Title: Goodbye Days
Author: Jeff Zentner
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Publication Date: April 6th, 2017
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Format: Review e-copy
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
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?
I really liked how Goodbye Days focused on the consequences of texting and driving. But since the driver died in the car accident, the entire blame was shifted towards the texter, Carver. Although the charges against him were bit extreme, cause both of the boys were the ones to blame, it was done to shine a light on how it is somehow, a 2 way street dilemma.
What is a Goodbye, Day, though? It was a request from Blake’s Grandma to Craver. He would spend an entire Day with her as if he was Blake, so the Grandma would get to be with her Grandson one last time.
During the Goodbye Days, more guilt and anxiety builds up inside Carver. But the Goodbye Day with Blake’s grandma was much easier than ones with the angry parents, who were suing him.
The Author was able to take a major, serious issue, add some major,dramatic lights on crooks and crannies that you may not consider in such situations , all in the name of making you think about such tragedies in a new perspective. For example, don’t text a driving person a question when you know that they are driving.
Of course Blake should have ignored the text while driving, but still. Don’t initiate an event that might lead to catastrophe .I think this was the hidden message in the story. Wether you agree or disagree with it, you have to admit that it is very thought-provoking.
One thing I didn’t like was how I did see a Climax even after I was 85% into the book.
That aside, this was a mind opening read. I give Goodbye Days 4.5/5 stars.
I received an e-ARC of Goodbye Days in exchange with an honest review.
About the Author:
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.