Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye
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Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye

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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Before my older sister Francesca died, I worked at the bakery and wrote songs, but now I write lists. Lists like ten reasons why it's my fault Francesca's dead, or five reasons why I should try and win Howie back, or one reason why I need to stop lying to everyone, including myself.

Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye is an extraordinary novel about one family's struggle to make...more
Paperback, 252 pages
Published June 1st 2012 by Createspace
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42nd out of 61 books — 8 voters
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4th out of 9 books — 1 voter


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Community Reviews

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Giselle
Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye was a little bit of a roller coaster ride for me. Some part of the book I really enjoyed, but other parts annoyed me to bits. These would come in spurts, spiking my irritation towards certain aspects, but then it would quickly dissolve and I would enjoy the book once more. Thus, it's a little hard to straighten out my feelings towards this book, but if you'd ask me if it was good overall, then the answer would be yes.

We're experiencing the aftermath of a familial...more
Jenni Arndt
When I started my blog I was so sure that I was only a fan of stories that had paranormal elements or that were dystopians. As I have been opening up my mind to other genres I have come to realize that the books that I really love, the ones that stick with me for a long time to come are contemporary issue books. I love a book that deals with a heavy issue and that has characters that feel as if they are people I could walk out on the street and meet any day. Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye fits t...more
Megan (The Book Babe)
What do I really think of this book? I think it's sad, with little undertones of happiness at the best of times. It's romantic, and at some points, a down-right tearjerker.

It never lets you forget that first little bit that we learn about Mello. That her and her sister made lists, and those lists were all at once the best and worst part of Mello's life, after her sister died. Now she has no one to make lists with, so she writes them for herself.

Mello was a good character, but she tried to run aw...more
Lauren
Carmella’s family is falling apart. Her sister Francesca recently died of an accidental drug overdose. Her father doesn’t want anyone to know that drugs were involved, and has told Carmella to make up a new reason for anyone who asks. Her mom has decided that everything is going to be fine as long as she attends church and confession more, or at least she will make it look like everything is fine. Both of Carmella’s parents are determined that their only remaining child will not go down the same...more
Camila Aracellis
This review was originally posted on Books Down My Pillow
I received this book from the author as part of the blog book tour. I have not received any reward for my review, this contains my most honest thoughts.

I have no words to describe how amazing is this book, it is a book that teaches you a lot, so , I love this kind of story.
Through the story we are seeing it grow Carmella. She has so much to manage, and in some places want to throw in the towel and give up but remember that time Francesca,...more
Keertana
Usually, when I give a book three stars, it tends to mirror my indifference towards the novel. In fact, even when I see three stars given out to a book, I avoid it since, to me, three stars is a relatively poor rating. When it comes to Wish I Could Say Goodbye, however, I cannot stress enough that truly, I think this book has something to offer that most other books don’t and, contrary to skipping it, you really should pick it up.

When Carmella’s older sister Francesca overdoses and dies, her wo...more
Emily
*A copy was provided by Shari Brady for review purposes*

Wow, what a strong book. I have never read a book with this setting and situation before, and it was pretty eye-opening. The idea was very good, I just think that the execution wasn’t done very well. The writing wasn’t, but the story line was atrocious, and it completely ruined the book for me. And even though I really liked that the romance was really sweet and played a huge part in this book, I don’t like how it was written. It’s wasn’t a...more
Susan
Ms. Brady's "I Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye" is a well written book with a strong plot and characters that reminded me of my younger years. A true tear jerker with a bit of romance and tons of emotions, this book is a must read for all parents and teens.

This review is based on a complimentary copy which was provided for an honest review.
Shreya (CCReviews)
:) I enjoyed this one a lot!!! It really tackles the life of teenagers nowadays perfectly :) Make sure to check out my tour stop for it on February 4th, 2013!
Andrea Guy
This is really a wow book. Carmella's a character you will love, even though at times you want to make her listen or get help or something.

Her sister Francesca died of a drug overdose and she's trying to deal with that along with parents that aren't coping well. I absolutely hated her father, but everyone has their own coping mechanisms and his seemed to be hiding from the truth. Though Carmella was doing the same thing herself, just in a different manner.

