Q_joanneknowles's Reviews > He Forgot to Say Goodbye

He Forgot to Say Goodbye by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
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's review
May 09, 2011

did not like it
Read from May 09 to 11, 2011

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 only phrase that was repeated that sounded natural and not forced to me was "pendejo" by Ram's brother Tito. I had some difficulty distinguishing between the characters' voices and felt that the author overused these phrases to distinguish between characters. The characters were not real to me, and lacked individual personality. One thing I noticed about the Spanish language at the beginning of the text was that very generic Spanish words were used : Vato, ese, pendejo, loco. I was also very confused by Alejandra and Ram's relationship. Throughout the first half of the book, he despised her and mocked her, but in the middle, it just stopped and they became "best friends." Saenz used Tito's hospitalization to force the friendship between Ram and Alejandra, and I thought it seemed artificial. I wouldn't add this book to a classroom library, but it might be a good book for a teen who has an absent parent and is confused. The book does offer the unlikely emergence of American and Spanish American friendships and relationships among rich and poor.
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01/28 marked as: read

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message 1: by Ruth (new) - added it

Ruth Thank you for sharing this candid review!


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