He Forgot to Say Goodbye by Benjamin Alire Sáenz – REVIEW

NAME: He Forgot to Say Goodbye

AUTHOR: Benjamin Alire Sáenz

GENRE: YA Fiction

RATING: 3.5 chocolates (since my life revolves around them)

Helloow bookiful creatures!

I hope this weekend’s rocking for you as it is for me. The past week had been slightly a pain in the neck but I guess being seventeen cannot be the same as being sixteen :< Whatever the case may be, I have managed to write another review without really feeling obliged to.

So yep, I loved this read. Also, this is the first book review I’m writing with all my new amendments included (Um…Yay me!) and I’m hoping you won’t mind the length (skip straight down to WHAT I FELT READING if you don’t feel like going through the whole review).

Now let’s get down to business, shall we?

REVIEWING ‘He Forgot to Say Goodbye’

Ramiro Lopez is a poor, but not really poor Mexican who’s life is a total wreck. He doesn’t have many as friends and no reasons to feel lucky like his one and only friend Alejandra. But he doesn’t care too well about it – he knows there could be worse nightmares than sharing his bedroom with a halfwit brother or not being propitious enough for a stronger mint. His father had left him when he was three – without a goodbye, leaving him with his ever-devoted mother and Eric. Ram’s life isn’t the best, but the guy’s loyal to his family – even when Eric is slaying his own life with drugs only to cause Ram trouble, and is at most times a big bully whom Ram wants to despise so badly, but sadly cannot.

Jacob Upthegrove isn’t like Ramiro Lopez. He is a boy whose luxury brims beyond precincts, unlike most kids his age. He goes to a posh school near Ram’s decrepit one in his deluxe car, smokes as he wants to, and doesn’t open his mouth. Except to argue and mess up the conversation he is having with anyone. And he doesn’t leave his mother out of it, either. He is a guy who adores annoying others with his sharp tongue.

But both Jake and Ram do have a thing in common: their fathers had left them when they were little, without adieus. And to make matters complicated for the both of them, members of their own families are causes. Jake’s stepfather is up to no good that Jake can associate himself with, and his mother thinks too ostentatiously to be endured. Ram has Eric destructing his life, and nowhere to find solace as Eric’s conditions go downhill and ends somewhere Ram cannot but grieve for.

In the midst of all these chaos around them, will they be able to fight through? Their lives may be different, but they have the same pains.

WHAT I FELT READING ‘He Forgot to Say Goodbye’

Well, to be honest, this is the first book I’ve read, as far as I can remember, that involves no action scenes or thespian zest. The story line is pretty simple and the plot is simpler, but the characters and the ordeals they go through are quite relatable. The story is said in two different perspectives, in both Jake’s and Ram’s, and their tales entwine someplace in the middle.

Benjamin has done a real great job depicting the facets of life tragedies and probable catastrophes that many teens have to go through, and I felt that this book has a unique texture somewhere between the lines. And even though there weren’t many ‘oh-my-God what-the-hell’s happening’ moments in the book, Benjamin has made it hilarious enough for readers to pain their tummies. Or punch their sisters while laughing their heads off.

There are parts that broke my heart into a million shards too, and I must say that the author can make steels thaw – don’t even try to shake your head at this and say that you’ve got a boulder heart. You are in for some super nice meltdowns if you’re reading the book. (I couldn’t keep it in especially in Ram’s case. He might as well be the first person whose bond with his mother seems like a live thing. But then again, I might be exaggerating?)

If you ask me for a negative point about the book, I’d say that it was a bit longer/stretched than required. I can’t remember anything else that can be a humongous flaw. Maybe there are (minor flaws, not humongous) but I’m not going to go all ‘judgy’ here.

So yes, book lovers, I totally recommend this book to pretty much anyone who loves reading.




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 in Humanities and Philosophy in 1977. He studied Theology at the University of Louvain in Leuven, Belgium from 1977 to 1981. He was a priest for a few years in El Paso, Texas before leaving the order.

Have you read He Forgot to Say Goodbye? What do you think of this book? Let’s talk in the comments section!


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2 thoughts on “He Forgot to Say Goodbye by Benjamin Alire Sáenz – REVIEW

  1. allthingsthriller says:

    Nice job. I like your review style. it’s very conversational and that’s a good thing. It sets you apart from so many other reviewers. You have a strong voice. Now, this is probably going to sound stupid, but have you read “The Pigman?” That’s kind of like asking someone have they read
    “To Kill a Mockingbird”, but if you haven’t I strongly recommend it. It’s a classic. I like Paul Zindel. He’s a playwright and a young adult fiction writer. I’ve read a lot of his books. They may be a little tame for today’s standards, but you might want to check his stuff out when you get the chance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bunnerbooky says:

      Thank you yet again, Pam. ❤ You're so sweet!
      The past few weeks have been pretty hectic and your comment went unnoticed. Sorry 😦
      No, I haven't read Pigman :'D
      I love reading classics, although I haven't read one in a long while. There are too many books in my TBR that I'm dying to finish, but maybe I'll try to read this very soon! Thanks for the recommendation and thank you for stopping by!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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