You would think that since death was a h...more
Atmika
I like how the author has balanced the emotions in the book. It wasn't downright sad or depressing, which is what I was scared about. It has moments of smile and tears both and it's all very well done.

“Hi, I’m Carmella. My sister just died, I can’t sleep, I don’t eat, and I’ve got boy phobia so I can’t speak.”
I liked Carmella. She doesn't know how to live without her sister and best friend, Francesca. She feels guilty for her death and is scared to open up about it. I wanted her to talk to her...more
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
HOLY HADES! This is one read that had me laughing and crying because it hit a few nerves. I have to say that losing a friend at a young age to addiction was the worse thing I ever endured. I felt lost and confused and I blamed myself for never telling anyone that she had a problem. I figured it would go away just like everything else did but boy was I wrong.

Carmella has to live each day with the guilt she feels because her older sister died from addiction. She overdosed and the family is devasta...more
Dalene
I chose to read this book because the synopsis was very appealing especially when paired with the title of the book. In the very beginning, I did not think I was going to like it. The writing seemed a little rough, but it was still a fairly easy read. The book did grow on me as I kept reading. When I finished, I was quite surprised with the rating I knew I would give this book. As soon as the book was done setting up what had happened and who everyone was, I fell in love with the power of the dr...more
Kay Swederski
I really enjoyed this book, even if I did shed a number of tears. I can see that this book would be very helpful for parents to read and share with their high school age children. I know that dealing with the social pressures of drugs and peer pressures can be very hard.

I fell in love with Carmella who is the main focus of this story. Her older sister/best friend Francesca dies from an drug overdose. Carmella feels it is her fault because she did not tell her parents and she did not attend an AA...more
Karla (Reads and Thoughts)
Reasons why you should read this book:

1. The deep story was well mixed with a good humor and a breathe of fresh air kind of love.
2. The checklist in every chapter is seriously hilarious at the same time helpful.
3. The story would evoke unwanted at the same time wanted feelings within you.
4. Howie is such a cutie.
5. The story was really good.

---

I started reading this book with the thing in mind that it is all about sadness, darkness and depression but no its not just about those three adjective b...more
Stephanie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Teressa Morris
Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye's Carmella has an authentic teenager's voice. Shari Brady hits many themes that are common to the average teenager, including peer pressure, lying for convenience, and rebelling against parents.

The writing is at times both funny and sweet and tragic. When Carmella accidentally "catches" her father grieving her sister's loss, she says:

"His agony seeps through the bottom of the door and stabs me right in the heart."

Ms. Brady paints a familiar picture of the dichotom...more
Avid Reader Amy's Reviews
There is just something about a book that gets to you emotionally. a book that makes you think as well as feel when you are reading it. Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye is one of those books. It shows the harsh reality in the aftermath when someone you love dies. The author's writing is solid it pulls you I from the beginning. This story is one of healing. It shows that life if hard when something bad happens but it does get better in time. You just need to communicate with those around you.
The au...more
Vicki
This YA book is the story of a mid-teen in Chicago whose sister has recently died of a drug overdose. She and her parents are all dealing with this in different, dysfunctional ways. The book is told in third person but only Carmella's POV. I liked this because it kept the story coherent while allowing us to see her thoughts and reactions. It also meant that, when some characters were not fully fleshed out, it made sense because they were not as important to Carmella (or the story) or, in the cas...more
Eric Townsend
I knew that this was going to be a very emotional and grief-filled story based on the summary alone, but I guess I didn’t grasp how much of the book was going to be spent on those points. The loss of any family member is, of course, incredibly difficult to deal with and getting over the damage it inflicts on you emotionally can certainly seem devastating. However, even if it is someone you were very close to as was the case in Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye I don’t think it completely controls y...more
Rachael Woohoo
For more of my reviews, check out my blog @ Moosubi Reviews! Also check back on February 4 for 3 chances to win a signed copy of the book!

Rating Clarification: 3.5 / 5

WISH I COULD HAVE SAID GOODBYE was a perfect mix of sadness and joy. While it could have thrived as an very depressing book, its combination of sorrowful moments and romantic, but sweet and happy times will appeal to many readers, as it did to me! (:

Marcella, more commonly known as Mello, isn’t the strongest, prettiest, or smartes...more
Elizabeth "Liza"
Original review posted here: Reading with ABC

I love this book! It’s filled with the pain of loss, but also with the light of re-discovery and first love.

