Published by Crown Books for Young Readers on March 7, 2017
What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?
One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.
The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.
Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.
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 with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.
Soon the other families are asking for a 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?
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I was very wary of picking up Goodbye Days – so wary, in fact, that I let this book sit unread for over a year. I was afraid of this book for many reasons. I am not a big fan of contemporary fiction. It takes a truly spectacular contemporary book to keep me interested. Also, Jeff Zentner usually has a religious theme throughout his books, and I try to avoid religion in my books. It’s something that I truly do not enjoy reading.
These were my concerns going into The Serpent King as well, but when I finally picked it up, I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t a favorite, but I did enjoy it quite a bit. I was hoping that might also be the case with Goodbye Days, but I was very wrong.
I actually only made it about 50 pages into Goodbye Days. I suppose if I had read the synopsis more closely, I would never have picked it up at all. This book has one of the most completely inconceivable plots I have ever encountered. When I realized that a father was actually trying to press criminal charges against someone who sent his son a text, I immediately put the book down and decided I was done. (Maybe this father should be pressing charges against himself for not educating his son on distracted driving. Since this is a religious book, perhaps we should bring up that whole “casting the first stone” thing???) I was dumbfounded at the utter ridiculousness of this story.
I honestly don’t have words to describe how stupid I think this plot is. I can’t say much more on this book because I didn’t read enough to know anything about it. While I hated my experience with this book, I do respect Jeff Zenter as an author and I do think that he is a talented writer. If you love contemporary, you may love his books, but I don’t think I will be picking any more up in the future.
When you can’t believe what you are reading…..
…..blame it on the books.