Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
4.5 out of 5 stars.
“For the most part, you don’t hold the people you love in your heart because they rescued you from drowning or pulled you from a burning house. Mostly you hold them in your heart because they save you, in a million quiet and perfect ways, from being alone.”
Goodreads Description: 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 received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I was beyond stoked when I was approved for Goodbye Days. The Serpent King was my favorite book last year, so I was excited to see what else Zentner had up his sleeve!
Of course, he did not disappoint. This book was everything I hoped it would be. It was a tough subject to read about. Goodbye Days made me pretty angry at times and really sad other times. Mostly because I couldn’t believe what was happening to Carver. It really made me angry, because I felt like he didn’t do anything wrong. He was also not treated very well by some of his friends’ families. I don’t want to go too much into what happened, because I don’t want to spoil the book for you guys. I was hurting for Carver though.
Carver was going through a lot of emotional (and physical) things as he dealt with the loss of his three best friends. It was not at all easy for him and being thrown other not so good things in his face as he is already struggling with the loss of his friends was tough to read. You can really tell how much his friends meant to him and how much he loved them. I couldn’t even imagine losing my three best friends and all at one time. I loved all the little stories about his friends, Eli, Mars, and Blake. Zentner is so good at writing about friendships and portraying them so well. It makes you want to be their friends too. They seemed like really awesome guys and their friendship is what everyone hopes to have in a friend. SAUCE CREW!
“If grief is a pounding surf, the absence is a melancholy, gently tossing sea.”
I’m glad that Carver had Jesymn and Georgia after the death of his friends. They were there to help him when he needed someone to talk to and I believe played a huge role in helping him get through everything. And of course I can’t forget Nana Betsy, loved her. I teared up and cried throughout this entire book. I loved the idea behind the goodbye days and each one was so different from the other. I found myself saving line after line, because it was so good. As soon as I get my pre-ordered copy, I will be flagging everything that I saved! So many quote worthy things, because the entire book was written so well.
Overall, this book was SO good. It was as good as I hoped it would be. It was emotional. It was sad. It broke my heart so many times over. I flew through it, because it was hard to put down. Great characters. Great story. Great message. Texting and driving is a relevant thing. It’s happening every day. You may not think anything will happen to you and that you’ve done it a million times and it’s okay. That’s not always the case. It’s happening right now as I am writing this review. It’s also about moving forward and the struggles with losing someone close to you, the grief, the sadness, and everything that comes with it. I loved this book and I highly recommend picking it up. It’ll be releasing March 7th, so mark those calendars!
“The universe—fate—is cruel and random. Things happen for many reasons. Things happen for no reason.”
I hope you have a great day!