Friday, April 18, 2014

H is for How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Stanford

Sometimes there are books that I absolutely love and that sit with me for days and days. Sometimes there are books that are a slog to get through, and I end up closing them halfway through and throwing on my DNF pile. Then there are some books that are in between. I enjoy them enough to read them all the way through, but they don't make any lasting impression and after a couple of weeks I forget what the name of the main character is.

This was one of those in between books for me. I read it completely, and it entertained me, but in the end it was really just meh.

The book itself is the classic "new girl" story, and the MC Beatrice meets a boy, Jonah, who is known as "Ghost Boy" because of some bullying thing from middle school that's kind of stuck around. He's the classic loner type, and of course they connect. The weirdest thing about this book is despite the obviously classic boy-girl story, it isn't a romance. I think this is what appeals to some people who've read this book - the overturning of that classic story.

However, I didn't really feel it was a very good basic friendship story, either. Bea never really came to any understanding of Jonah, and there just wasn't any deep insights into any of the characters. The book stayed on the surface level of the characters the entire time and never went any deeper.

There's also this whole thing with Jonah discovering that his father put his twin brother with a disability in an institution. I wasn't really satisfied with the way this storyline was carried out. The issue wasn't really explored at all, and the end result was extremely dissatisfying. I felt like it was an easy way out.

The ending itself wasn't satisfying at all, actually. Jonah was in and out of Bea's life, and I was left wondering what was really the point of it all.

This book made me think of this quote from Jellicoe Road:

“What do you want from me?" he asks.
What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him.

I wanted more from this book. More about the issues presented, more character development, more character relationship development.

Some people did love this book, and here's a review I found of someone who liked it. (Ironically the exact things I hated they liked).

Check out How to Say Goodbye in Robot on Goodreads and Amazon.
Check out the author on her website and on Twitter.

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