Carmella (Mello) unexpectedly lost her sister and best friend Francesca to a drug/alcohol overdose. She feels guilty because she knew that Francesca needed help and she didn’t know how to help her. Deep down Carmella is a good person, loyal, artsy, and with a lot to give; the problem is that she is afraid: Afraid of disappointing her parents and...more
Candace
When I went into this book I was prepared for a dark and depressing read about a girl who's mourning the loss of her sister. Now yes, Marcella is mourning the loss of her sister, but this book isn't all dark and depressing. It's been several months since her sister has died of a drug overdose and Marcella is struggling to move on. Actually, she's not really trying to move on. She dwells on her sister and the blame she's placed on herself. She knows she needs to move on but yet she can't seem to...more
Pragya
Sep 01, 2012 Pragya rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
3.5 stars

When I started reading this book, I suddenly related it to Imaginary Girls which I did not end up liking. So I was a little concerned as to the fate of this book. But good news is that I ended up liking this one. It is nothing like Imaginary Girls.

It's a teenager's story of coping with grief, sudden loss and surviving life. The author has done great with looking at the world through the eyes of a 17 year old. It's not easy, I tell you but she has perfected the art.

This book tells a sens...more
Melanie
*I received this book for free through GoodReads First Reads!*

Sixteen year old Carmella has just experienced a horrible tragedy--her older sister Francesca died of a drug overdose. Francesca was Carmella's best friend, confidant, and protector. No one else seems to see or understand her. How can she continue to live without her big sister??

This book does a beautiful job showing the world of grief through teenage eyes. Carmella is a vivid, relatable character, and you can really feel her devastat...more
Rachel Simons
Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye was a heartbreaking read. I really felt for Carmella, Losing a loved one is hard to deal with. But Carmella was also dealing with guilt, thinking it was her fault in some way that her sister had died. She shut herself off from her friends and the world. Trying to please her parents but also not happy with the way they are treating her since the death of her sister. I thought her parents we not letting Carmella deal with the grief in her own way, poor girl.

Besides t...more
Hope
I won a copy through the Goodreads' Firstreads program!

How do we deal when someone is ripped from our lives? Where do we turn? This is a novel that deals with the harsh reality of the sharp knife of a short life. Carmella (Mello) is reeling from the death of her older sister. As the reader, you walk through the grieving process with her, her family, and family friends.

I found honesty in this book, as someone who has lost many loved ones. The raw emotions, distancing, and physical pain are all v...more
Alegna
Dec 25, 2012 Alegna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens, young adults, drug overdose, death, grief, drinking, alcohol
A truly moving story about how a young girl deals with losing her older sister and having to learn to face life without her. Our heroine Carmella (yes, I declare her a heroine because it is not easy for a 16 year old to deal with so much burden as she does) has to not only deal with her grief in losing her sister, but she also faces having to live with her parents who are lost in their own worlds of either work or religion and she also worries about her older sisters boyfriend who bears his guil...more
Tammy
Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye is a bittersweet novel of loss and moving on. Carmella wishes she could go back to before, when her sister was fine, when they had a happy family and her parents weren’t fighting all the time. But now her sister Francesca is dead from an accidental drug overdose, her parent’s are fighting or not even talking to each other, and they are being very strict with her. Carmella feels guilt about Francesca’s death, and wishes she could have stopped it. But when she meets...more
Vivacious Hobo
I liked the book, because it showed the emotional range of someone grieving such as; despair, anger, guilt over being happy, confusion, and hurt. This isn't a feel good book, but it is heartfelt. This book deals with certain issues I like to read about (drug use, death, etc.) for some reason.
I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review.
See the rest of my review on October 2 over at www.vivacioushobo.com
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Shari A. Brady is a native Chicagoan and previously had so many careers she's lost count. A graduate of Loyola University's Business School and University of Chicago's Creative Writing program, she's finally a full-time writer, a dream she's carried with her since she was twelve. She lives in suburban Chicago with her awesome son and daughter and their shelter dog, Betty Queen Elizabeth. This is h...more
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