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He Forgot to Say Goodbye
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He Forgot to Say Goodbye

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,156 ratings  ·  173 reviews
"I mean, it's not as if I want a father. I have a father. It's just that I don't know who he is or where he is. But I have one."

Ramiro Lopez and Jake Upthegrove don't appear to have much in common. Ram lives in the Mexican-American working-class barrio of El Paso called "Dizzy Land." His brother is sinking into a world of drugs, wreaking havoc in their household. Jake is a ri
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published June 17th 2008 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Lsd Lo mismo estoy buscando , ya que lamentablemente en mi pais no se encuentra
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Lo mismo estoy buscando , ya que lamentablemente en mi pais no se encuentra
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,156 ratings  ·  173 reviews

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Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I picked this up from my local library because I adored Benjamin Alire Sáenz' other novel, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, so much. I had high expectations going into this book and oh my, I wasn't dissapointed.

This is about two boys from very different backgrounds that both have grown up without their father. The characters where the absolute best part of this book for me. We meet Ramiro Lopez and Jake Upthegroove, which are probably two of the most relatable teenage
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He Forgot to Say Goodbye is a contemporary novel about friendship, relationships and self-discovery.

Ramiro Lopez lives in El Paso, Texas. He goes to a pre-med magnet high school. But it’s not the sort of school where nice white rich kids go. They go to the school next door. Jake Upthegrove is one of the nice rich kids but he’s anything but happy.

I read this book because I really enjoyed another book by the author - Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of t
Avery (ThePagemaster)
Benjamin Alire Saenz is quickly becoming my favorite YA contemporary author. Easily my Top 3. Ever since discovering "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" a year or two ago, all I could ever think about is how true his writing is to the real world.

I cannot really say which one of his books made a deeper impact: "Aristotle and Dante" did because it focuses on sexuality and bullying, whereas "He Forgot to Say Goodbye" focuses more on the family dynamic, but at a mu
Carol Flores
Ramiro Lopez and Jake Upthegrove have missing parents. And the way they cope up with that is not the best. On one hand we have Ramiro, a guy that was left by his dad before his little brother, Tito, was born, and ever since, he has felt a hole inside him that cannot be fill with anything. And Jake is this kid whose father just left one day, and so his mom took care of him, along with this stepdad –problem is that they provide him with all sorts of things, except what’s most important and that
Call me blind to his flaws but I would read Alire's grocery list if he ever wrote one. Who says the book has to be about anything ? why can't be a book about a leaf flipping over, a scarf blowing away, sky turning a paler shade of blue, a bigger drop of rain or in this case a different kind of grief ? and unless you have grown up with a missing parent , keep your fucking mouth shut for once.
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Benjamin Alire Sáenz did it again! After I finished Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe a while back, I decided I need to read more of Saenz's books. This second read did not disappointed.

"He Forgot to Say Goodbye" is about two teenage boys: Ramiro Lopez, a lower-class Mexican American who struggles to fit in, with a little brother that's slowly spiraling into the world of addiction and Jake Upthegrove, a so-called rich kid with anger management issues and a shal
May 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
He Forgot to Say Goodbye is a story of Jake and Ram, two teenagers with seemingly different lives who have one thing in common- their fathers left them. The story is told through monologues that,at times, get repetitive when Saenz would recall describe the same scene twice through each characters' point of view. I thought the characters were too contrived, especially Jake. The language the characters used was forced- "effen", "cool cat", "dig it", and worst of all "destroy." Unfortunately, the o ...more
Jessica Marie
1.5 stars / This book was a huge let down for me. After reading other books by this author, and loving them, I was shocked by how much I didn’t like this book. The beginning started off okay, but as I read I couldn’t stand the writing. It repeated itself, had bad dialogue, and the chapters didn’t flow smoothly. Nothing about this book worked out well. The relationships and characters were boring, there wasn’t any emotional moments, and it was anticlimactic. To say the least, it was dry.
Dec 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, book-eval-book
Two boys from different sides of El Paso, Texas are both growing up without their fathers, Ramiro Lopez from Dizzyland, the poor Latino part of town, and Jacob Upthegrove from the Oh Wow Westside, the wealthy side of town. In alternating, often very short chapters, Ram and Jake describe their lives and how they slowly become friends. Each boy is dealing with family issues although in comparison to Ram, Jake’s seem superficial. Ram’s brother is in the hospital after overdosing on drugs and is bra ...more
Jan 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teenfiction
Ramiro Lopez and Jake Upthegrove are the same age and attend school in adjacent buildings, but other than that, they don’t have much in common. So why do the two become cautious friends? Well, they both think almost everything that goes wrong in their lives has to do with their absent fathers.

