Young Adult, Contemporary
Part of a Series?:
March 7th, 2017
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Can a text message destroy your life?
Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths.
Then Blake’s grandmother asks Carver to remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. Carver has his misgivings, but he starts to help the families of his lost friends grieve with their own memorial days, along with Eli’s bereaved girlfriend Jesmyn. But not everyone is willing to forgive. Carver’s own despair and guilt threatens to pull him under into panic and anxiety as he faces punishment for his terrible mistake. Can the goodbye days really help?
Here’s the thing. Jeff Zentner’s first book kind of blew my mind. I had heard it along the YA grapevine but I didn’t know much about it and when I read it, I was just blown away. We were already friends on facebook at this point, and I was kind of like, whoa I get to be friends with this wicked cool author that wrote an amazing book? Not exactly sure how I made that happen but yay!
So when I got the email in my inbox that I was lucky enough to get my hands on an e-ARC of Goodbye Days, I was pretty stoked. I knew that this book would be just as good as his first book. I was proven right and more so.
Any book that deals with loss is bound to tug at my emotions. I’m an emotional person and loss has definitely been a presence in my life, in more ways than one. Opening up on the funeral of one of Carver’s best friends immediately brought me into the story. Zentner won me over with his emotions, the sadness, the guilt, all of it.
I immediately was with Carver. The story is emotional but incredibly real at the same time. The way he feels about his friends being gone, the way he feels responsible, the way he is scared everyone will figure that out, the way he feels guilty for spending so much time with his best friend’s girlfriend, all of that felt so incredibly real. There was a familiarity about the story. Carver was a real person and I think it takes an incredible writer to make you feel that way. I was in the story and I felt every single emotion in there with him.
I also loved the book for tackling mental illness, and the anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, the therapy and the medication. Jeff made it feel so real and normal. It was almost a little too distressing for me when Carver had a panic attack; I had to remind myself that I wasn’t having one myself because it felt so damn real. He brought a voice to mental illness, and how it feels and how hard it is to deal with and I appreciated that so much. I loved that we saw progress but we also saw that he had to work hard every day to deal with it, and its just so realistic. Any book that can tackle that sort of thing, is huge in my book.
All in all, I insanely enjoyed this book. I’ve been stuck in a rut for so long but this book was one of the best books that I’ve read in a long time and I flew through it. It was easy to do so! I am usually more of a fantasy/science fiction girl, but when there is a contemporary book like this, that tackles family and love and friendship and loss and guilt and forgiveness and mental illness and all of that…and makes it seem so easy and not overwhelming, I have to love it. This book comes out in less than two weeks and I urge you all to get it in your collection when it does!
5 out of 5 Stars