops an unexpectedly stron
I had a friend like Jonah. I really related to this book and it surprises me to read the reviews from people who don't and dislike Jonah or Bea. I thought "these types of relationships" (and what is that? I have no idea.) were more common... anyway... I loved this book so much that I'm putting it on my favorites shelf, reserved for things that I would reread at some point, but likely never will.

I thought the writing was great. The two leads were (to me) very likable and unlike most books involvi
This book revolves around Beatrice's intense, demanding relationship with Jonah. They're not exactly dating, and their relationship is too emotionally loaded to call it simply friendship. Not that it's a great relationship. Jonah is codependent and demanding, and can lash out at Bea for things that aren't her fault. But he makes her feel special and understood when others don't. I have to give Standiford a lot of credit for writing this relationship realistically, without making Jonah a villain ...more
Blah. You'd think by the clever title and bright pink cover, it'd be about a geeky computer engineering girl who moonlights as a superhero. Actually, there's nothing geeky about this, the only "robot" in this book is the Robot nickname Beatrice's mom gives her by being an emotionless piece of scrap metal.

Setting up your protagonist to be a robot almost automatically means they're going to be hard to relate to. I understand Beatrice's constant moves because of her dad's job (he's a university pr
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
This is the third Natalie Standiford book I've read, and I believe it was her debut. I enjoy her writing style - it's direct and concise, like the journalist that she is. She also writes about quirky things and quirky characters, which I also list. But I felt like I just didn't connect with this book - even though the concept of platonic friends and self-discovery is one I usually like.

A big part of this was the characters - while they were well-developed and authentic, I personally didn't have
The best YA book that I have read in a long time. The end of this book, the sadness and the wisdom of it, kind of destroyed any ability that I have to write about it coherently. Here are things that I loved about it in list form:

a.) High school is a time of insecurity, but thankfully a lot of this book is about acceptance: accepting that boys and girls can be just friends, accepting that true love is not always romantic, accepting that you don't always have to find lost things. Bea and Jonah ha
This is the kind of book that takes me almost two months to finish because I just cannot be bothered.

It's quirky and sad and sombre, and that's what makes it the sort of thing that should blow my mind and hit me hard, but every single emotion it tackles is so abstract and generic that the MCs never quite managed to turn into real live meat beings for me.
It's potentially interesting, but it is also very concise, and the character and relationship development are uncreative and superficial, compar
How to Say Goodbye in Robot is the book that broke my heart. And by broke it, I mean, I haven't smiled or felt so much or cried so hard since I read Hold Still by Nina LaCour. I couldn't stop reading it until I'd finished it at two in the morning and then I couldn't sleep afterwards because I was thinking about it so much. That's not to say that my heart is a particularly fragile affair, but it a heart that isn't too easy to sway. So when a book takes it and gives it a big, hard squeeze, I feel ...more
3.5 stars Beatrice and her family relocate to Baltimore just in time for her senior year in high school. She attends a small private school with only 40 seniors so everyone pretty much hangs out together by default. So even though the rest of the class has been together since kindergarten, there is none of that "you're an outsider" stuff here. There is one exception to this; Jonah, also known as Ghost Boy. He's been a loner since his mother and twin brother died in a car accident when he was aro ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

If you are looking for something a little different for your next reading experience, pick up a copy of HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT by Natalie Standiford.

Bea is used to moving around. Her father, a college professor, is always on the lookout for new challenges, so they have moved from one college town to another over the years. This move is a bit more unsettling since it's Bea's senior year, and for some unknown reason, her mother i
I was prepared to give this book 2 stars, and then... THAT ENDING! I almost gave it 4 stars just for it!

But I couldn't... I mean, I started liking the book, but fall out of it pretty fast, this is a sad story and I couldn't empathize with the characters :/ which is strange for me... And I still don't know if it was because of the way it was written or if it was the personality of the main character... I'm still confused. Still, maybe it was just me... I've been very busy lately, and felt like I
Jun 15, 2012 Kaye rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who are seeking a good friendship novel
Recommended to Kaye by: Maggie Stiefvater
Now, you probably know by now that YA contemp is totally not my thing. It's just too...real. I also don't believe that a boy and a girl can be friends without one or both of them wanting more, but that's more of a personal moral/family background than mere taste. But I was reading Atlantic Wire's list of summer reads based off YA authors' recommendations, and of course, being the Maggie Stiefvater fangirl I am, I instantly zoned in on what she had listed. In particular, I was caught by the prett ...more
Steph Su
This first standalone book by the author of the Dating Game series is odd, but definitely heart-wrenching. With a cast of unusual and quirky characters, it’ll bring out the subconscious desire in all of us to explore all of our eccentricities.

Bea is a wonderful narrator, caught in between troubles at home, the cookie-cutter Barbie girls at school who try to draw her into their folds, and Jonah. She considers herself inhuman, lacking in human emotions—that’s why she calls herself “Robot Girl”—an
This book is a little hard to review without giving spoilers, but the last thing I want to do is take away from your reading because you're going to want to read this one. There's just something about it... Maybe it's the fact that it captures that high school feeling of being displaced and unsettled so perfectly - displaced when you move from town to town, and displaced by things happening in your own family. It's a book about outcasts and how they can sometimes find one another and be more tha ...more
Morgan Renae

How To Say Goodbye In Robot was one of the single most depressing books I've ever read. By the end, I was crying. Hard. Robot Girl and Ghost Boy found their way into my heart, and I don't think they're leaving any time soon.

