Bunker's Reviews > How to Say Goodbye in Robot

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
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's review
Jun 07, 2010

really liked it
Read in June, 2010

Bea's family has just moved from Ithaca, NY to Baltimore, MD for her senior year of high school because of her father's professional wanderlust. Unable to cope with the most recent move, Bea's mother begins a descent into unstabledome that begins to break apart their family. On several occassions, she lashes out at Bea, calling her a robot for not showing an outward emotional reaction to minutiae, such as the death of a neighbor's gerbil. Not expecting to form any deep emotional ties to people in her new town or school, Bea embraces the idea of her robotness. However, she discovers a true kindred spirit in Jonah, a.k.a. Ghost Boy, who is an outcast and harbors a family past that makes Bea's look like the Cleavers. Their destined friendship, while rough at the beginning, blooms under the blessing of a local nocturnal call-in radio show, a past-time that helps soothe both of their preoccupied and insomnia-ridden minds. Their friendship could not be cemented soon enough for the trials that await, especially when secrets regarding the fate of Jonah's twin brother emerge.

Standiford offers a solid plot with characters that ooze little idiosyncrasies and three-dimensional qualities, even down to the popular kids at school. It exudes a tender humanity throughout.

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