Goodbye Days – Jeff ZentnerPublished: 6th April 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
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?
First thing to know before you pick this book up? You will need tissues. You will ugly cry no matter how much you try and stop yourself. It’s inevitable so just accept it. Second of all, you will probably feel some rage at a few characters and it is awful but it just makes the ending all the more satisfying, you know?
This is the first book I’ve read by Jeff Zentner, I know everyone talks about The Serpent King but I haven’t read anything by him before. He is an author I've heard many a good thing about but I am so glad I waited to read this book by him first. I was emotionally wrung out by the end but so very, very happy as well.
This book is centred around Carver who has lost his three best friends in a car accident and is blaming himself because he texted them around the time of the car accident. It leads him on a path of guilt and self-discovery as he spends time with the families of those he loved trying to help them get some closure whilst also trying to get closure for himself. There is a mixed response from the family of his loved ones because too often we want to find someone to blame when we lose someone. It has to be someone's fault because bad things can't just happen.
I haven't cried so much reading a book in a long time. I know I get emotionally involved in things very easily, much like Carver I cry at YouTube videos about good deeds, but this book will hit you in the feels and then beat you around the head with your emotions right until the end. But in a good way, you know? You may be ugly crying but you'll be happy about it, trust me. It’s one of those books which puts your through the ringer and drains you but it’s so good.
I think this book works because of Carver. He isn’t the best person. He isn’t the most likable character. He acts rashly and like a bit of a dick at times but he has lost his best friends. That support structure you usually fall back on when you make bad choices in gone and he is struggling. He is blaming himself for losing those closest to him and this is a difficult thing to handle and so that instant connection you make with him is vital to this book. I definitely wouldn’t have liked this book as much if I hadn’t gotten what Carver was going through.
Like I said, if you’re looking to cry like a baby read this. And if you want some awesome characters and a really good read, you should probably read it then too.
What was the last book which made you cry? And have you read this book? What were your thoughts?