"Sáenz' poetic narrative will captivate readers from the first sentence to the last paragraph of this beautifully written novel. . . . It is also a celebration of life and a song of hope in celebration of family and friendship, one that will resonate loud and long with teens."—Kirkus Reviews
"…There is never a question of either Sáenz’s own extraordinary capacity for caring and compassion or the authenticity of the experiences he records in this heartfelt account of healing and hope."—Booklist
"Offering insight into [an adolescent's] addiction, dysfunction and mental illness, particularly in the wake of traumatic events, Sáenz's artful rendition of the healing process will not soon be forgotten."—Publishers Weekly
"Sáenz weaves together [18-year-old] Zach's past, present, and changing disposition toward his future with stylistic grace and emotional insight. This is a powerful and edifying look into both a tortured psyche and the methods by which it can be healed."—School Library Journal
Zach is eighteen. He is bright and articulate. He's also an alcoholic and in rehab instead of high school, but he doesn't remember how he got there. He's not sure he wants to remember. Something bad must have happened. Something really, really bad. Remembering sucks and being alive—well, what's up with that?
I have it in my head that when we're born, God writes things down on our hearts. See, on some people's hearts he writes Happy and on some people's hearts he writes Sad and on some people's hearts he writes Crazy on some people's hearts he writes Genius and on some people's hearts he writes Angry and on some people's hearts he writes Winner and on some people's hearts he writes Loser.
It's all like a game to him. Him. God. And it's all pretty much random. He takes out his pen and starts writing on our blank hearts. When it came to my turn, he wrote. I don't like God very much. Apparently he doesn't like me very much either. Sad
Benjamin Alire Sáenz is a prolific novelist, poet, and author of children's books. Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood, his first novel for young adults, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a Young Adult Library Services Association Top Ten Books for Young Adults pick in 2005.
"I don't like remembering. Remembering makes me feel things. I don't like feeling things," writes Zach as a homework assignment from his therapist at the outset of this psychologically intense novel. Tracing 18-year-old Zach's somewhat disjointed but utterly candid monologue during his stint at an institution, readers will feel his fear as he remembers the events leading to his hospitalization and meet his "monster," the unnamed force that appears in his dreams. But breaking through the chaos of Zach's internal worldare two remarkable individuals: his fatherly roommate, Rafael, and therapist, Adam, whose determination to make Zach whole again never falters. Zach's progress advances in small steps, and there are plenty of setbacks. Fellow patients who have become his friends leave suddenly, and the sadness of other lost souls is nearly too much for Zach. However, the good that comes from his struggles far outweighs the dark moments. Offering insight into addiction, dysfunction and mental illness, particularly in the wake of traumatic events, S enz's (He Forgot to Say Goodbye) artful rendition of the healing process will not soon be forgotten. Ages 14 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
As a 16 year old boy who has never really gotten into reading what-so-ever, I had an outstanding experience. The book captures the reader in every aspect, and doesn't let their attention stray from line to line. This book is a perfect way to get young people like me into reading. It provides an excellent story with an easy-to-follow plot that isn't too complex for young and developing minds. Awesome book!
This book is so beautifully written it goes so deep into depression it left me speech less. I've considered re reading just so I can indulge in alire's wonderful work.
This was an amazing book, I was hooked from beginning to end. I found myself wanting to console & care for the main character... He's been through such tough times. I loved it. 👍💙