I think the biggest reason why this affected me so much was because I relate to the story so much. I've never really experienced anything that happens in the book, but the feelings and emotions of the characters were extremely relatable. I also fell in love with the pers
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
Most of the reason I picked up this book is because I've seen it listed a number of times on "books with asexual characters" lists in Diverse YA Books communities. Asexuality is something that's vastly under-represented in all facets of fiction, so I was really excited about reading this. Unfortunately, if one of the main characters IS asexual? It's never mentioned.

This is essentially the story of Bea and Jonah in their final year of high school. Bea's new to this snooty private school, Jonah's
Shani Ohana
brutally honest and absolutely beautiful. I never read anything like this and I couldn't put the book down.
Writer's Relief
HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT is a quirky coming-of-age tale that follows Beatrice as she, once again, finds herself switching schools. Although she hopes to make friends, she doubts it. She never is able to get close with anyone--until she meets Jonah, a loner who shares her fondness of late-night radio shows.

The drama that unfolds in both Beatrice’s and Jonah’s home life and relationship with each other swiftly moves this story from quirky to heartbreaking. Beatrice’s mother seems to be coming a
‘How to Say Goodbye in Robot’ was the 2009 young adult novel by Natalie Standiford.

My decision to read this book was based almost entirely on stars. Star-ratings, that is, as opposed to any one particular glowing review. Because it seemed to me that while many people love this book, they couldn’t quite articulate why that was the case. Clues about the synopsis were vague (even the blurb offers little in the way of plot) but I persisted in seeing this distinctive pink cover (and, I’ve gotta admit
(4.5 stars) A quiet but wonderful book about Bea, once again moved to a new town by her academic father. Bea doesn't get too agitated about leaving Ithaca for Baltimore because she doesn't really express strong emotions much. In fact, when her mother is annoyed with a perceived lack of feeling, she calls Bea a robot, and Bea accepts the label, sometimes even knocking a fist on an imagined metal belly to hear the hollow inside. The sorting of alphabetical order puts her between Jonah Tate, long c ...more
Michelle Rebar
Jan 15, 2010 Michelle Rebar rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of John Green
This is a quirky and original story that will touch your heart, no matter how much you think you may be made of metal. It's fast paced and filled with some absurd, yet quite endearing characters. It is a touching story about friendship, love and loss.

Beatrice has spent most of her llife moving around from place to place because of her father's job. This has made it difficult for her to make real friends or to even be able to care about people. Because of this, she's given herself the nickname "R
Sara Grochowski
How to Say Goodbye in Robot is definitely on my list of favorites for 2009... if fact, it makes my favorite books ever list! With the amount of books I read, that isn't an easy feat!

The story How to Say Goodbye in Robot is painfully realistic at some points, but that just makes it hauntingly beautiful. I loved the old-timer radio show that Bea and Jonah listen to - it made me want to turn on the AM radio and find my own quirky insomniacs to help guide me through tough times.

There was something a
Books and Literature for Teens
First off-to set people strait-this book is not about robots or anything sci-fi; it’s about love but not rmance because Bea and Jonah are good friends. (If you think Bea and Jonah shared a romantic relationship then you’re probably like the rest of Canton High.) How to Say Goodbye in Robot is the bleak story of one unique friendship, a late night talk show, and too many goodbyes.
Bea and Jonah are different. Bea is the “stone child” who is slightly depressed about her parents and is tired of adju
One of my favorite things about this book was the fact that, while it was about a teenage boy and a teenage girl, it wasn't about dating. It was about friendship; namely, those flash-in-the-pan friendships that you know you'll remember for years after they end. In this way, it reminded me a little of Sara Zarr's Sweethearts.

I have to hand it to Natalie Standiford for her beautiful prose and the delicate way in which she handled Bea's relationship with Jonah. It was equally beautiful and heartbre
 Imani ♥ ☮
If you're looking for an intense romance, or even an innocent one, this is not really the book for you (especially if you're looking for the former). If you're looking for a quirky, cute book about a confusing friendship, then you have come to the right place.

Jonah=Ghost Boy
Beatrice=Robot Girl

Together, they are some of the weirdest kids in school. Beatrice, daughter of a college professor that's constantly making her and her mom move, was dubbed 'robot' by her bipolar mom after Bea refused to c
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Described....sorta 1 6 Mar 13, 2015 10:05AM  
Will Jonah meet Bea again? 2 16 Sep 22, 2014 08:31PM  
Did they love each other not just as friends? 3 29 Aug 30, 2014 04:01AM  
love the friendship 3 24 Jun 20, 2014 08:13PM  
What's The Name o...: [spoiler] Boy leaves only one picture behind [s] 6 76 Jul 08, 2013 09:35AM  
Natalie Standiford: How to Say Goodbye in Robot 1 15 Jun 14, 2012 02:06PM  
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Natalie Standiford, author of "How to Say Goodbye in Robot," "Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters," "The Secret Tree," "Switched at Birthday," "The Boy on the Bridge," and "The Only Girl in School," has written picture books, nonfiction, chapter books, teen novels, an entry in the 39 Clues series, and even horror novels for young adults. Standiford also plays bass in the rock band Tiger Beat, with ...more
More about Natalie Standiford...

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“I keep wishing, reflexively, for a glimpse of the future, so I'll know what to do. But I don't kid myself. I have to feel my way forward blindly. I try not to be afraid. Even if you know what's coming, you're never prepared for how it feels.” 80 likes
“Even if you know what's coming, you're never prepared for how it feels.” 65 likes
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