How To Say Goodbye In Robot By Natalie Standford

New to town, Beatrice is expecting her new best friend to be one of the girls she meets on the first day. But instead, the alphabet conspires to seat her next to Jonah, aka Ghost Boy, a quiet loner who hasn't made a new friend since third grade. Something about him, though, gets to Bea, and soon they form an unexpected friendship. 


It's not romance, exactly, but it's definitely love. Still, Bea can't quite dispel Jonah's gloom and doom, and as she finds out his family history, she understands why. Can Bea help Jonah? Or is he destined to vanish?

This will be Beatrice Szabo's thousandth move in only a few short years, well, maybe not quite that many, but you get the picture. This time, she's starting over in Baltimore and following her father's career of collage professor. Bea's adjusted to moving, but not becoming attached to anything in her life that isn't permanent, it isn't her house, or her street, even her friends. It's just easier that way. So Bea will be starting her senior year of high school, at the small private school of Canton. This year will be one to remember.

Jonah Tate is a ghost, at least that's what the teens at Canton call him, and not just due to his pasty complexion. Jonah has never lived down the seventh grade rumour that he had passed away, and when Jonah had returned to school, not only did the entire student body pretend that they couldn't see him, they had held a mock memorial ceremony. The cruel twist? Jonah's mother and brother had died in a car accident in the third grade, leaving Jonah withdrawn, without friends and vacant.

Home isn't much easier for Bea, her mother's disturbing antics only seemingly worse after the move. She's never been considered motherly, but Bea's mother's emotional outbursts and cruel taunts have her wondering if she really is the emotionally incapable robot her mother believes she is. But in a show, of what can only be described as a friendly gesture, Jonah clues Bea in on a secret world for the insomniacs, the sad and lonely of Baltimore. WBAM Baltimore, news, talk and golden oldies, and home of the Night Light Show with Herb, where Ghost Boy and Robot Girl are born.

The more time Bea spends with Jonah, she pulls away from the other friends at Canton that she's made, including the local playboy Tom and sidekick Walt. Tom preys on new female students and has his sights set on Beatrice. But Jonah won't willingly give up the only friend he's had in ten years, and to Tom of all people. Although Bea and Jonah are only friends, he can't stand to see her with anyone else. He needs her in his life... Because Jonah has a revelation, that even Beatrice won't believe.

But as quickly as Jonah and Beatrice are brought together, slowly Jonah drifts away. She has no one else to rely upon, and Jonah has withdrawn from the quirky and adventurous friendship. Beatrice quickly learns that sometimes all life will leave you, is a moment captured in a photobooth, a room of glow in the dark stars and a stuffed cat called Catso. Life isn't fair.

How To Say Goodbye In Robot begun like your average teen contemporary novel, but soon turned into a quirky, and emotional read that will leave you not knowing how to feel. It wasn't the characters, or the storyline that stood out, it's how it was woven and meshed together of a tale of two teens dealing with their demons and changing each others lives. 

It will rip you apart and piece you back together... And you'll love every minute of it.

How To Say Goodbye In Robot
Written By Natalie Standford
Published 01 / 10 / 2009
276 Pages


  1. " all life will leave you, is a moment captured in a photobooth, a room of glow in the dark stars" <3 Beautiful. And the Night Light Show, you just had to include that. <3 I was so torn by the ending. TT ^ TT It is the saddest ending I could think of and somehow I always imagine they would meet again somehow in the future like in chick-flicks. It just seems so Spirited Away kind of ending. Ahh, it's a terriblyamazing ending. I feel the need to reread this now. Half the time I think it's my favorite book and half the time, it's one of those really special books in your heart that aren't your favorite.

    1. Hey Delaney, lovely to see you again.
      I actually seen your review, which spurred me on to reading it. There was something very John Green about it, especially the ending.

      I've read a few reviews that really disliked the Night Light Show concept, but I absolutely adored it.


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