Annike: Hey guys, sorry it’s been a little while since we were on here, we’re not really sticking to our usual plan. However, I’m here with a review on Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner, a book I read a little while ago and really really loved. Here we go!
One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his 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?
So originally, I got this book as an ARC from Netgalley, however it took me a while to get to it and then review it so it is currently available anyways. Goodbye Days follows Carver Briggs, a boy who is reeling after the loss of his 3 best friends in a car accident, one that he might have been slightly to blame fore. After all, Mars, who was driving, was answering the text Carver has sent when he crashed.
Carver is absolutely devastated and turns to blaming himself for the accident and almost hoping that he sees justice for the crime. As well as his own doses of self hated, one of the boys father is blaming him for the accident and another’s sister is spreading rumours at school that he is to blame. And on top of everything Craver has to become involved in a court case that could see him going to jail for murder.
One of my favourite aspects of this book definitely had to be all the memories and flash back we got of the ‘Sauce Crew’ (what the 4 best friends called their group). There was always something funny or memorable happening in the group and it was the kind of book that definitely had me smiling as I read all the funny things the boys were getting into. Each of the 4 boys had a special role to play in the group and even though 3 of the characters were dead from beginning to end of the book I felt like I really knew them anyways and loved their characters. The group had such an amazing dynamic that it made me wish I could read about them in present day, and all the amazing and funny things they used to do, instead of only getting to read about them in past tense.
I thought that Jeff Zentner did such a great job of showing what it was like to lose loved ones with all the heartbreak and emotions. I couldn’t help but love Carver for all of the hardship he had endured and it was simply devastating to read about all he had to deal with. Luckily for him, there were a few people he had on his side. Firstly, there was Jesmyn, who was originally Eli’s girlfriend and started to become close to Carver. They both related really well through grief and the feeling of needing someone else there when school started or at least to talk to. I really liked Jesmyn, she was thoughtful and she was really funny. Most importantly I think she was such great support for Carver and the exact thing that he needed at the time.
One of the greatest parts of this book was Jeff Zentner’s ability to portray both horrendous grief as well as humour in the same book and make you feel it all. Some of the scenes were super funny, especially those that involved the 4 boys before the accident. Then there were other times that made me want to cry because I just felt so much grief coming from Carver and the families of the boys who had been killed.
Overall, this was such an amazing book. I know it’s been all over WordPress lately but if you haven’t got the clue yet, you should really read it!! Let me know if you have and what you thought 🙂