Review: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Review: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

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Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner 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!

Review: Goodbye Days by Jeff ZentnerTitle: Goodbye Days
Author: Jeff Zentner
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Rating: five-stars

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?

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

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.

❀ Complex Main Character

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.

❀ Incredible Writing

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!

❀ Heartbreaking Story

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner 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.

Book Quotes: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Book Beginning:

Depending on who—sorry, whom—you ask, I may have killed my three best friends.

Friday 56:

I sure hope I don’t go to jail even though part of me is convinced I deserve to. I’m sorry I killed my friends. I’m sorry.

About Jeff Zentner

Image of Jeff Zentner

Jeff Zentner lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to writing through music, starting his creative life as a guitarist and eventually becoming a songwriter. He’s released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Thurston Moore, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, and Lydia Lunch, among others.

Now he writes novels for young adults. He became interested in writing for young adults after volunteering at the Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp. As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.

He speaks fluent Portuguese, having lived in the Amazon region of Brazil for two years.

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About The Candid Cover

Olivia ❀ Canadian YA book blogger, Starbucks lover, & professional bibliophile.

13 thoughts on “Review: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

  1. Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages says:

    I actually borrowed this from my school library very recently so I’ll probably try and read it next month or so because it seems interesting, I’ve heard great things and there have been positive reviews! Thanks for sharing this and so good to hear you loved it!

  2. Zaira F says:

    So glad to know you really enjoyed this!! I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. I’m excited to see and get to read it since you complimented on the author’s writing! 🙂

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