Book Review · Books

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

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Title: Goodbye Days

Author: Jeff Zentner

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Published March 7th 2017 by Crown Books for Young Readers

Rating: 4/5

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One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison?

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My first ever Jeff Zentner book, never thought I would be easily captivated by this one. I’ve heard great things about his previous book which was The Serpent King so I had expectations for this book. It didn’t disappoint me at all, so now The Serpent King has made my TBR list!

Goodbye Days…

Never have I imagined that this book would make me feel sad and broken but I guess that’s the thing with sad books they will make you feel that you’re still human capable of feeling the pain, grief, guilt and fear that the main character, Carver Briggs, felt in the story.

It all began with one single text. “Where are you guys? Text me back”. and then it all ended with a car accident ending the lives of his three best friends. Carver can’t believe that it all happened so fast. Attending all the funerals of his friends, he couldn’t help himself but feel the guilt that he might be the culprit. When you read this and didn’t feel anything towards this book I don’t know what you’re made of. Seriously.

The part that I love about their group was that they were all totally passionate about the things they love to do. Each of them has their own unique talents that they were not afraid to show. Indeed, the author’s writing style was beautiful that you wouldn’t mind feeling a little bit of sadness while reading the book.

Carver was trying to move on from what happened and also his friend’s family, in that situation came the goodbye days.

As he was doing Goodbye Days with the family his friends left. He couldn’t help but tell them the things that their sons,brothers and grandchildren couldn’t tell them when they were still alive. How they felt towards themselves and their families. The scenes with Blake’s grandmother hit me hard, it actually made me cry. Being a lola’s girl, I know how our grandparents really care for us even though we are not their own child. They will take care of us no matter what happens. Blake’s grandmother sacrificed a lot just to make him happy. As per Eli and Mar’s parents, they were the ones who will make this story more emotional and it somehow made it more realistic.

This book is perfect for everyone. It teaches you the value of friendship, love and faith.

Quotable quotes

“For the most part, you don’t hold the people you love in your heart because they rescued you from drowning or pulled you from a burning house. Mostly you hold them in your heart because they save you, in a million quiet and perfect ways, from being alone.”

“I sometimes look at my bookshelf now and think about how someday I’m going to die without ever reading a lot of the books there. And one might be life-changingly good and I’ll never know.”

“I hope after we’re gone. there’s a day when a great wind fills our stories with life again and they rise from sleep; and that I write the best story I can.”

“Funny how people move through this world leaving little pieces of their story with the people they meet, for them to carry. Makes you wonder what’d happen if all those people put their puzzle pieces together.”

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