This was an amazing and moving book. It definitely reads more on the “adult” end of “young adult” and it would take a dedicated reader. There isn’t a lot of action to the story, but it’s beautif
Mar 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
i special ordered this in because i love this author so much but it was a swing and a miss on every level. it pains me to give this one star, but there was nothing about it that worked. characters, relationships, dialogue, prose, plot, pace, resolution - nothing. it felt like it was written by a twelve year old. it was filled with lines like this:

When the cell phone rang, it scared me. I flinched. You know, like when you're startled. Like when you think someone's going to hit you. It's not your
Aug 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
The author of Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood tells the story of Ram, a Mexican American teen, and Jake, a student in an honors school, who meet and form a surprising friendship. Both boys are fatherless and feel incomplete.
Rep: Latino characters

to quote jake upthegrove: i'm destroyed
It's always going to be hard writing a review for a Benjamin Alire Sáenz novel because I will always come back to Ari and Dante. In this book I see little hints of those two, character traits, turns of phrase that are clearly part of Sáenz, but will forever be part of Ari and Dante for me.

So, while this novel also focuses on two teenage boys in El Paso, Texas who are struggling with who they are, and how they fit into the world this book still feels very different.

Just like Ar
Douglas Gibson
Sep 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
I like this author, and I loved his "Dante and Aristotle..." but this book did nothing for me. Not a lot happens in this book, as it is more of a character study, and I felt nothing for the main two characters so I was bored to tears. I must confess I started skimming pages once I was down to the last 75 because I just wanted it to end!
I had already purchased his new book before I read this one, again, just based on how much I enjoyed "Dante and Aristotle," so I am hoping this one was just a fl
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Benjamin Alire Sáenz writing is so simple and easy to read and understand yet so incredibly beautiful.
also the way he writes about family, the way he describes the relationships between them... god it moved me to tears :(
this family thing he got going on in all of his books is actually what made fall in love with them the most.

Mike Oaks
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An emotional journey

Lesson learned: take care of yourself...after all you have to live with yourself every day. I connected with Jake and Ram in this book. Both still angry that they have a father who checked out on them. Absent. Living in another state. Well written and painful at times to read. 4.75 for beginnings.
Jenny Tran-Le
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Some boys... Are perfect shits. & other boys are very, very beautiful.”

4.5⭐ Benjamin Alice Sáenz’s writing style is definitively one of my favourite. I effen love this book and Ram and Jake. The voices of both these characters were so raw and heart-breaking. And the friendships in this book is just beautiful. This story destroyed me.
Apr 20, 2017 rated it liked it
A good, solid read but not quite as emotionally compelling as the previous two I read by the same author.
Sydney Mae
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5/5 stars. I cried quite a bit while reading this book. I don’t know how to write a review for it. The writing was different from Ben’s newer writing but it was still very beautifully done. Honestly throughout this whole book and by the end the character development was phenomenal. The setting and plot was also great. I never got confusing while reading this. The plot in this book was very well done. I loved it. The whole book.
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it

He Forgot To Say Goodbye is the story of Jake Upthegrove and Ramiro Lopez, two boys from different sides of El Paso who have one thing in common: both of their fathers walked out on them early in life.

