I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Goodbye Days
Author: Jeff Zentner
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Summary (from Goodreads): What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?
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?
Goodbye Days definitely wins for the most emotional book I’ve read this year. This novel is about a teen who loses his three best friends in a car crash and how he recovers from his grief. The main character is so real, and I really sympathized with him. The writing is also absolutely breathtaking, and now I need to check out the author’s first book!
This book honestly wrecked me in the best way possible. Basically, the main character sends a text message to his friends while they are driving. As the driver was replying, a truck hits the car and kills all three teens inside. This story is all about the grieving process and accepting a loved one’s death. I found the concept of a Goodbye Day, a day to honour the life of someone who has passed and to share memories of that person, to be such a good idea. These Goodbye Days seemed to be cathartic for Carver and help him move on. If you’re looking for an emotional and powerful read, this is the perfect book to pick up.
I loved Carver’s character so much. He is a writer who is so realistic. The descriptions of his feelings and actions are so believable, and I was really able to sympathize with him. I mean, he lost his three best friends in a car accident and blames himself. I just wanted to hug him throughout the entire book. Carver is also such a complex character, something I always like to see, which made me love him even more.
Since this was my first time reading a book by Jeff Zentner, I had no idea what to expect. I’m telling the truth when I say that his writing blew me away. This book is filled with metaphors and heartbreaking descriptions that made me have to pause and take a moment to appreciate them. The last sentences in a chapter are also especially thought-provoking. This book is realistic and, although I have no experience with grief like this or anxiety, I feel like it portrays these feelings really well. I will definitely be checking out Zentner’s other books!
Goodbye Days is a heartbreaking story about coming to terms with the death of loved ones. The main character is so realistic, and the writing is absolutely beautiful. I absolutely recommend this book, but be sure to be emotionally prepared before picking it up.