How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford| Book Review




book synopsis Beatrice moves to a new town in her senior year and ends up sitting next to Jonah, the outcast whose classmates have named him Ghost Boy, in Assembly. There’s all sorts of rumors about him and it’s a known fact that he has no friends — he’s just kind of invisible.  Something about him intrigues Beatrice and she finds herself in this unexpected friendship with Jonah — a friendship that consists of late night radio shows, secret missions and more. She learns what happened in Jonah’s past and she so desperately wants to help him as she deals with her own messy and complicated family issues.

good books to read

How To Say Goodbye in Robot is definitely going on my “WTF! Why is this not more popular?” shelf. I REALLY loved it. I read a lot of contemporary YA but this is one of those that completely breaks you out of the mold of the typical  stories — it just had an entirely different feeling. It didn’t feel like anything I’d ever really read before or characters I’d ever met! It’s offbeat and quirky and, man, my heart at the end. WOW. I totally did cry at a part at the end. I think that the quirkiness of the characters might not be everyone’s thing but it was DEFINITELY mine.

I always kind of love books about two misfit kind of characters finding each other — find love, some sort of solace but especially finding friendship and that is exactly where How To Say Goodbye In Robot excels. It’s a wonderful book about friendship that just made my heart soar. They’ve both got their own familial issues that they are struggling with and they both don’t really fit in and they just come together for this strange and wonderful friendship that I enjoyed watched develop even if my heart completely broke at the end. The love that they had for each other makes me tear up just thinking about it but I appreciate that this wasn’t a romantic sort of story between them.

This was one of those books that just had a whole host of excellent characters — even the ones I didn’t LIKE and wanted to hate were just real and vivid and integral to the story. I loved the character who called in to the radio show that Jonah and Beatrice listened to every night. They made me laugh and broke my heart and GOD I LOVED THEM. Jonah’s dad, Beatrice’s parents, and some of the classmates made me SO angry but I thought they were all so believable and I had my own sort of sympathy for some of them in ways.

I loved the writing in How To Say Goodbye In Robot and think Natalie Standiford is incredibly talented. It’s subtle, powerful, sparse yet lush and everything was just so perfectly paced in the story. Where she nails it is in the emotional details. I felt a light through it as I watched their friendship grow but I also felt so much sadness that so subtly nestled itself into my chest…only for the end to completely wreck me but also leave me feeling hopeful in ways that are hard to describe.

book reviewsGod, I loved this book. If you are looking for something in the contemporary YA realm that feels DIFFERENT — add this to your TBR. It’s hard to explain the specialness of this book but once you read it from start to finish you’ll find out. I loved this story of friendship and it emotionally kicked the shit out of my heart by the end. It’s quirky and offbeat (maybe not everyone’s thing but so mine) and there’s a whole cast of vibrant characters within the pages of How To Say Goodbye in Robot. TRULY an underrated book for sure!

short book reviewHow To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford

books you may also likeGod, I feel like it’s so hard for me to come up with similar titles for this one. SORRY.

for-fans-of-bookcontemporary YA that’s a bit quirky and unique, stories about friendship, flawed characters, vivid characters you’ve never met before, books that subtly break your heart along the way (for different reasons) and then completely hit you in the FEELS at the end.

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? Did you feel similarly or differently than me? I didn’t see that ending coming actually…did you? My poor heart!

The Perpetual Page-Turner

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I like quirky and unique YA books. I shall definitely add this one to my TBR. Great review!

  2. This one will have to go on my TBR pile.

  3. Oh God this book. I was a wreck by the end. So many feels over this freaking friendship.

    I remember writing a little meta when I finished reading this book, “so in the end, Ghost Boy decided to become a ghost, and Robot Girl became human once again (feelings) and he gave her the only picture that was left of him because she was the only person who made him feel real.” I CANNOT.

    The only book that comes to mind when thinking about “similar” titles is “Please Ignore Vera Dietz” (friendship and weirdness and lots of feelings), but even then they are not really similar.

  4. Sounds really good! Does it remind you of E&P at all? They’re still the gold standard for me when it comes to contemporary YA misfit love.

