Title: Goodbye Days
Author: Jeff Zentner
Published: March 7th, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Novel & Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Listened to on Audible
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?
MRS BIRDS WORDS REVIEW
Something I always fret about is the concept that we never truly know the ramifications of our actions. Will they be life altering or merely nod worthy. This book plays out the ramifications of one text sent by Carver to his 3 best friends. Carver’s mind is full of what if’s and and guilt. Through the complicated aftermath Carver begins to rebuild himself through the memories of his friends. The concept of a “Goodbye day” was wonderful. An opportunity to cope, celebrate, and let go. It was a great book that kept me engaged until the end. You learn a lot about life and learning to live with the natural consequences.
Things I enjoyed about this book:
This book was well written and had great character development. I listened to it, and defiantly enjoyed hearing with the accent, it made me feel like I was really there. This book tackled some heavy subjects that need to be addressed with teens, including texting and death. I think it is important to normalize therapy and the benefits it can have, I thought this book did a good job of that. The storyline was intriguing and I feel in love with each of their lives.
The Things I Didn’t Enjoy:
The one thing I didn’t agree with or appreciated, was when the author, Jeff, referenced the court case where a teenage girl texted her boyfriend and encouraged him to commit suicide and compared it to texting a friend while driving. Carver knew that his friends were driving, but his intention was not to kill them, it didn’t cross his mind. I think there is a vast difference between encouraging suicide and texting. While I disagree with both, I don’t think they are comparable in the slightest. What do you think?
Jeff Zentner deserves 4 out of 5 bird feathers for this one. I am always a sucker for young adult fiction and tragedy, it’s my jam. I’d feel confident recommending this one anyone! I am looking forward to reading Jeff’s other novels.
This book did contain foul language and the major theme is death and loss. I think there is a great need for books like this to show the dangers of texting and driving. It would be a great opportunity for a parent – child discussion post read. I think one of the most important things is to help your teen digest what they read!