I “effen” loved this novel. It is one of my favorite novels that has been required so far for my Young Adult Materials class. The novel alternates between Ram and Jake’s points of view, something which I usually don’t like novels to do, but I thought that Saenz was able to do this
Jun 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Jake Upthegrove and Ramiro Lopez grew up without their fathers. They come from different backgrounds, but bond over the same adolescent related angst. Jake’s life is characterized by Anglo middle class problems, while Ramiro faces tougher challenges that accompany poverty and being a minority.
Jake has issues with his mother, and he enjoys pushing her buttons. Jake’s mom, “Sally”, as he calls her, isn’t portrayed as a very strong individual. She turns back when her housekeeper approaches he
Richie Partington
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
06 January 2008 HE FORGOT TO SAY GOODBYE by Benjamin Alire Saenz, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, June 2008, ISBN: 1-4169-4963-1

Notes from my reading, Day One:

"I didn't stop there. Of course I didn't. I just felt I had to add that I probably had a better idea of the serious philosophy of anarchy than a man like him whose addiction to order seriously undermined his feeble attempts at engaging his imagination.
"He returned my remark by reminding me that he remained
Jennifer Wardrip
Nov 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by hoopsielv for

This a novel about two young men. They seem to be opposites in many ways, yet they have in common the fact that they have never known their fathers.

Jake has had a very privileged upbringing. He really couldn't ask for more. Well, except for a father. His mom is remarried and her job is to make sure that she knows everything that's going on with Jake. It's to the point where it drives him crazy and they are constantly battling each other.

Nov 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young adults
This book is easily one of my favorite YA novels ever. I was shocked by how awesome it was because I could not get into Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood yet this was a really amazing read. The best thing about the writing was the voice. Benjamin Alire Saenz told a fantastic story through the eyes of two truly likable strangers whose lives come together in a strange way. The characters' honest but witty storytelling is what carries the whole plot and made this such a page-turner for me.

The characters and situat
Oct 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story was very interesting for me. It depicted the lives of two boys, Ramiro Lopez and Jake Upthegrove, who learn how to grow up without a father. At first, it seems that neither no how to cope with this situation. They feel that their lives are horrible because their father's never wanted them. They felt that being abandoned was the worst thing possible. With the help of their friends and each other, they learn that life goes on. It's not always easy to keep on living, but they understand ...more
Lucero Fuentes
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Ramiro Lopez and Jake Upthegrove don't appear to have much in common. Ram lives in the Mexican-American working-class barrio of El Paso called "Dizzy Land." His brother is sinking into a world of drugs.Jake is a rich West Side white boy who has developed a problem managing his anger. An only child, he is a misfit in his mother's shallow and materialistic world. But Ram and Jake do have one thing in common: They are lost boys who have never met their fathers. This sad fact has left both of them u ...more
Shelley Mastalerz
Ramiro Lopez lives with his hard working single mother and his younger brother, Tito, in Dizzy Land, the part of El Paso where working class Mexican Americans make their home. Ram is a quiet guy that keeps to himself; he doesn’t have a lot and life isn’t easy, but he lives it the best he knows how. However, life gets harder when Tito ends up in the hospital due to a drug overdose.

Jacob Upthegrove lives with his mother and stepfather on the “Oh Wow West Side” of El Paso in a house that contains
Shadia S.
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Independent Reading Book:

I picked this book up at a Young Adult Literature conference last year, but I hadn’t taken the opportunity to read it until two weeks ago. Although the novel is realistic fiction, the intimate perspectives of the two main characters Ramiro and Jake are convincing as they express their struggles to live in a world without their fathers. Although the two boys come from ‘different worlds’, Benjamin Sáenz shows us the universal emotional struggles (and consequent
Megan Perry
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book sent me into a constant emotional turmoil. Everything Saenz said was so deep and philosophical, but he managed to write it in a way that was easy to understand and follow and love and believe is coming from a teenager's point of view. It's pure magic (in a tragic way).
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Benjamin Alire Sáenz (born 16 August 1954) is an award-winning American poet, novelist and writer of children's books.

He was born at Old Picacho, New Mexico, the fourth of seven children, and was raised on a small farm near Mesilla, New Mexico. He graduated from Las Cruces High School in 1972. That fall, he entered St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado where he received a B.A. degree
“Some boys... Are perfect shits. & other boys are very, very beautiful.” 27 likes
“It would be so effen great if the whole world laughed more- the whole world. I don't mean the kind of laughing that's putting someone down. I mean the kind of laughing that means you've just discovered something really beautiful.” 16 likes
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