Capillya's Reviews > How to Say Goodbye in Robot

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
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Apr 27, 2010

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Read from April 25 to 27, 2010

I have to admit that it was the cover that drew me in. I first saw this book at the bookstore on a shelf with its spine facing outward. The design made it three dimensional in the YA section; it popped. I closely examined the cover -- an illustrated telephone felt a little odd, and the sans serif typeface felt a little cold. I read the synopsis, flipped through a few pages, then set it back down.

That week I looked up the title on Goodreads. I saw it was rated well, and read a few reviews. I decided I'd throw it on the TBR list.

Several months later, after finally reading it, I'm glad I did. I ended the book by letting out a sad sigh. This book pulled me through a rainbow of emotions: cheer, rage, frustration, joy, sadness, and even left me emotionally dry at times. There were times where I wanted to strangle Bea or Noah, and times where Bea would say something so heart-wrenchingly beautiful that I'd get a catch in my throat.

Bea is not just another teenager going through the typical high school drama. She's handling each day the best she knows how, and Standiford draws this process clearly without weighing down dialogue or story. It's an honest novel that refuses to sugar-coat anything. She's clear about how she feels, when she's confused, and states plainly when she doesn't feel at all.

And yes, there's something to be said in regard to this novel's other cast members. All of the Night Lights have their own stories, mannerisms and quirks. They're as embedded into the story as much as Bea and Noah are. Bea's crazy mother was both charming, and well...crazy.

There are some novels that are driven specifically by events that happen, and rely heavily on how those events happen and unfold. I don't feel as though this novel is about events happening...it's more about people happening to each other, friendships, loneliness, love (not in the romantic sense) and being able to mend the pieces that repeatedly get broken.

Also, a word of caution -- don't pick this book up if you're looking for a cheerful read. (3.5 stars)
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04/26/2010 page 79
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