  5. I read this a few weeks ago and ADORED it! I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t read it sooner. I want to recommend it to teens who are fans of the Welcome to the Night Vale podcast. Have you heard of it? It’s like a quirky radio show in a spooky town…check it out!

    • OOH that is an interesting recommendation and from what I know about Welcome to the Night Vale..that is PERFECT. I also can’t believe it took me this long to read this one. At least we did finally, right?!

  6. My TBR list is only getting longer and will never see the end. Thank you for sharing!!

  7. Yep. This has been on my list. Thanks for the great review and the reminder!

  8. Okay so I didn’t know about this book until I saw your picture for it a short while back (I think you took a picture of it? Does that make me crazy that I remember? NO.) and anyway reading this makes me think I might like it. I just added it to my queue at the library. WE’LL SEE, JAMIE. WE’LL SEE. You really don’t steer me wrong, you know. xo

  9. So glad you joined my side! I loved this book so much. I need a copy for my place. I am going to add it to my wish list RIGHT NOW.

    This book sort of broke my heart in places, to be honest. But. It was so well done. And I loved how the book actually LOOKED. The design was great.

    • I’m so happy my SS bought this for me! Def a HAVE TO OWN book!

      It def broke my heart too..the ending obviously..but just so many other little places as well with majors. I, too, love the design. I just want to display it somewhere!

  10. I’ve only read one of Natalie’s books (The Boy on the Bridge) and had seriously mixed feelings about it. The first half was FANTASTIC, then came the romance and it took a nosedive into creepy/obsessive territory. 🙁 Such a bummer.

    You aren’t the first person I’ve come across who’s absolutely loved this book. Maybe it’s time I give Natalie another shot??

  11. Obvis I was interested in this one based on the title, but I am SO SUPER STOKED knowing that it’s well done and character centric and quirky and just YES PLEASE to all those things!

  12. Ace post. This is one of my all-time fave YA books and I’m so glad you loved it too!!

  13. I hadn’t heard of this one before, but I love the title! It also sounds exactly like something I would love! Quirky and heartbreaking are sooo up my alley! 😀

  14. The more good things I hear about this one the more I want to read it. Wishlisting it now. Thanks for sharing your review, Jamie!

  15. Adding to my wishlist right now! This one sounds so cute and I love quirky characters (probably because I think I’m pretty quirky…). Can’t wait to check it out!

  16. Firstly, I’m obsessed with your blog. When I first started book blogging, I looked at yours and a few others to figure out what I wanted to do with my own. So, basically, you were my gateway drug. : ) I really want to read this book. I love the cover and I think it sounds like a fun read, but still with serious parts to it. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Aw thanks for the kind words <333 I am happy to be your gateway!!

      I love the cover of this one too and it's definitely a read that has a lot of depth!

  17. I love finding “diamonds in the rough” books that are so good that you can’t believe no one else is shouting their love for it as much as you are.
    This sounds like one of those. It’s now on my (too long) TBR list!!! Thanks!!

  18. This is one of the few (the VERY FEW) books that I kind of disagree with you on, Jamie. While I appreciated the writing and the quirkiness of the characters, I just found them a bit unlikeable – they were SO standoffish. I know this is a sleeper hit for a lot of contemp readers but for me…they just kind of got annoying. I did LOVE the radio show people, though (the carpet ride was so gorgeous)…but I just didn’t feel like it went anywhere. I’m glad you loved it, though!

  19. HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT really does sound delightfully different! I’ve seen it before, and heard about it from Estelle and Rachel (D). I do love that it’s a contemporary novel that focuses on an unusual friendship — that’s always an extra incentive for me to read a book! Great review.

  20. FYI You are my go to person for book recommendations! (and I am guilty of only reading the first line of the book description and a couple of lines of your reviews but…) The second I read, “How To Say Goodbye in Robot is definitely going on my “WTF! Why is this not more popular?” shelf.” I immediately pick up my phone and add it to my to read list! (Also, you should definitely include more adult romances!)

    So, thank you for providing me with endless hours of entertainment!


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