Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ever Wish You Were a Robot, So Your Feelings Woudn't Hurt?

Hello…This is Mrs. Narkis, a student teacher in the library and guest blogger. (Thanks, Mrs. Duell!) I just finished How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford, and I loved it. I was going to describe the book for you, but this review from School Library Journal does an excellent job: “…Beatrice Szabo's family has moved multiple times, most recently…to Baltimore. In order to protect herself from the emotional fallout caused by the constant moves and her parents' troubled relationship, she has invented a cold, emotionless persona for herself called Robot Girl. When she begins her senior year at a small private school, she enters a class where the students have known one another since kindergarten. She finds herself drawn to outcast Jonas Tate, aka Ghost Boy, who introduces her to the Night Light show, a local late-night radio show. They form an intense friendship, complicated by Jonas's obsession with his mentally disabled twin brother, whom his father had told him died in an automobile accident years before. When Jonas discovers that Matthew is actually alive and in a local institution, events gradually spiral out of control as Jonas plots to liberate him. Beatrice begins to realize that her deep love and friendship for Jonas cannot help him overcome all of his emotional difficulties. This is an honest and complex depiction of a meaningful platonic friendship and doesn't gloss over troubling issues…Teens will identify with the intense emotions of Beatrice and Jonas, the reasons they are drawn to each other, and the ups and downs of their relationship. An outstanding choice for a book discussion group.”

Don’t let the pink cover make you think it’s a girly, romance-y book, because it isn’t. The character development was wonderful – you’ll probably love some and despise others – and the balance between humor (Bea and Jonas’s “prom” date) and sadness (their dysfunctional families) was well done. I don’t usually like books that end with my heart aching (okay, I’m a wimp), but it was so appropriate in this case. Two thumbs up!