Addresses Issues/Diverse · Contemporary · Favorite Author · YA

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner


Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. But now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, a powerful judge is pressuring the district attorney to open up a criminal investigation.

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” together to share their memories and say a proper farewell.

Soon the other families are asking for their own 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?

SOURCE:  ARC received from publisher for review

Character Highlights:

Carver – My poor Carver.  My heart broke for him.  The loss he felt but also the amount of guilt he carried so bravely for being so young, it was a lot to shoulder.  Probably one of the most selfless characters I’ve ever read.  Letting others use him as a tool for the release of their anger takes its toll on a person.

Nana Betsy – Lord this woman has more wisdom that I ever will.  I pray that one day I can be like she is with the death of a loved one.

Overall Thoughts:

If anyone of you hang around the blog you know I absolutely adored Jeff’s first novel The Serpent King.  He blew me away with the scary accurate Southern aspects of his story that I still talk about it frequently with my blogger friend Asheley and I just knew I had to get my hands on his second novel.  He did not disappoint me.

Goodbye Days was a heartbreaking story about a loss so large that an entire town felt it.  Just like in The Serpent King, I felt a deep-rooted connection to the characters stemming from both loss and Southern culture.  The journey you take with Carver and many others (through Carver) processing their loss and how they deal with their grief is both moving and soul wrenching.  I couldn’t help but cry along as I reflected on the process of losing a loved one that I went through myself and in some ways will always be going through.

In my book Jeff will always be one of the true Southern voices in YA.  If you don’t mind a good cry I think this could be a cathartic read for many.  A phenomenal sophomore novel, I eagerly await his next.



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