Wednesday, June 09, 2010

What is Natalie Standiford reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Natalie Standiford, author of the young adult novels How to Say Goodbye in Robot, which "has all the makings of a cult hit" (Kirkus Reviews), and Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters, due out in September.

Her entry begins:
I just finished Daniel Ehrenhaft's YA novel Friend Is Not a Verb, about a Brooklyn boy named Hen whose older sister has suddenly returned from a mysterious disappearance that no one will explain to him. It's charming and funny with an undercurrent of loneliness, a combination of moods I happen to love. Hen's heart is repeatedly broken by everyone around him--the girlfriend who dumps him and kicks him out of her band, his sister who pretends nothing's wrong, his parents who neglect him in favor of his possibly criminal sister, his best friend Emma--until he finally learns how to take charge of his own life. It's hip and witty and full of things I feel personally connected to, like crazy families, New York City, and playing bass in a band...[read on]
Among the praise for How to Say Goodbye in Robot:
"Standiford has crafted a darkly whimsical tale filled with details that will be recognizable to teens truly existing on the fringe, complete with references to John Waters films and outsider musician Daniel Johnston. Bea’s original first-person voice will draw readers in, and the unexpected plot will keep them engaged. A decidedly purposeful not-love story, this has all the makings of a cult hit with a flavor similar to Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999)."
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"This is an honest and complex depiction of a meaningful platonic friendship and doesn’t gloss over troubling issues. The minor characters, particularly the talk-show regulars, are quirky and depicted with sly humor. Teens will identify with the intense emotions of Beatrice and Jonah, the reasons they are drawn to each other, and the ups and downs of their relationship. An outstanding choice for a book discussion group."
--School Library Journal, starred review
Learn more about the book and author at Natalie Standiford's website.

Writers Read: Natalie Standiford.

--Marshal Zeringue