professornana (professornana) wrote,

robots and ghosts

Yesterday was spent having one last breakfast with my friend in NY (corned beef hash--yum!), picking up bagels to bring home to the better half (my suitcase still smells of onions) and boarding a plane for the flight back to Houston. We had a delay on the ground (I suspect because the Prez was in air space over NY) so I finished HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT by Natalie Standiford. I loved this book and hated to see it end. It is snarkily smart and that is a tough combination to pull off.

Beatrice is the new student (again) as her family moves from Ithaca to Boston. She finds herself seated alphabetically between a student known as Ghost Boy. Jonah (his real name) holds secrets deep inside but manages to welcome Beatrice (Robot Girl) into his world, a world that includes a late night call in program called Night Lights. Together the two begin to forge a relationship of sorts. Their friendship is affected by all sorts of events: Bea's mother's seemingly nervous breakdown, Jonah's learning that his twin brother is still alive and not dead from the car accident that killed his mother. Confused? Perhaps that is because this is a book that defies "telling." Instead, offer up some of the observations made by Jonah and Beatrice and the callers into the late night programs. The arc of the story, though, is truly a work of art. The friendships and relationships form mirrors of one another; as one friendship sours, a new one begins to flourish, etc. Quirky characters, insights into life beyond high school, pathos, empathy: it's all here.
Tags: books

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